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Everything You Need to Know About Trading in Your Boat

Are you the owner of a boat and thinking of trading it in for something new? Are you wondering, “what’s my boat worth?”

You’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll go over everything you need to know about boat trade-ins, from the whys to the hows to the whats.


Why trade in your used boat for a new one:

Simply put, the biggest advantage to trading in your boat is that you don’t have to go about the trouble of selling it. The amount of time a used boat remains on the market before selling has a lot to do with its value (and how it was priced when first listed) but it’s not uncommon for boats to take six months to sell, and quite often a lot longer than that.

When you are trading in your boat for a new one, there is no wait – you get your tools and silverware off your current boat, hand in the keys, and you’re done. Some dealerships will even assume ownership of the boat at its current location and you don’t even have to worry about making that “last” trip with it.

Another important advantage is the tax benefit as it pertains to the purchase of your new boat – typically, you will only pay state sales tax on the difference between the price of the new boat and the value of your trade in, which, depending on your local tax laws, can save you a pretty penny. 


How to trade in your boat: 

The first step is to determine what boat you want to buy next. Contact your local dealer and have them show you different options. Consider how you have used your current boat and how you intend to use the next one. Make sure your broker listens more than he or she talks!

Once you’ve decided on a particular model, ask your dealer to provide you with a trade-in valuation for your current boat. Every boat deal is different, and the process can vary by dealership, but typically the dealership will either pay for your boat’s survey or they will split the expense with you. Either way, they are going to want to have some provision in place that shows you are serious, most commonly a refundable deposit for the new boat or a provisional purchase contract.

It is a good idea to clean and detail your boat as best as possible before the dealer sees it. A little effort can go a long way when trying to increase curb appeal. Make sure the bilge is clean and dry, the lines are coiled, the heads are inviting, the beds are made.

When presented with a trade-in valuation, always ask the dealer for a justification. If you are expecting a retail valuation, you will be disappointed – the dealer can’t stay in business if he or she does that. Remember that the dealer has to assume financial responsibility for your boat, which means paying for its storage, insuring it, marketing it, and maintaining it. And at the end of the day, when they sell it, they also have to make a profit – which, if the boat stays on the market long, will be eaten by the cost of ownership. But don’t forget what happens if you don’t trade your boat in – you’ll have to list it with a broker (who will charge you a ten percent brokerage fee) and you’ll have to keep paying to store and insure the boat until it is sold. Then, when you go to buy the new boat, you’ll have to pay state sales tax on its full price... so it’s a good idea to carefully look at the numbers in both scenarios, and make a decision accordingly. 


Trade-in opportunities:

BENETEAU has a large global network of partners who sell our boats—400 dealers on five continents. If you’re interested in trading in your old powerboat or sailboat for one of the industry’s best, check out our partner dealers to learn more about trading in.  

We only partner with the best boat dealers across the globe who will guide you on your journey to finding the boat you and your family will love for a lifetime. 



Published on 15.06.2020