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Selling a Sailboat

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/31/2006 | Fishing and Boating

You've had a great time with your sailboat. Over the years, there have been many happy hours with friends and family spent enjoying the water. However the time has come to sell your sailboat. If you are to get top dollar when selling your sailboat, it is important to make sure your boat is ready to be placed on the market. Here's a few tips to help you get your sailboat ready for sale.

One of the first things you want to address is the condition of any equipment that impacts the operation of the boat. Make sure your drive system has been properly maintained. If there are any parts that are wearing down, invest a little money and time and have them replaced with newer parts. Check the condition of the sails, as well as the engine, making sure both are in good working order. If there is any special equipment that goes with the boat, make sure it is in good working order and can easily be tried out by any prospective buyer.

Wiring can be costly to replace in a sailboat. Make sure the wiring meets standards and be prepared to supply the buyer with documentation that all electrical devices as well as the wiring is in good working condition. 

The aesthetics of the boat are important as well. No one is interested in a boat that looks as if it was operated in a war zone. Make sure all painted surfaces look fresh and clean. Check the upholstery and make sure it does not show an excessive amount of wear for a boat of comparable age. Clean all surfaces, including the hull. Clean translates into fresh and well maintained, which is what you want to be the first impression any potential buyer has of your boat.

Have the maintenance log handy and make sure it is detailed and accurate. Any serious boater will want to know what has been replaced, how often fluids have been changed, and details about any major overhauls that you've had done to the engine. The log will also give you a good chance to point out how cost efficient the maintenance of the boat has been over the years, which will be a real perk to many prospective buyers.

Be prepared to disclose information about how you've used the boat. This will give you the chance to describe how well the boat performs under varying circumstances. If your boat performs particularly well in open water, call attention to that fact. If the potential buyer mentions he is looking for a sailboat for use in a lake and for fresh water fishing, discuss how well the engine has stood up to the trolling associated with fishing. Point to the repair logs and call attention to the fact that the engine has required nothing more than routine maintenance. 

If you have contact information on the boat manufacturer, offer to share it with the buyer. Knowing that the company who built the boat is still around and that they are easy to contact will help make your sell that much easier. Everyone likes to know there is help available should it be required.

Finding a good home for your sailboat can be easy to do, as long as you have maintained the boat properly and can provide proper documentation regarding the upkeep and the performance of the sailboat. By being proactive in supplying this information, you will soon have your money and a satisfied customer.