How to Get Cash for Your Boat

It’s common for boaters to feel sentimental about their boat. The decision to sell is often an emotional one. So, it’s important to carefully consider your options and choose the method that works best for you. Some owners need to get their boat off their hands quickly. Others will take their time to ensure they get the highest price for their boat. If you want to learn how to cash in for your boat with Boat Trader, you are in the right place. Introducing the Boat Trader Driveway Direct program. 

If you are considering listing your boat for sale on Boat Trader, then our private sellers page is where you should navigate.

Boat Trader’s Driveway Direct program is the most trusted way to get cash for your boat quickly. Why would a seller participate in Driveway Direct?

You need cash fast.

There are many reasons why you may need to cash out on your boat. Maybe you’ve had an unexpected family emergency or debt to pay off. Or, maybe you just want the money to put towards a vacation or a home. Whatever the reason, you can sell your boat quickly for immediate cash payment with Boat Trader’s Driveway Direct program. And, our team handles the entire process. From inspection to closing and then transporting it from your location. It’s a no-hassle way to sell your boat and put cash in your pocket.

Cost of ownership is more than you expected.

Boats require consistent maintenance and repairs. Annually, boat owners spend around 10% of the total cost of a boat in maintenance fees. These fees include things like winterizing, repairing damaged parts, oil/filter changes, electronics and repainting the hull. Some boat owners choose to sell their boat when maintenance and repairs become more than they can or want to handle.

Monthly payments are causing financial stress.

If you’re struggling to make your loan payments, then it may be time to sell it so that your credit is not impacted. Especially when interest rates are low, more people choose to finance large purchases like boats. Changes in the economy or major events in your life can create financial hardships, so selling your boat before you’re behind on payments is an option to consider.

The boat no longer meets your family’s needs or lifestyle.

Life changes! If your family has grown since you bought the boat, you may now need a more family-friendly boat. Or conversely, if you’re a recent empty nester, you may be ready for a smaller boat or one for weekend getaways. Whatever the change, you want to have a boat that fits your lifestyle.

The market is hot!

You’ll know it’s a seller’s market when there is a reduction in inventory and interest rates are low. These factors tend to be drivers for faster sales and higher sale prices. To get an idea of what boats in your area are selling for, use a tool like the Boat Trader Price Checker or browse Boat Trader search results. If prices have increased and boats are selling quickly, then it may be in your favor to sell your boat right away.


Once you’ve decided to sell your boat, it’s important to know what to expect from the process. If you work with a broker or a dealer, many of the steps below will be managed by them – a convenience that is reflected in the trade-in value or commission paid. If you choose to sell it on your own, it’s important that you educate yourself on the process outlined in our Ultimate Sellers Guide.

Before you get overwhelmed by the process, remember that there are services that take the hassle out of selling on your own. Using a service like Boat Trader’s Driveway Direct allows you to sell the boat directly and get paid immediately. Below we’ll walk you through the steps.

The Boat

First, tell us a little about your boat by filling out our Driveway Direct form.The form is easy and takes less than a minute to complete. We typically only consider buying boats with a working trailer and engine.

The Offer

Next, if your boat qualifies for a cash offer through the Driveway Direct program, a representative will reach out to you directly with an offer.Be on the lookout for a notification from Boat Trader’s trusted team. And remember, Boat Trader will never purchase your boat without seeing it in person.

The Details

Once the cash offer is extended and accepted, we will meet you for a quick on-site review of your vessel. We may have a surveyor check the boat to ensure it is in proper working condition.

The Deal

After agreeing upon a fair price, we’ll close the deal by delivering funds to you. We’ll even haul your vessel away for you. If your boat currently has a loan or lien attached, you should have that paperwork ready for our team to review. To expedite the deal, please have your boat’s registration, title and any other related information ready to go.

Choosing the right marine battery for your boat
Driveway Direct provides a marine survey to ensure your boat is in proper condition for sale.

Selling your boat can be an exciting day, especially if you’re buying another one! And while choosing to sell on your own might seem daunting, there are trusted services like Boat Trader’s Driveway Direct program that are designed to get you fast cash without the hassle and time commitment of selling on your own in the traditional sense. Visit our cash offer page to take advantage of Boat Trader’s Driveway Direct program today!

Written by: Colin Voreis

Colin Voreis serves as the Director, Digital Marketing and Head of Marketing for the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) business at Boat Trader. He has over 10 years of experience in the boating industry and enjoys writing and shooting video for the Boat Trader, YachtWorld, and boats.com brands. Based in Philadelphia, he enjoys covering the center console and sportfishing markets for Boat Trader and boats.com, as well as covering superyacht content for YachtWorld. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics.

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