Skip to main content

Things Are Picking Up. Is Your Price Dropping?

If you’re selling your boat, you need to stay tuned into market conditions, regardless of how exciting everything is down at the boatyard.

“The market is very robust right now but it is still price driven,” says Peter Thorsby, a broker with Prestige Yacht Sales in Norwalk, Connecticut. That basic truth doesn’t change, even when the rest of the world feels like money’s no object. Travelifts deliver their precious cargo with careful urgency while boat owners, brokers, service managers, and technicians scurry about. Good luck finding a parking spot.

And yet boat sellers (whether they waited to buy their next boat or not) have a boat they want to move. And right now, it looks like one of those time-lapse movies where the whole world is in fast forward around a stationary object in the middle of it all. What am I doing wrong? these sellers may wonder as seemingly every other boat around finds an excited new owner.


“The biggest impediment to sellers trying to get their boats sold is pricing,” Thorsby says. “They get a price in their head that they want to sell their boat for, rather than looking at the comparable boats that have already sold and coming up with a price based on market conditions.” It’s not easy. The seller usually cannot help thinking about all the money he has put into the boat over the time he owned it. Invariably this drives up the price in his mind, sometimes to exorbitant levels. What’s a seller to do?

“Trust your broker,” Thorsby says. “He knows what the market is doing, and he should do the research to know where the price should be for your boat.” A broker will build in some negotiating room, and be equipped to deal with the buyers. And when it’s priced right, you can stand firm on that number, and when it sells you’ll know you got everything back that the current market will give. And when you’re buying and selling boats, the current market is the only one that counts.