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Buyers and Sellers Should be Thankful—and Show It

By Jason Y. Wood

While the foibles of the marketplace make it difficult for some of us to feel thankful, all boaters should consider the Thanksgiving holiday as an opportunity, a time to reflect and consider our good fortune in all aspects of our lives. This holiday above all others can provide a much-needed change in perspective, for both buyers and sellers.


Buyers have plenty for which to be thankful. “We all know it’s a buyer’s market,” says Marc Benvenuto, founder and president of Knot 10 Yacht Sales in Grasonville, Maryland [(888) 851-8569; www.knot10.com]. “We preach that you have to take the fluff out of your price and price the boat right.”

Sellers have felt the pinch for a while, but taking stock of the situation and looking at it from the buyers’ point of view may help. “If there’s anything on your boat that the buyer walks on and sees that it needs to be replaced, it instantly puts you at the back of the line again,” Benvenuto says. “I walked on a boat that needs isinglass. It may cost a thousand bucks to put new isinglass on. A buyer will walk on that same boat and either just walk off , or say: ‘Well, I’m going to offer him ten grand less, if I’ve got to put isinglass on the boat.’ That $1,000 turns into $10,000 in the buyer’s mind.”

You can be stubborn about it, but remember a boat is not a house. There’s a market out there and, like it or not, you’re competing in a global economy. “You can’t pick up a house and move it to a better location,” says Benvenuto. “But you can ship that well-priced, well-kept boat to Australia; you can ship it to New York. You have to compete as a seller with all the comparable boats in the world.”

Be thankful for the looks your boat gets, particularly in market segments where there’s a glut of competitive product the world over. Show it by investing in your boat and you’ll sell it more quickly.