Sold To The Highest Bidder: Your Trailer Boat

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Needing some advice on how to sell a boat? Read on for some helpful tips.

Should you use a broker?

Selling boats through a broker can be an easy way to go – they know the market, have access to a wider network and some will berth your boat at their marina or boatyard as part of the deal.

The convenience can be costly, however, so if you have the time to put into it, selling your boat privately might get you a better price.

Get it shipshape

To get the price you want, your boat and trailer will need to be in good condition. Scrub them both down thoroughly, using our checklist to make sure everything’s looking shipshape.

If you’re not expecting to get a top price because the boat needs work, clean it up and sell ‘as is’. Just make sure you mention that in your ad, so buyers know what they’re getting.


To maximise exposure, advertise on trading websites such as Boats Online, Gumtree or Trading Post. Alternatively, see if your local marina or trailer boat club has a noticeboard you can use.

Ideally, your ad should include the following:

  • The make and model of your boat.
  • Whether or not you’re selling the trailer with it. If it’s optional, say so.
  • Length of boat.
  • Location of the vessel.
  • Year of manufacture.
  • Hull material.
  • Registration details.
  • Warranty details.
  • Motoring hours.
  • Any modifications made to the boat.
  • Extras (bimini, centre console, livewell, GPS and so on).

Remember to be realistic with pricing. Check out ads for similar boats (with or without trailer) and ask the going price or just below. If you’re prepared to negotiate, say so.

Take photos of the interior and exterior of the boat. If it has a bimini, set it up in some pictures. Be sure to include the trailer, a close-up of the outboard motor if applicable, and show seating, storage and accessories. It also pays to include a brief description of the boat.

Keep it legal

The law requires that, as the vendor, you deliver what you have advertised. If you state that the boat is seaworthy and its trailer roadworthy, then they must be. For more specific information, check the federal government’s guide to Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

To ensure that you are also protected, take down the contact details of all prospective buyers and don’t let anyone leave with your boat or trailer before you have received payment in full.

Want to know what your buyers will be looking for in a second-hand boat? Read our handy guide so you’re ready for anything.


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