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How to Sell a Boat Fast

how to sell a boat fast

There are a few reasons you might need to sell your boat fast:

  • You are moving and can’t take your boat with you
  • You need cash quickly for business or personal reasons
  • You are getting a divorce
  • You
  • You just don’t want the hassle of dealing with the public

Whatever your specific situation, here are some tips to help you get your boat sold quickly:

Sell Your Boat to a Dealer for Cash

Selling your boat to a dealer for cash is the fastest way to skip most of the typical selling process. Here are the advantages of selling to a dealer:

  • You can get cash for your boat immediately
  • You don’t have to deal with potential buyers or negotiate on the price
  • The dealer will handle all the paperwork

Keep in mind that selling to a dealer will not get you the best price for your boat, but it is a fast and hassle-free option.

Use Online Boating Marketplaces

If you want to sell your boat quickly yourself, you must advertise below what would normally be a fair price, and using online marketplaces to promote that price is your best option. Here are some tips for selling your boat on online marketplaces:

  • Price your boat below market value AND below similar boats online
  • Use great pictures and a detailed description to make your boat stand out further
  • Interested buyers will suspect something is wrong with the boat at a lower price, so be prepared with an answer.
  • Respond quickly to inquiries from any potential buyers
  • Be open to negotiation on the price

If your boat is priced correctly and you give it maximum exposure, you should sell your boat fast!

Donating A Boat

An option I’m sure you never thought of you get rid of your boat quickly is by donating it.

Donating a boat has several benefits, including:

  1. Providing marine educational opportunities: The proceeds from the sale of the boat can be used to fund marine educational programs such as boat building, sail training, marine sciences, fisheries science and environmental studies.
  2. Charitable tax deduction: Boat owners can receive a tax deduction for their charitable donation, which can offset the cost of boat ownership and potentially save them money on their taxes.
  3. No additional expenses: Once the boat is donated, all expenses related to storage, maintenance, insurance, and repairs become the responsibility of the receiving charity.
  4. Eliminates the hassle of selling: By donating the boat, the donor can avoid the hassle of selling the boat themselves, which can be a time-consuming and stressful process.
  5. Potential to recoup the value of the boat: In some cases, the tax deduction for the donated boat can be close to the actual selling price, particularly in a weak market.
  6. Supports a good cause: By donating a boat to a charity, the donor is supporting a good cause and giving back to the community.

To donate a boat, follow these general steps:

  1. Choose a charity: Choose a charity that accepts boat donations and that aligns with your values.
  2. Gather information: Obtain important information about the boat, including the make and model, year, condition, and any repairs or improvements.
  3. Get a recent appraisal: Get an appraisal of the boat’s value from a certified marine surveyor/appraiser within 60 days of the donation. The cost of the appraisal varies based on the type of boat, location, and size.
  4. Formalize the donation: Formalize the donation by filling out the Deed of Gift and IRS forms 1098-C and 8283.
  5. Transfer ownership: Once the charity accepts the donation, transfer ownership of the boat to them.
  6. Enjoy the tax deduction: The fair market value of the boat can be deducted as a charitable contribution on your tax return. Consult with a tax professional for specific guidelines and rules for your state.


Selling a boat fast requires a willingness to compromise on price and/or convenience. By selling to a dealer for cash or using online marketplaces at a below-market price, you can sell your boat quickly and move on to your next adventure (or your next boat).

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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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