Best Time To Sell A Boat | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • The ideal selling window for boats is just before and during peak boating season.
  • Thoroughly preparing your boat for sale can attract more potential buyers.
  • Listing your boat at a fair price improves the chances of a successful sale.

Looking to sell your boat? Our guide reveals the strategic window to attract buyers and sell quickly without headaches.

The best time to sell a boat for maximum profit is during the boating season's peak, typically in spring and early summer. Don't wait; act decisively and capitalize on the influx of motivated buyers eager to hit the water!

As an avid boater, I was once curious about the best time to sell my boat. After delving into extensive research and consulting fellow boating enthusiasts and experts, I've gained invaluable insights. Rest assured that I'll guide you through the ideal boat-selling window.

Table of contents


Best Time to Sell a Boat

Selling a boat can often feel like an intimidating process, especially when trying to decide on the best time to put your prized possession on the market. As a boat owner, understanding the nuances of the boat market and the various factors that contribute to a successful sale should be top of mind.

The best time to sell a boat is generally agreed to be during the months of February through June or July. Timely preparation, effective marketing strategies, and accurately pricing your boat can help attract potential buyers and ensure a smooth selling process.

The boating season typically reaches its peak during the warm summer months, as people flock to the water to soak up the sun and enjoy time with friends and family. However, this increased demand for boat ownership often encourages potential buyers to begin their search for the vessel of their dreams as early as late winter or early spring.

Understanding the Boat Market

Timing your sale effectively can maximize the return on your investment. Selling a used boat at the right time can fetch a higher asking price due to increased demand. It's essential to prepare your boat for sale and list it on platforms like Facebook Marketplace to attract potential buyers.

Researching the local market and the prices of other boats similar to yours will help you set a fair price to sell your boat quickly.

Here's a brief breakdown of factors that can impact the boat market:

  • Boat types: Yachts, center consoles, and other boats each have their unique peak selling seasons.
  • National and international trends: Economic factors, new boat launches, and other global events can impact boat sales.
  • Boat ownership trends: Demand for boats may be influenced by changes in the overall number of boat owners.
  • Investment considerations: Buyers may weigh purchase price, maintenance, and other costs before deciding to buy a used boat.

To optimize your sale, keep the following timeline in mind:

  • Early Spring: Generally the best time to sell a boat, with a resurgence of interest from buyers after the winter lull.
  • Summer months: Demand is still high, although many buyers may be focused on using their current boat during this time.
  • Early Fall: A good time to sell your boat quickly, albeit at a somewhat lower price than early spring peaks.
  • Off-season: Winter months often see the lowest demand, making it the worst time to sell a boat in most markets.

The Best Time of Year to Sell a Boat

When you're considering the best time to sell a boat, it's important to take into account various factors such as seasons, local market conditions, and potential buyers' preferences. Generally, the ideal time to sell your used boat is between February and June or July.

Spring and Summer: When Demand and Prices are High

Springtimes and the summer months are often when boat owners and potential buyers start preparing for the upcoming boating season. As the weather gets warmer, boat sales tend to increase, and people start looking for their dream boat.

Selling your boat during this period means you're more likely to get a higher asking price, as the demand for boats is at its peak.

Here’s a table showing a few reasons why selling during these seasons has its advantages:

Advantages Description
Increased demand More buyers are looking to buy a boat
Boat shows Exhibitions can generate interest in boat ownership
Potential buyers People often associate boating with summertime

Early Fall: Quicker Sales at a Slightly Lower Price

While selling in early spring can fetch you a higher price if you're looking to sell your boat quickly but at a slightly lower asking price, consider putting it up for sale during early fall.

This timing is when the peak boating season starts winding down, and some boat owners may be looking to sell their current boat and upgrade to a new model. As a result, boats tend to sell faster during this period than in the off-season.

Winter: When Boat Sales Slow Down

Conversely, the winter months are typically the worst time to sell a boat due to lower demand, limited boating activities, and unfavorable weather conditions for many buyers. Boat sales usually slow down during the winter season, which means that you might have to lower your asking price in order to attract potential buyers.

Reasons Winter is Not Ideal for Selling Your Boat

  • Cold weather: Less favorable conditions for boating activities
  • Lower demand: Fewer people looking to buy a boat
  • Longer sale process: More competition with other boats on the market

Preparing Your Boat for Sale

When it comes to determining the best time to sell a boat, various factors come into play. As a boat owner, properly preparing your used boat before putting it on the market can make a significant difference in the time it takes to sell and the asking price you can achieve.

Cleaning and Maintenance

First and foremost, thoroughly cleaning your boat can work wonders in attracting potential buyers. A clean, well-maintained boat will appeal to those searching for their dream boat during the peak boating season, which usually falls within the early spring and summer months.

When cleaning your boat, don't overlook any hidden corners or crevices. Pay special attention to the interior and exterior surfaces, as well as upholstery, fixtures, and equipment. Make sure to:

  • Remove all clutter and personal belongings
  • Clean and polish all metal, wood, and fiberglass surfaces
  • Wash and wax the exterior, including the hull and decks
  • Inspect and clean mechanical systems, such as the engine and bilge area
  • Address any necessary repairs or maintenance

Gel Coat Repair

Another important step in preparing your boat for sale is repairing any damage or wear to the gel coat. The gel coat, which acts as a barrier on the boat's surface, protects it from damage and the elements.

When it starts to show signs of wear, it can detract from the boat's appearance and potentially impact your asking price. To make your boat more attractive to buyers, consider the following:

  • Inspecting the gel coat for cracks, chips, or signs of oxidation
  • Repairing any minor damage using a gel coat repair kit
  • Restoring the gel coat's shine by lightly sanding it, followed by a thorough polishing with a buffer


Adding a few key upgrades to your boat can increase its value and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

These upgrades can vary, but some popular choices in a simple table include the following:

Upgrade Potential Impact on Sale
New Electronics Increases functionality
Upgraded Seating Enhances comfort and aesthetics
Modern Lighting Improves visibility and safety

Remember to focus on upgrades that truly add value and avoid making extensive modifications that may deter some buyers. For example, adding a high-quality sound system or updated navigation equipment may attract tech-savvy boat owners. In contrast, over-customizing the boat may limit its appeal to a broader audience.

Effective Marketing Strategies

When it comes to selling a boat, understanding the best time to sell a boat and utilizing effective marketing strategies can make all the difference. Both new and used boat owners can maximize their asking price while reaching potential buyers looking for their dream boat.

Let's dive into some marketing methods to get your boat sold in peak boating season.

Listing Websites

One of the best ways to start is by putting your boat up on reputable listing websites like These platforms specifically cater to boat sales and reach a targeted audience of boat enthusiasts.

By comparing your boat to other boats similar on these platforms, you can set a fair price for your current boat. Listing during early spring can help you sell your boat quickly as potential buyers gear up for the summer months.

Tips for Listing Websites:

  • Use clear and captivating photos
  • Include detailed information about your boat's features and maintenance history
  • Clearly outline your asking price and contact information

Classified Ads

Don't underestimate the power of traditional media. Local newspapers, magazines, and even phone-published classified advertisements are excellent ways to reach a dedicated audience of boat owners and enthusiasts in your local market.

Make sure to choose reputable publishers and editors and be prepared to answer inquiries from their visitors. Selling your boat during the off-season in local classifieds like early fall can speed up the process and beat the competition.

Social Media

Leverage the connectivity of social media to advertise your boat among friends, family, and local boating communities. Facebook Marketplace is an excellent place to start, as it offers exposure to the right buyer in your area.

By posting on relevant Facebook groups with clear photos and engaging descriptions and sharing your listing on your personal profile, you can reach potential buyers and get them excited to purchase.

Here’s a table of Social Media Platforms to List Your Boat

Platform Description
Facebook Post on Facebook Marketplace and boating groups
Instagram Share photos and use relevant hashtags
Twitter Tweet about your boat with appealing photos and descriptions
Pinterest Create a board showcasing your boat's features and lifestyle

General Marketplaces

Consider listing your boat on general marketplaces as well, especially during the worst time to sell a boat, like winter. Sites like Craigslist and eBay allow you to expand your audience and increase demand. Remember to keep your ad up-to-date, descriptive, and always accessible to potential buyers.

General Marketplace Tips:

  • Respond to inquiries promptly
  • List your boat in multiple categories if possible (e.g., yachts, sailing boats, fishing boats)
  • Offer flexible viewing hours