Trading In a Boat – Establishing Value & Getting The Most


There comes a time in every boat and boat owner’s relationship where it’s simply time to part. We’ve cherished our fondest memories on the water, laughed at our innocent mistakes, and taken that one last cruise before we say goodbye. But hey, it’s human nature, were always desiring the newer, faster, the bigger, and shinier, especially when it comes to our boats. Don’t stress, when it comes time to part with your trusty boat companion, there’s a way to get the most for what you’ve got.

1) Research the value of your boat before you speak to a dealer and determine the fair market trade-in value for what you have, based on the honest condition it’s in.

2) Make sure your boat is in the best condition possible. Be confident your boat is operating to its fullest potential, and if it isn’t, determine what fixes are worth your time and money before you take it to the dealer. You’ll get a much higher value for your boat when you show dealers that you’ve properly cared for it. Fix the needed repairs (if worth it to do so), buff, wax, and shine it until your boat looks exactly the way you would want it, if you were the next prospective owner looking at it.  

3) Timing. Generally speaking, fewer people are searching for a new boat during winter months, which means dealers are more eager to make a deal. However, boating season goes by fast, and many dealers these days are short on good preowned boats inventory. Therefore, when you’re ready to make a move is the best time. 

4) Be realistic. Take into consideration the amount of time and effort a dealer needs to repair, inspect, and detail your trade-in in order to sell that boat in order to make a profit. Trade-ins are the faster and easier option compared to selling a boat on your own, so know you won’t receive as much in return.