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Old 01-23-2001
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Jon Shattuck is on a distinguished road
Selling Advice

We are trying to sell a sailboat that needs to be restored. What advice can you offer to help us accomplish this as quickly as possible?

Jon Shattuck responds:

Here are your options:

1. List the boat for sale with a broker.

2. Sell the boat yourself. List it on the Internet, (you may list it right here on Boatsearch, SailNet's absolutely free listing service for boat buyers and sellers), regional magazines, and local newspapers. Or you can post flyers at your local sailing centers, yacht clubs, boatyards, and marinas, or network with your sailing friends. You can also post messages on Allied boat owner's associations and classic boat online discussion groups.

Whichever avenue(s) you choose to pursue,you should create a complete equipment list. Include vessel specifications, an accurate description of the vessel and its equipment, its strengths and weaknesses, a copy of an original brochure, magazine reviews, current interior and exterior photos —everything you can muster. By the way, placing your boat for sale in BoatSearch will help you create your equipment list—our free owner listings are set up to convert all of your information and photos into a clean, organized equipment list.

Also, it's very important when prospective buyers come to inspect the boat to make sure that it is cleaned and prepped as much as humanly possible. Scrub the bilge, clean the engine compartment, empty and vacuum drawers and storage compartments, bleach the icebox, scrub the deck, clean and wax the topsides, remove or throw away as much gear as you can. Pretend you are taking your boat to a boatshow.

As for pricing, every boat is worth what the buyer and the seller agree upon. You can get a quick idea of your boat's resale value with the valuation guides ( and, but you should research the competition as well. Check the various online sites, regional magazines, local newspapers, and ask around. Of course, a boat's condition and equipment greatly affect a boat's value—especially with older vessels.

Although every boat on the market eventually changes hands, you may have an uphill battle because you have an older boat that is in need of work. Don't surrender, just work harder. With spring coming, this is the perfect time to attack this project.

While it takes 30 to 60 days for magazine ads to reach the public, your BoatSearch listing will reach the boat-buying public immediately. And then you can get to boat scrubbing as soon as the weather permits—with a complete equipment list in hand—just in time for boat -buying season!

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