How to Sell a Yacht

sell a yacht

How to sell a classic yacht – 10 things to expect from your broker.


Selling a classic yacht can be daunting, but working with a broker can simplify the process. A traditional yacht broker, like Wooden Ships, with nearly 50 years of experience, will have extensive knowledge of the classic boat market and can help to determine a fair selling price. 

They will also be able to handle all of the necessary paperwork and coordinate with potential buyers. Perhaps most importantly, a broker will take care of the negotiation process, ensuring you get the best possible price for your boat. If you’re selling a classic boat, the first step is to get in touch with a broker who specialises in selling classic boats.

This post explains the steps to expect from selling your boat successfully through a broker.

1. Give you a realistic valuation

How do you know what your boat is worth? If the yacht is in pristine condition and meticulously maintained, then any decent broker should be able to tell you fairly quickly. But if the boat needs work, then an appraisal of the vessel will answer the question of value and provide a roadmap of work to get the boat ready for marketing and improve its long-term prospects.

A reputable broker that cares for its customers will provide a realistic assessment of the boat’s value, even if it is less than the owner hoped. They would rather have a happy client who understands the market and knows that they did everything possible to get them the best price.

Correctly pricing your boat is essential to a successful sale. Choose a trustworthy broker to work with you to determine a fair market value for your boat, so you can be confident you’re getting the best price possible.

Classic wooden sailing yacht valuation


2. Advice on what work you should do pre-advertising

Your broker will give you detailed boat-specific advice on things you should do before they market the boat, but here are a few things you, as an owner, should always do to get your classic boat ready for sale. We suggest the following as a starting point:

– Give the boat a thorough cleaning, inside and out, which will make it much more presentable to potential buyers and help you spot any areas that need attention.

– Check all the systems on the boat to ensure they are in good working order, e.g. things like the engine, electrical system, plumbing

– If the boat doesn’t have a recent survey and a detailed maintenance record, get the boat professionally surveyed. A professional survey will give you a detailed report of the condition of the boat and help you identify any areas to address before listing it for sale.

Selling a yacht can be daunting, but with a bit of preparation, it can be a smooth and successful process. By taking the time to do some essential maintenance, repairs, and research, you can ensure that your boat will be in top condition and fetch the best price possible.

sell a yacht


3. Advice on marketing strategy

The key to selling a boat is great marketing. 

Some of the most effective tactics include:

– Creating a well-crafted listing that showcases the boat’s best features and focuses on her unique features to make potential buyers know what makes it special and why it’s worth the investment.

– Taking high-quality photos of the boat’s interior and exterior

– Taking a high-quality video walk round of larger boats

– Utilising social media to reach a wider audience of potential buyers

– Investing in their website to maintain a solid online presence to reach even more buyers.

A great yacht broker will work hard to ensure that your boat has the best chance of success on the market and will find the right buyer who will appreciate your boat for years to come.


4. Undertake a thorough inspection of a boat

The best classic yacht brokers, like Wooden Ships, have a reputation that instils confidence in buyers. Their thorough inspection helps convince potential buyers to travel and see a boat and make sure that potential buyers know what makes it unique and why it’s worth the investment. They also take the time to get to know their potential buyers, understand their needs better and tailor their services.

An excellent classic yacht broker isn’t just looking for a quick sale but wants to build relationships with clients that will last a lifetime. They’re passionate about what they do, which shows in everything they do.

sell your yacht inspection


5. Write a detailed and informative spec on the boat providing all the information a buyer wants

When selling any product, providing all the information a buyer wants is vital. This is especially true when selling a boat, as buyers need to know everything they can about the product before making a purchase. A detailed and informative specification on the boat being sold will help buyers make an informed decision and ensure they get what they expect from the purchase.

The broker will be responsible for providing a detailed specification of the boat and answering any questions buyers might have about it.


6. Take lots of helpful detailed photos to help convince a buyer to travel.

The broker will be responsible for taking detailed photos of the yacht’s interior and exterior. These photos will help to showcase the boat’s features and selling points and will help to convince buyers that travelling to see it in person is worth their time. Detailed photos are a significant part of the sales process, and when you’re selling a classic sailing boat, they’re arguably even more critical to help convince a buyer to travel to see the boat in person.


7. Take video footage of the boat

The broker will create video footage of the boat, usually a narrated walkthrough of the vessel. The video footage will be used in addition to the written listing, giving potential buyers a complete picture of what they’re buying and can help them decide whether or not to buy your boat. With classic boats, in particular, it’s often essential to take video footage of the ship in action where possible. Many classic yachts for sale have their own websites with accompanying videos that potential buyers can view.


8. Write up contracts, hold money and handle negotiations during the sale

Classic boats are a unique type of vessel and require special care and attention when selling them, which is why you should choose a boat broker specialising in classic yachts like Wooden Ships. They will have a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding these boats. And they will have an extensive network of buyers and sellers, giving you the best chance of finding the perfect buyer.

When it comes to writing up contracts, a classic yacht broker will have a lot of experience. They will know what to include in the agreement and how to negotiate the best deal for you. They will also be able to hold onto any earnest money required for the sale.

Finally, a classic yacht broker will be able to handle all of the negotiations that take place during the sale. They will know how to get the best price for your boat and protect your interests throughout the process, which can be very complex and stressful, but a good broker will make it much easier for you.


9. Handle title paperwork and registration questions to smooth the sale

A classic boat broker will be well-versed in the title paperwork and registration questions that can arise during a boat sale. As a result, they will be able to smoothly guide both the buyer and seller through the process, ensuring that no bumps in the road prevent the sale. This is an essential service when selling a classic boat, as the paperwork can be complex and confusing for those unfamiliar.

The broker will also be able to answer any questions the buyer or seller may have about the registration process. They will know the ins and outs of the system and can provide valuable guidance to those new to it. This knowledge can be invaluable in ensuring that the sale goes through without any hitch.

When selling a classic boat, it’s crucial to have a specialist broker who understands the ins and outs of this extremely niche market to give you peace of mind, knowing that your broker has everything under control.

Wooden Motor Sailer


10. Deal with currency exchange in foreign sales

When selling a classic boat in a foreign country, working with a broker who understands and can deal with the various currency exchange rates is vital. That way, you ensure you are getting the best possible price for your boat and not losing money. A good broker can navigate these waters and get you the best deal possible. It is also important to be aware of the potential pitfalls of currency exchange. 

These include hidden fees, exchange rate fluctuations, and other potential problems. By working with a broker experienced in foreign sales, you can avoid these pitfalls and ensure you get the best possible price for your boat.




Wooden Ships is exceptionally well-versed in such sales and has a great deal of experience negotiating the best possible price for our clients. We are a renowned specialist classic yacht brokerage established for over 40 years and based in Dartmouth, Devon and have an unrivalled in-depth knowledge of the industry, the people, and the boats. See our collection of sailing yachts for sale.


We provide impartial and honest advice so you can sell your boat with ease. We’ll help you price your boat correctly, market it effectively, and handle all the sale logistics. If you’re thinking about selling your classic boat, get in touch with us today. We’re here to help you through every step of the process.


Wooden Ships classic yachts brokers have an extensive database of boats for sale. With a wide range of sailboats, classic yachts, motor yachts and small classic boats, Wooden Ships has one of the largest selections of traditional wooden boats and yachts for sale in the UK. For more information about anything on our site please do ask us