What is the Best Time of Year to Sell a Used Boat?

What is the Best Time of Year to Sell a Used Boat

Whether you are looking to upgrade your boat or you are simply looking to reduce your material possessions, selling your boat may be in your near future. So, you are probably asking yourself many questions in regards to your best course of action here.

What is the Best Time of Year to Sell a Used Boat?

What is the best time of year to sell a used boat? In selling a used boat, you will want to consider your priorities. Typically, boats sell the best between February and June. To sell your boat for the highest price, selling in early spring will provide you with the best results. If you are looking for a quick sale, you may consider the early fall as well. 

Due to the seasonality that typically accompanies boating season, you will find that selling your boat may come with more ease during the rush. Buyers will be considering storage costs in the off-season, so this may affect their ability to pay your asking price.

With many factors to consider, we will jump into the various seasons of selling a boat and why this will affect your asking price/speed of the sale. Note that this discussion will refer to winter as it is experienced in the Northern Hemisphere- cold- and summer as hot.

Selling Your Used Boat for the Highest Price

If you are looking to sell your boat for the highest asking price, you will likely want to consider selling it when boats are in the most demand- following the basic principles of supply and demand.

The higher the demand and the less the supply, the more those in the market are willing to pay for your product. This can have different implications for the seasons.

You will also need to consider how long you are willing to wait to sell your boat and if the wait is worth the extra cash.

Selling a Used Boat in Winter

Selling a used boat in the winter is likely not going to be as lucrative for you as selling in other seasons.

As most people are snuggled under a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa in the winter, they will likely not be thinking about buying a boat- although they may dream of the upcoming season in which they even consider braving the cold.

Thus, selling in the winter is not likely to yield a high profit because the demand is simply not there.

Most boat enthusiasts are looking to purchase their next sea baby closer to the time they will be able to use it unless they plan to buy a boat that is not in as great of condition and have it repaired during the off-season. In this case, the winter may prove a positive season for selling a used boat that is not in as great of condition.

Choosing to sell your boat in the winter will not likely give you as high of an offer, either. Many people consider the storage costs for their boats as part of the entire financial package for their new purchase.

Considering the winter is going to be the time when someone would have to pay for storage as well (unless they already owned this), their offering price will likely be lower than you are hoping to sell for.

Selling a Used Boat in Fall

Selling a used boat in Fall can be a tricky game to play, though if you play your cards right, it could yield a profitable exchange. Choosing to list your boat at the very beginning of the off-season may give you the best opportunity to make this sale before the next boating season comes around.

However, waiting to sell your boat until the end of Fall will have many of the negative implications of selling your boat in the winter.

In looking to sell for the highest price, you can look at selling in Fall as the “clearance” or “summer blowout sale” right before the winter hits. It is more likely that you will sell the boat then than as the weather gets chillier, but you are not likely to make as high of a profit.

Similar to selling in the winter, selling in the fall means that people are going to have to consider costs of boating storage, so it is less likely that they will pay the full asking price.

One benefit of selling in the fall is the opportunity for trading options. Since the boating season will be coming to a close, it is possible that someone may be looking to exchange their boat or trade after the close of the season.

So, if you are looking for a new project or to switch from your current model, the fall may be a good opportunity to seize for trading your used boat.

Selling a Used Boat in Spring

Selling a used boat in the spring is going to be the optimal time for you to do so. Spring is when many people are preparing for the boating season since it is just right around the corner. In the springtime, you can expect to make the highest profit as well as have a quick sale for your used boat.

Another contributing factor for making a high profit during the spring (in the United States) that you may not have considered is that spring is considered “tax refund” season.

This is when many people are receiving a considerable amount of money back from their taxes and are more likely to make large purchases such as buying a boat for the first time.

When buying a boat in the spring, people do not typically have to consider the upfront cost of storage for their new purchase. Since the weather is nice, the boat can most often stay outdoors or can even be found on the water.

Either way, this is the prime time for selling your used boat if you are wanting to get a high return for it.

Selling a Used Boat in Summer

Selling a used boat in the summer is not as common of a choice for most people. Doing this would imply that you have no use for the boat during its current season.

While there are several reasons this could be an ideal time for you, it is not a time for most, so many who are looking for a boat for this season will have already thought of purchasing one.

Having a restricted amount of boats on the market could yield profitable for you, though, during the summer. If someone is desperate to find a boat during this time in order to get out on the water this year, you may be able to utilize their high demand for your benefit.

While you will want to do so respectfully, you can consider raising the cost of your used boat during the summer if it seems like your local area will still have buyers looking for one. 

Choosing to sell your boat in the summer can have a little bit of a risk to it, but it may yield fruits if you market your boat well.

Be sure that your used boat is in good, working condition if you plan to sell it during the summer, though, because people will likely not want to waste time on repairs while the boating season is already happening.

What is the Best Time of Year to Sell a Used Boat?

Selling for Quickest Sell

We have addressed many of the reasons that selling a used boat by season could yield the highest profit. Specifically, we have addressed how selling in the spring is your best bet to have a high profit as well as a sale that happens in a decent amount of time. However, there can be benefits to waiting out a sale. 

If you are in no rush to complete the sale of your used boat, you might consider letting it set on the market for a while. Perhaps you are looking to purchase a new (used) boat but are in no rush of selling your old one.

Or, maybe you have had the chance to use your boat to its fullest potential but you are no longer interested or able to boat regularly anymore. In this case, you would be able to leave your boat on the market for a little longer and wait out the best sale. 

On the contrary, if you are looking to make a quick sale of your used boat, you will want to choose the season that is optimal for reducing the time your boat will sit on the market. Perhaps you are moving to an area where a boat would not benefit you or you need to quickly off-load the property that you own. 

When selling in the winter, you will be one of the few boats on the market. This could benefit you as the supply would be limited for anyone seeking a boat at this time, but the demand will also be lower, too.

When selling in the fall, you have a decent shot at selling your used boat towards the beginning- when the boating season is coming to a close and people are looking for a good deal. This might not yield the highest profit, but it will help to get your boat off of your hands. 

In the spring, you can bet that your boat will sell, but you may have steep competition, so be sure to compare your boat to market values to know you are getting a good price.

Finally, in the summer, most people will have already bought their boats for the season, so this could increase the demand for yours if there are desperate buyers around, but it could also mean that there will be less demand from the crowds. 

Weighing your options depending on what each season offers can be a considerable task. However, by watching the local market and seeing how your boat compares, you will be able to gauge the price range that you should sell your boat for as well as the typical turnaround time for used boat sales in your area.

Kern Campbell

Kern is a life long boater who finds great happiness sitting at the helm of a boat running on the open water. When he's not running the boat, he's likely anchored up along the beach with his wife, kids and good friends enjoying a great day at the coast.

Recent Content