There are several things you should keep in mind as you prepare to sell a boat. First, make sure that your boat is in tip-top shape before you advertise its availability. This is key as potential buyers in the market for a used boat will always gravitate towards boats in good shape verses one that looks bad.  Become familiar with all of your obligations as a seller. When it is time to make the sale official, do it properly, and get it in writing. Most importantly, remember how you want others to do business with you. Be courteous, and respectful. Dealing with your potential buyers in an open and honest manner will prevent any misunderstandings, and will ensure an agreement which benefits both parties.

Once you are sure that you want to sell a boat, take the time to make sure it’s clean. A neat and tidy wakeboard or ski boat is a thousand times more appealing to a prospective buyer than a boat that is messy and filled with trash. Obviously, at some point you are going to need to take pictures of your boat. It is wise to make the boat spotless. All cosmetic work that is necessary should be done, and all repairs ought to be finished by the time you are ready to start advertising your wakeboard boat or ski boat for sale. Also, keep in mind as you are taking your pictures that people who are looking at boats to buy do not care to see additional people or objects in the picture such as tubes, skis, wakeboards, etc unless they are included in the sale. If only the boat is for sale, then make sure that your boat is the only thing included in the photo. This is known to be the most professional and effective means by which people can show the condition of their boat.  When you are putting together your boat listing, you may want to look into boat reviews as well for information about your model.  There might be some good reviews about your boat that could help sell your boat.

The next step in selling your boat is getting the word out. There are several ways in which you can do this. If you want to do it on a local level, you will have access to the boat classifieds listings in your local newspaper. You can also use brochures and flyers, as well as a ‘For Sale’ sign on your boat. If you would like to advertise to a national audience, you can try to place your ad in a national boating publication. One example which would be a good venue for advertising is Boat U.S. Magazine, a marine publication which is read by thousands of boaters who are looking for used boats and boats for sale. Obviously one of the best sites to advertise on is a featured listings on Other avenues you can take are marina bulletin. Good old-fashioned word of mouth has also been known to sell many a boat, as you never know who might know someone who is looking to buy a boat.

After you have gotten the word out about your used boat, be prepared for responses. Have a complete list of the accessories that go with the boat readily accessible. If you’re selling a wakeboard boat, prospective buyers are going to want information about wakeboard towers, ballast, wakeboard racks and any other wakeboarding accessories that might come with the boat. Some potential buyers even request a picture of the wake itself. People who are looking into buying a boat will have many questions, and it is always wise to be overly prepared when they ask. There are a few documents that any informed buyer would want to see. Be ready to show them your original bill of sale and your certificate of documentation or state title. Many buyers will first ask to look at the boat’s maintenance and repair records. They are obviously concerned about the shape that the boat is in, and these records will go a long way towards reassuring them that your boat is in fine condition. In addition, buyers may want to know how much insurance you have typically spent on the boat, so that they may budget properly.

It is vitally important that you are available for buyers as they try to contact you. You risk losing the sale of your boat if you are hard to contact, or if you do not respond immediately to phone messages or emails. Nothing beats doing business with an actual person, so it always increases your chance of sealing a deal if you are able to make direct contact with the potential buyer. Keep track of who contacts you, and the discussions you have with them.

Remember that as a seller of a used ski boat or used wakeboard boat, you are obligated to do certain things. A potential buyer might request to have your boat inspected by a marine surveyor. Generally, if you are dealing with surplus boats this is not necessary.  They may also want the engine looked at by a marine mechanic. This will usually involve haul-outs and sea trials. The good part is that these expenses are paid by the buyer. A buyer’s willingness to pay these expenses will usually show a commitment to your boat.  People looking for used boats for sale are going to have a lot of questions as well.

Remember that although you are not required to volunteer information to the buyer, you are also not allowed to conceal information that may lead to an unsafe boat. You would be wise to alert the buyer to any major problems with the boat. If an accident were to occur after the buyer has bought your boat, you may be haunted by previous repair records or complaints to the manufacturer. Again, if you follow a policy of openness and honesty when trying to sell your boat, you and the buyer will always be better off.

While it is probably very appealing to enter into a gentlemen’s agreement, never agree to the sale of your ski or wakeboard boat based on a handshake, or something that is less formal than a contract. Write a sales agreement in which you outline the terms of the sale and the obligations of both the buyer and seller. Cover yourself by asking the buyer for cashier’s or certified checks for both the deposit and the final payment. Settle on a closing date that works well for both of you. Make it clear which personal items you wish to remove from the boat, so that there is no confusion once the ownership of the boat is handed over.

Selling a boat should be a very easy, carefree matter. With the increasing popularity of water sports like wakeboarding, wake surfing, and jet skiing, thousands of people are now looking to find the tools necessary to enjoy themselves on the water. If you are wise with how and where you advertise your boat, you will no doubt soon find a buyer.