Selling a boat is never an easy task. Private sales of any kind require a lot of research because you’ve probably never sold a boat before, so you might not even know how to go about it or how much to ask for the sale price. Fortunately, we’re here to help yet again! This time, we’re offering you the opportunity to learn all about the best improvements for your boat when you’re ready for resale.
Whether you’ve got a fishing boat, a family cruiser, or just a modest little skiff that you enjoy, there are always ways that you can upgrade and make small (or big) improvements to increase the resale value and sell your boat faster.
Step One: Routine Repairs and Replacements
Upgrades are great, but what about the current condition of various elements and parts of your boat? Boats must be surveyed before a sale, and therefore it’s important to make sure that everything looks good and is in good working order. Check simple things like your wiper blades, broken switches, flares and emergency kits, and other basics that you don’t think about.
Although it’s up to you to decide whether you want to repair, replace, or just remove your canvas, that’s one thing that you do need to pay attention to. For a faster sale and a higher sale price, you should definitely invest in a replacement if yours is worn, torn, or just doesn’t look like it’s worth what you’re asking for the boat.
Once you’ve given the boat a good once-over to cover the basics, you can move on with upgrades. Keep reading to learn more about where to spend your money for the fastest sale.
Step Two: Add New Creature Comforts
When people are buying a boat, they’re buying it for pleasure. Therefore, if it doesn’t offer the maximum pleasure, they’re probably not going to be interested. Something as simple as old, worn-out seats or a bunk area that has seen its better days will definitely turn off potential buyers. One of the simplest and most affordable ways to upgrade your boat for a faster sale is to put in some shiny new seats, replace or upgrade the center console, and make other improvements to the various creature comforts around the boat.
The best value-added upgrades for comfort and pleasure include:
New Seats: Upgrading your seats is easy and makes a great first impression for potential buyers. If you really want to top it off, invest in seat covers for any open seating so that you’ve got weather protection on hand. This will make a big impression on buyers, no matter how simple it seems.
Coolers: Yeti is notorious for its range of coolers, tumblers, and other products designed to help keep things at the perfect temperature. The rugged, outdoor brand can hold up to all kinds of elements, which makes it a great addition to any boat, and there are specific cooler pads, coolers, and other products available for boating from the Yeti line of products. Any of them will be a surefire upgrade to your craft.
Wakeboard/Tow Tower: While you don’t necessarily need a wakeboard tower to enjoy water sports like wakeboarding, it definitely helps improve the experience. This is a relatively inexpensive upgrade that’s great for a sport boat or family cruiser to add another selling point that almost every buyer will love. You can find a range of universal and model-specific towers to choose from in every price range.
Step Three: New Technology Upgrades
In today’s world, tech is a must-have. Even on a boat, it’s no longer about whether you need to invest in tech, but how much tech you want to add in order to get your boat sold. If you haven’t already added premium sound systems, fish finders, and other high-tech accessories for your own use, it might be a good time to consider adding them before sale to increase the value and potentially the speed of the sale.
Some of the best technology upgrades and additions include:
Minnkota Spot-Lock: This unique gadget combines the benefits of a GPS with a location locking feature and a high-tech anchor that drops with an insane amount of accuracy into your favorite places with just the push of a button. This trolling motor accessory includes a foot pedal, along with a variety of options for remote control, including a phone app and digital remotes. It can tell you how far your favorite spot is, and can even adjust in five-foot increments to ensure that you are in the exact right spot every time.
Marine Sound Systems: Although this could technically fall under the next category of technology, thanks to new entertainment innovations, it’s a definite creature comfort when you’re out on the water, so we’ve filed it here. Upgrade the radio and speakers in your boat to a premium sound system. People are looking for a good time, after all, and a budget radio or basic stock speakers aren’t going to scream “fun” to prospective buyers the way that a premium system would.
GPS, Navigation and Communication: Some of the best technology is now available for boats and it’s more affordable than ever before. If you don’t already have premium GPS and fishfinder systems (whether it’s the Spot-Lock mentioned above or another system such as dynamic positioning, advanced engine diagnostics, etc), you’ll need to add them when necessary. These are not “optional” features in today’s market, and if you want a quick sale, you need the latest tech.
Step Four: Fishing Gear
Let’s face it, many of your buyers are likely to be fish heads. What better way to attract them by having the latest fishing gizmos and gadgets onboard already!
Some of the best fishing gear upgrades and additions include:
Fish Finders – for those serious anglers seeking out their perfect catch this is a real game-changer. Try Siruis XM’s Fish Mapping system.
Rod Holders and Tackle Storage – anglers need a place to keep their rods and tackle, so if you provide those things in your boat you’re more likely to make the sale than a seller who hasn’t.
T-Tops – for those spending long days out on the water fishing, getting some shaded protection from the sun is a must. So is having sturdy pipework to grab onto when the water gets rough, or when you’re fighting on the lines.
Take a look at the current market and see what’s out there. See what others are selling in the same price range and class, as well as what type of features they’re offering for the money. That can help you decide which upgrades are going to be the most valuable for your own boat sale. Make sure that you choose wisely and consider the return on investment for each upgrade, but know that no matter which ones you choose, you’re sure to increase the speed of your sale with any item discussed in this guide.
A close look at new and used boat values and sale prices, including answers on how to price a boat as...
It's not wise to assume that a buyer will be as thrilled as you are with all the things you've done to...