Search Icon
photo of What Is The Best Time Of Year To Sell A Boat?

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Sell A Boat?

By Robert Bowman | Posted On Sep 27, 2023
Updated On Apr 16, 2024

There's nothing quite like getting the itch to buy a 'new-to-you' boat. Whether you already know exactly what you want to buy or are interested in exploring different styles of boats, dreaming about the possibilities is exhilarating. If you're like most boat owners, the idea of owning two boats at one time can be a little daunting. Therefore selling your current boat before taking the next step is necessary and can quickly become more of a chore. Selecting the right yacht broker can certainly make a big difference, but so can the time of year you list your boat on the market.

As the world's largest yacht brokerage firm with over 250 brokers worldwide, we are often asked, "What is the best time of year to sell a boat?"

Based on historical sales data provided by the boating industry MLS service, May through August is the best time to sell your boat. On average there is a 15% increase in sales going from April to May, as well as a 10-15% decrease from August to September.

That being said, October and November still see a greater number of completed sales than in December and January on average. If you want to take advantage of the fall selling season, it's important to start the process now so that your yacht brokerage firm has the time to prepare the listing for the public. There are more yachts for sale on the market now than there were a year ago, which has helped somewhat normalize boat prices.

If you are interested in selling your boat, we would be happy to provide you with a market evaluation of your vessel without any signed agreements or contracts. Simply fill out our online form - What's My Boat Worth? - and one of our professional brokers will contact you shortly with the information.


graph showing boat sales by month and year

(Above: This graph shows pre-owned boat sales over 40-feet, in the United States, and excluding sailboats. Source: and Yacht Closer.)



Interest rates are up compared to last year, the consumer confidence index is down, and marine insurance can sometimes be challenging to secure; all of these things have contributed to lower overall sales compared to the big spike we saw in 2020-2021. Despite all of that, the love of boating, fishing, cruising, and simply being out on the water is as strong as ever, which keeps our industry moving forward regardless of the economic or political conditions. There is no better recreation to alleviate stress and make memories with loved ones then being on a boat.

"While there's no question there are less sales happening overall right now in the U.S. brokerage market, we are still seeing decent numbers," said Jeff Palmer, President of United Yacht Sales. "In fact, our sales are on pace to meet or exceed last year's numbers even though overall the brokerage market is down. That tells me that we are capturing greater market share with our strategy. We've added a lot of brokers the last few years thanks to our strategy of giving them the support they need and focusing our efforts on their clients' listings."

"We definitely reached the pinnacle of boat sales in 2021," said Brian Franc, managing broker for the UYS Emerald Coast Division. "But the other thing we've seen is that there are still plenty of buyers out there looking for the right boat for them. We are seeing clients hold on to their boats a little longer than we expected, but the ones that have listed with us have sold it quickly. If it's priced right, and it's still a decent seller's market, and in good condition, it will sell fast."

"Lead volumes remain steady," continued Jeff. "We are closing shortly on a late-model 62' Princess after a successful survey and we just closed on a 62' Azimut, a 2018 35' Bertram, 2012 44' Cabo, 64' Viking, a 62' Sunseeker....These are all just recent examples of boats closed in the last week or so. We have a lot of tools at our disposal to get your boat sold.



used viking yacht at recent boat show - united yacht sales

At United Yacht Sales, we give our yacht brokers everything they need to be successful and to free up their time so they can focus on selling your boat. From having a full-time listing department to prepare your boat for sale in the MLS, a marketing team dedicated to getting your yacht seen by thousands of people, to an expert closing team to ensure the transaction goes smoothly, your broker has an army of people behind them. But there are things that you, as the boat owner, can do to help the process along and give your broker the best chance possible for a successful sale. Here are 3 suggestions we recommend:

1. De-Clutter Your Boat Before It Goes On The Market - Personal items, kitchen items, cleaning supplies, family pictures, old fishing tackle not included with the boat; these are all things that should be removed when you list the boat for sale. This will help with capturing clean photography, but will also present better during showings.

2. Support For Photo Shoot - Good quality pictures and video drastically improve your chances of selling your boat quickly and for higher dollar amount. Give your broker the opportunity to get a professional photo shoot done with the boat away from the dock so interior blinds can be open and potential buyers get to envision themselves using your boat on the open ocean. It makes a difference!

3. Keep Service Records & Make Them Available - Keeping an organized folder with all of your maintenance and service records can make a big difference to potential buyers, especially if you have been meticulous about its upkeep. If there is competition between your boat and another similar boat with a buyer, service records can be the deciding factor.

4. Make Your Boat Available For A Boat Show - Just the extra advertising alone that goes into a major boat event like the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show can draw enough attention to your boat to get it sold before ever making it to the show. 

united yacht sales display at boat show



United Yacht Sales has the world's largest network of boat buyers and sellers in the industry, thanks to our team of over 250 yacht brokers in 104 different locations. Whether buying a luxury boat or selling one, we have the right expert on staff to assist you in navigating the brokerage market for your type of yacht. If you're looking at selling a boat, there is no quicker way to get activity than listing it with United. Our entire team is immediately notified every time a listing agreement is made with United Yacht Sales and many boats are sold before they ever even make it online. Our support team is among the best in the industry at marketing your yacht. 100% of our marketing budget goes towards advertising our clients' listings, a claim not many other firms can make. To get started listing your yacht, fill out our online form What's My Yacht Worth?


Here Are Other Yacht Sales Related Articles You Be Interested In:


Interesting Boating Links