The winter months can be a great time to sell your boat: there are plenty of buyers looking for a boat for next year that just aren’t quite ready to commit to a new boat purchase; and once you do sell your boat, there are plenty of purchasing options for your next vessel.

If you are looking to sell your boat, preparing it for the best sales presentation should be your top priority. Behind pricing, boat preparation is possible the second most important part of selling your boat. Proper prep work can not only help sell your boat quickly but it will also help fetch the maximum price. Ensure your boat is in the best possible condition before you put it on the market. Below are some handy tips to prepare your boat for sale.

Of course, the easiest, most cost-effective way to move from your old boat to a new one is through a brokerage. Here at Sheltered Cove Marina, we offer a white-glove brokerage service that is unlike any other. Our large team of boating and sales professionals has combined decades of experience with consumer boat values, trade-in value, and selling boats of all types, sizes, and conditions. Call or text us at (609) 296-9400 to learn more about our brokerage service.

Fix All Mechanical Issues

Any mechanical issue can turn-off even the savviest tinkerer. If the handrail is loose or the light does not work, fix it.

Ensure the boat’s important systems are in working order. Check thoroughly to ensure the following are in working order:

  • All electrical, mechanical and navigation systems.
  • All navigation lights, cabin lights, water taps, window latches, etc.
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
  • The engine room to ensure there are no oil, fuel, or water leaks.


It’s time to get rid of all the clutter on your boat. If your boat is cluttered with a lot of personal items, buyers will have a hard time looking past them and visualize their own outfitting of the boat.

Remove all items that are not included in the sale. This will not only help eliminate any confusion about what’s included but it will also increase the perceived space. Old tie down lines, spare tools, that bucket of cleaning supplies – take them all away.

Your boat will look more spacious with open countertop and empty lockers.

Deep Clean your Boat

Next, it’s time for a deep clean. No matter how well-maintained your boat is, all surfaces can do well with some attention. Clean the hull and polish it to bring out the shine. If your stainless steel hardware isn’t shining, polish them too. Replace any missing/rusty screws and other hardware/parts that are missing.

Clean the carpet thoroughly or remove it if it’s beyond cleaning. Remove, clean and, wash the cushion covers. Ensure all glass surfaces are spotlessly clean. Mildew stains could be removed using appropriate cleaners. Sweep up all loose dirt and wipe down the galley area completely, even the inside lockers.

Stage the Boat

Before you present your boat to potential buyers, be sure to stage it properly. This is typically taken care of by your broker, who will turn on the lights, air conditioning and, music before the buyer arrives.

Setting up stern and burgee flags also has a neat effect. Taking care of such small details will have the right first impression.

Want to get maximum value on your boat sale? We offer a white-glove brokerage service!

Our experienced, talented teams handle every part of the transaction for you. From financing to demonstration rides, to haul outs, pricing, marketing, paperwork, and more. These are all items that are often overlooked when somebody tries to sell their boat privately. Not to mention, our sales processes almost always guarantee a higher sale price than you would get by selling directly on your own.

Call or text us today at (609) 296-9400 and tell us how we can help!