Decide whether to sell the boat yourself or not. Consider the use of broker/dealers. Think about your availability, time, budget. If you have the time and you want to save on commission (5-10% of the purchase price), for sale by owner could be for you.
Pick the best website to advertise your boat. Picking FREE vs Paid site is a challenge. Listing on sites like PBFS.us is a no brainer, it FREE and we have the traffic. It expands your regional reach as visitors can search for your boat by geography, type of boat, length, price, year, manufacturer, etc.
Write an effective boat classified ad. Provide detailed specs, nice pictures, provide contact information. Following the PBFS form will help you complete good listing that helps describe your boat.
Prepare your boat for sale: gotta fix it up, de-clutter, and show it off! If you are not doing much, at least make sure that all the mechanical issues are fixed. Then, get rid of all the clutter. Remove everything not included in the sale, both to increase perceived space and to eliminate any confusion as to what is included. Then give it a deep clean to really show off your boat. If your boat is a bit more complicated, consider getting a boat survey before the boat is listed. This will give you a chance to address the problems up front. You don’t want these issues to creep up and sabotage your sale.
Set your price. A reasonable boat price will net a quick sale. What is the market price? You can look at blue book values like nadaguides.com, or, you can search for your boat on classified websites (again, sites like www.Boats.com or BoatTrader, could have hundreds or thousands of boats in your region). A well-documented maintenance schedule, equipment upgrades, and selling at the beginning of the boating season will all increase boat value.
Ready to show your boat to potential buyers. Once the phone starts ringing or email inquiries pouring in, you need to be available to answer questions, and potentially do sea trials if the buyer is ready. Don’t waste your time with the tire kickers who have no definite plans of buying or no financing.
Negotiation is key. Buyers will always ask you what your lowest price is for selling. They want to know your bottom line. Most buyers will assume that it’s lower than your asking price.
Seal the deal with proper paperwork. Your state DMV (or department of fish and wildlife, etc) will have the required documentation you need to give the buyer. You will need bill of sale, boat titles, warranty cards, maintenance records, etc. Make sure you cancel your insurance after the transaction is completed.