DrB - Most of your example assume he's going to sell the boat to a new buyer out from under the first buyer. His question was whether or not he could SHOW the boat to another person, not whether he could accept a higher/better offer from another person.
The seller needs to protect his best interest and have back-up offers/buyers ready in case the original deal falls apart. I sell real estate for a living and this sort of thing happens all the time. As long as the seller/broker is upfront about the pending sale and accepts the risk of something getting broken during a showing, there is no reason the boat (or house) can't be shown during the pending period.
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