As new and used boat values continue to climb, you might be thinking about selling off your current boat or trading it in for a newer or bigger vessel. Before you do, a few Southwest Florida marine experts have some advice for successfully navigating this unprecedented boat market.


“In my 29 straight years of being an active yacht broker, I have never seen a market like this,” says Chris Burkard from Burkard Yachts. “Pre-owned vessels are bringing 20% to 30% premiums above where they were just a few years ago.”

Burkard has some advice for folks on both sides of the marketplace.

Buyers: The first thing to do is be patient. Many new vessels are out 6 months to a few years and pre-owned vessels are in short supply. Hiring a professional broker may be able to open channels not available to the general public when actively looking for a new or pre-owned vessel.

Sellers: It is certainly a seller’s market but sellers might want to consider hiring a professional broker because the additional exposure can help you maximize the return on your vessel at the time of sale.

“We are seeing boats that clients purchased a year ago sell for more than the client paid for the boat,” reports Barry Marshall from Viage Group. “Although the new boats are listing for more, they are still a good value as long as the dealer is giving you a discount off of the list price.”


Boat and Motor Superstores reminds sellers that if you want to sell your boat for top dollar, you need to have it ready for sale.

  1. The first step is a full mechanical inspection and service. Everything needs to be 100% in working order. This goes beyond the engine and includes pumps, lights, and electronics. You need a mechanical report for your engine, including hours and compression values.
  1. Then the next step is for a full boat detail. First impressions are the most lasting and if the buyer sees anything out of order, it could turn them off.
  1. Be ready for the buyer to independently evaluate the vessel’s condition. They may want their own mechanic or surveyor to look at the boat and they might also want a sea trial.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. The last thing you want to do is waste your time and the buyer’s time, so if you think this is more than you want to tackle you can bring your boat to a dealer for either purchase or consignment. If you’re selling a larger vessel, you may want to consider a broker. Brokers and dealers can do all the necessary work to get your boat sold.

For instance, Boat and Motor Superstores offers consignment and outright purchases of used vessels and can handle all the boat prep required for sale. In addition to financing and trades, they also deal with later model boats and their high-visibility location helps increase exposure, which is always a good thing.


Both buyers and sellers should try to be realistic. Tony Mondello from Pier One Yacht Sales reports used boat sellers are enjoying an average premium of 15%, but that is an average. While overall boat values have skyrocketed, the numbers can vary based on make, model, age, and condition.

For personalized advice for your own boat sale or purchase, reach out to one of the marine experts below. You can also find more local resources in our Southwest Florida boater’s directory.

Good luck and we’ll see you on the water!


Boat and Motor Superstores

One of the largest Mercury outboard dealers, Boat and Motor Superstores boasts over 35 years of experience and is a member of Mercury’s Presidents Club as well as the Marine Industries Association of SWFL and Tampa Bay. | 727-942-7767

Burkard Yachts

Specializing in boats and yachts to over 100′ in length, Burkard Yachts is a Marine Industries Association of SWFL and Tampa Bay member, Albury Brothers Boats representative and pre-owned Tiara specialist. | 239-262-1030

Pier One Yacht Sales

This full-service yacht brokerage has multiple offices on the Southwest Florida with a main location in Punta Gorda’s Fishermen’s Village. Pier One Yacht Sales is also a Marine Industries Association of SWFL and Tampa Bay member. | 941-639-7777

Viage Group

This Beneteau, Chris Craft and Scout boat dealer serves our area with four convenient locations in Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers Beach and Naples. Viage Group is also a member of the Marine Industries Association of SWFL and Tampa Bay. | 1-941-444-5375 | 1-727-270-9009

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