Is your boat ready for sale?

Story by Harris & Ellis / July 12, 2023

Author: Patricia and Grant Bowlby Yacht Brokers Harris & Ellis Yachts

It’s a busy time. Your broker has met with you, and you’ve given them a tour of your boat. You found that one irresistible photo at anchor or underway. Now your broker has published your listing and it looks great. Is there anything more you need to do? The answer is yes.

Selling your boat is like selling your home. First impressions can make or break a sale. When the boat looks dirty and cluttered, it will take longer to sell, so take the time to keep it clean both inside and out. If you’re regularly using your boat, remember to clean it up before you leave. If you aren’t regularly using your boat, you still need to keep the outside washed and the inside clean and uncluttered. Some marinas provide a cleaning service if you can’t do this yourself, or consider hiring a local student.

Remember that job you keep putting off to another time? Now is the time. From replacing burned-out light bulbs to scrubbing the anchor locker, everything you do to make the boat look well maintained will also make it much more appealing to a buyer. 

Our brokers will try to notify you of scheduled viewings; however, sometimes we might be in your marina or yacht club with potential buyers and decide to show your boat as an alternative to the boat we have just shown them. We will always accompany prospective buyers on board for the tour. And once the tour is complete, we will tidy up and lock the boat.

You’ll need to leave a key to the boat in an agreed-upon place. If you change the location or remove it, don’t forget to let your broker know.

The equipment inventory you compile for your broker when you first list your boat becomes part of the sales contract. It’s a good idea to review the list throughout the season so that you can tell us if anything has stopped working or is no longer available.

Finally, be sure that your Pleasure Craft License or Document of Registration is current and active. And if you have a loan, lien, or debt on the boat owing to the marina, talk to us before the sale so that we can ensure the debt is paid out prior to the new owner taking possession.

Have more questions about the sales process? Don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re always happy to chat.



Thank you for all your work in facilitating the sale of our dad's boat. Jake and I really appreciate all the hard work you put into it with the many visits, paperwork, etc. A special mention has to go out to Grant for teaching me how to fold the sails!

As first-time boat buyers and as foreigners wanting to buy a cruising catamaran in the US, we knew we needed a reliable broker that had our best interests in mind. John Heintzman was just that, and more! He was extremely committed to understanding what we were looking for, gave great advice, and guided us through the purchase process with great patience and knowledge. All in all, we felt very well taken care of.

I feel compelled to reach out about the absolutely wonderful experience that I have had with Grant and Patricia Bowlby. I completed the purchase of a boat yesterday and I couldn’t be happier. They were so helpful, kind, and patient. This was my first experience with a broker, and I think I’ve found the best.

I can’t thank Ewan Campbell enough for the super job he did in selling G, making up for my lack of experience in this realm and patiently searching for just the right buyer and a win-win for seller and buyer alike.

It was a wonderful experience selling A with Jeff Cole’s expert assistance. Thank you for simplifying a complicated process. Your patience and kindness are especially appreciated.

I just wanted to thank Jeff Cole for all his hard work. He was very professional and effective.

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