Preparing Your Used Boat For Sale- Part 1

As the licensed brokers at Ocean Marine know, there is a lot that goes into selling a used boat from start to finish. Many parts of this process are greatly enhanced by working with a marine brokerage service. Brokers have an extensive network of contacts and prospective buyers, provide assistance with complicated paperwork and registrations, and can even act as your proxy in the closing of your vessel if you are out of state. But one thing every boat owner can do before listing with a top brokerage service is take the time to prepare their boat for the market. 

After years of dutiful service, even the best and most carefully maintained boats are bound to show some signs of wear and tear. Commercial boats are worked nearly round the clock for extended periods of time and are most likely going to need some mechanical or cosmetic upgrades. Recreational boats can become a sort of “home on the seas” for some. Before you know it, they are housing a slew of our personals, just like our homes. No matter the circumstance, giving some extra attention to repairing and cleaning your boat before buyers set eyes on it is a major way to automatically create a more enticing listing. The experts at Ocean Marine Brokerage Services are here to break this process down, so you can feel confident that you are putting your vessel’s best foot forward. 


Part One- Check Common Problem Areas


  • Electrical/Wiring Issues

When it comes to wiring, many boat owners can take an out-of-sight-out-mind approach. And we often can become accustomed to the occasional burnt out light or faulty electronics. However, your boat’s prospective owner (and their broker should they choose to work with one) will quickly take note of these inconveniences. Make sure to start by checking every electrical component is your boat, even the ones you deem unnecessary or rarely use. Look under the hood, so to speak, and make sure your wiring is in prime condition and protected properly. 


  • Engine Issues

Your vessel’s engine, no matter the size of your craft, is a complex piece of equipment and one of the first things that a potential buyer will be looking to scrutinize. Regular maintenance over the duration of your boat ownership is, of course, the best way to keep your engine in prime shape but there are a few things you can do before listing your boat to ensure that your engine will be running at its peak. First, check your oil. You can do a quick visual inspection to make sure your oil has not taken on a milky appearance. This is an indicator of water mixing in with the oil. You may even consider an oil analysis, which will give you an in-depth report on your oil and will help indicate unseen issues in your engine. If your engine seems to be working harder while the speed of your boat decreases or if it begins to vibrate, it is definitely worth taking a look at the prop. It is also a good idea to replace your fuel filter. 


  • Bilge Pump Issues

Do not neglect your bilge pump. Much like wiring, the bilge pump is not something that the average boater is dealing with at each voyage so it can be easy to let bilge pump maintenance slip your mind. But when selling your boat, this essential piece of equipment is not one you can afford to ignore. If you have an automatic bilge pump, make sure to check your float switch as debris can keep it from functioning properly. If your pump runs when you turn it on manually, you know you have a float switch issue. Check the battery, fuse, wiring, and make sure the pump’s impeller has not jammed or taken a set. A marine surveyor, who will likely be required to inspect your vessel for insurance reasons, will definitely check the bilge pump so it is best to check it right away. 


While you may want to have your vessel inspected by a professional marine mechanic in order to diagnose any potential problems, these are some great ways that you as a boat owner can begin to prepare to pass your boat onto another loving owner. Once you are ready to sell your used commercial vessel, contact Ocean Marine Brokerage Services to see how we can help ensure your listing reaches the widest possible audience of ready-to-buy boat seekers! 

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