How to sell your boat?

You have decided to buy a bigger boat , to change models or simply to stop sailing. So, you must sell your boat and sell it as best you can. This means finding a buyer quickly and bidding at a good price. To put the odds on your side, you can have your boat appraised but above all present it in its best light, estimate it at its fair price without forgetting to gather the necessary administrative documents and anything that can give it value. And when a potential buyer shows up, offer a trip to the sea.

Call on expertise

In addition to writing a beautiful ad with several quality photos, calling on a marine surveyor will cost you a little money but will give your ad additional strengths. This professional is fully aware of the market. He guarantees the good condition of the boat and his presence is a pledge of seriousness for the future transaction. His intervention creates a real relationship of trust between the potential buyer and the seller. He is not directly interested in the sale and gives an objective opinion. It engages its name, its reputation and must therefore be exemplary in its analysis of the hull, engine, equipment…

This technical expertise does not give a price for the sale but makes it possible to obtain clear and reliable indications on the general condition of the vessel. An additional report can be requested to obtain a real estimate with a selling price considering the market and the specificities of your vessel.

Highlight the quality of the boat

Your boat must be envious! Visitors should be able to project themselves on board the boat without difficulty. He must be able to imagine taking off with this one. Put yourself in her shoes and try to see your boat from the outside; what could appeal to you if you did not know it so well? Showcase its strengths.

Your ad and the beautiful photos that accompany it have attracted potential buyers. They should not be disappointed when they are faced with reality. During the visit, the boat must be spotless, clean both inside and out. The upholstery and all the accessories must be in their place to flatter the eye. The first impression is often decisive: it should not be missed. It is purely aesthetic, but it is essential. Everything must be impeccable, even the bilges. If you do not have the courage or the time to do a big cleanup, hire a professional company. It will cost you a little money but will increase your chances of selling faster.

Take away everything that is personal (leftover groceries, decoration, old cushions…). This allows the visitor to appropriate a neutral space that they imagine equipped as they wish.

The quality of the accessories and equipment included in the sale should be emphasized. It is not a question of hiding possible defects but of highlighting what is positive. While remaining objective, list all the advantages and disadvantages on board.

Also list anything you can fix yourself that will easily make your boat look better. If there are larger repairs to be done, you can request quotes. Improvements or quotes will negotiate the price.

Choose the right price

Setting the right price for your boat is not the easiest thing, especially if you are still attached to it. If it is too expensive, the boat will not find a buyer; if the price is too low, it may imply a hidden defect and cause suspicion of potential buyers. We must therefore find the right price, but it is quite reasonable to leave room for negotiation.

It is essential to understand the second-hand market and compare offers close to yours. Warning! The price of an ad rarely matches the actual selling price. Look for announcements of boats with characteristics like yours, whether by make and model, but also by length, year of construction, options…

A small boat for sale will undoubtedly attract more attention than a large sailboat but selling a boat between private individuals is still quite possible.
Check with a professional or a dealer; you can also get help from a broker. You will benefit from his experience and his contacts to sell faster but with a slightly lower net seller price. It all depends on whether you have time to show people around, to respond to interested people…

You can choose to go through a boating professional who will know how to optimize the promotion of your boat on the various advertising sites. Again, it all depends on the time you can devote to the sale and your availability to ensure the visits.

Talk about the history of the boat

When visiting, be prepared to answer all the usual questions: Why are you selling? Is it a firsthand? If there is an engine, what is the average consumption? Did you sail a lot? For how long…

Make the potential buyer want to go further and show him that he can be confident.
If there have been any repairs, explain why and under what conditions. It is strongly recommended to provide invoices for maintenance and any repairs or modifications. If you have “tinkered” your boat yourself, show that you can do it and that there is no hidden problem. Explain what you did, transparently.
Establish a climate of trust with the potential buyer by anticipating their possible questions. It can be the berth, wintering, insurance…

Provide administrative documents

Before even starting the visits, prepare the expert report if it exists and store the documents, invoices, photos in a neat binder.

The official documents have to be prepared. The original of the deed of francization for boats over seven meters long and / or whose engine power is greater than 22 HP; for boats of less than seven meters and / or whose power is less than 22 HP, prepare the traffic card. You will also need the original of the bill of sale or your purchase invoice.

Provide the pleasure card with all the characteristics of your boat; the navigation license, the certificate of aptitude for the installation of radio equipment are also among the necessary documents.

For a francized boat, the complete file must be sent to the customs office of the home port.

The contract for the sale of a boat between individuals and the deed of sale for a professional boat must be drawn up in several copies (three or four depending on the length of the boat and the power of the engine) and signed by all parties.

The future owner will need all these documents to request the new registration.

A certificate of absence of maritime mortgage may be requested by the potential buyer. He will surely find it pleasant that you have already made the request.

In short, you need at least:

  • the deed of sale
  • the deed of francization (or the circulation card)
  • the pleasure card (completed by the purchaser)
  • possibly the trailer’s registration certificate and its transfer certificate

Do not forget the various warranty certificates for your equipment and accessories , maintenance invoices, the certificate of absence of maritime mortgage.

Carry out a sea trial

Does the visitor seem seduced but still hesitates? Offer a trip to the sea, whether it is a motorboat or a sailboat. Before buying, it is normal to test a boat as you test a car. It is possible that a launching or a dry-out is necessary. It is generally the seller who bears these costs but everything is negotiable.

This sea trial is essential; this is the opportunity for you to show the best sides of your boat and allow the future owner to benefit as much as possible from its assets.

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and think ahead of the arguments that might have convinced you.

After the sale, remember to declare the transfer of the boat to the DML and to the customs office of the home port; to cancel your insurance, to remove the various advertisements.

Planning on getting a new boat? Check out our models here.

Lenco Marine Services


Lenco Marine, a seller of luxury boats, offers exquisite vessels to discerning customers, including you, with unmatched elegance and quality.


Lenco Marine, renowned for selling luxury boats, also provides an exceptional renting experience, offering opulent vessels for your adventures.


Lenco Marine stands out as a premier provider of luxury boats, offering customizations that exceed expectations.

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