Buying or Selling a Motor Cruiser? Advice and Tips...

Are you thinking about buying a boat or selling one you currently own? We understand that the process can be quite overwhelming, especially if this is your first time. Often, it just sounds like too much effort, paperwork and negotiation and we tend to think, who has time for that?

However, it doesn’t have to be all that complex, as long as you keep organised and make well-informed decisions. Think about if you’re buying, what sort of boat are you after? How much are you willing to pay? If you’re selling, think about what price you’re willing to let it go for.

Often, we think of any transaction as a financial investment and buying a boat is a big one. You want to make sure you pick the best one for you, while still getting your money's worth. If you’re selling, you want to know you have been offered the best possible price.

Before you begin, read our top tips for buying or selling a boat - we hope they make your experience a little easier…



Choosing ‘the one’

Discuss with your family, or whoever else you may be purchasing with, what features your boat needs. You should be prepared by reading up on all there is to know and choose which is best for you. You’ll want to consider what size boat you’ll need - do you want to sail solo or make it into a whole family affair?


Agree on a budget beforehand and stick to it, buying a motor cruiser isn’t a cheap purchase, so keeping to a set amount ensures you only buy for what you can afford. Generally, it’s advised that 60% of your boat budget should go to the initial cost, whilst the remainder can be put towards maintenance costs and gear. Don’t forget to use a surveyor, they’re the experts and can examine the boat for any damage before you sign on the dotted line. In addition to this, insurance should be factored into the cost, this is inexpensive in comparison to the actual motor cruiser expense, and is definitely worth considering. 

The legal part

Once you have chosen your ideal boat, then it's important to get clear ownership of it and a contract with the agreement. Buying a boat is not too dissimilar to purchasing a home, so having the legalities in place will ensure a smooth ride.



First things first - agree on a price and decide whether you’ll be willing to negotiate. To help decide on this, do some research using advertisements online to compare how much similar boats go for, the age and model will influence this. 


Before you sell, you’ll have to thoroughly prep your motor cruiser. Clean every inch and replace or fix any damage because, as mentioned above, buyers will most likely be advised to hire a surveyor, who will potentially recommend a lower offer. If you can, keep your boat up-to-date with the latest technology and facilities as this will give it a higher value. Other ways to prepare include:

  • Check the engine for damages
  • Inspect the hull
  • Declutter the boat 


Finally, the paperwork - it’s still important after you’ve made the sale!

Make sure you type up a bill that covers the price, buyer and seller names, addresses and driving licence numbers - all relevant details of both parties involved. You’ll also need to include the type and size of the boat. Once the sale has gone through, send the documentation to the boat registration agency who needs to be informed of the details of the ownership change. Don't forget to keep all of this documentation safe with MyBoat, the digital boating organiser that's completely free, find out more. 

Whether you are buying or selling, be prepared and do your research to ensure the best possible outcome and that you receive value for money. 


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