Guide on How to Sell Your Boat

Guide on How to Sell Your Boat


We certainly don’t blame anyone for wanting to avoid the brokerage commission and sell their boats themselves. If you choose this route, we are willing to assist you anyway we can. If you need advice on pricing or to find someone to fix your engine or repair your sail, just ask and we will recommend companies or individuals to get the job done. We want to earn the opportunity to be your personal yacht broker whether you are selling your current boat or searching for your next.

When you decide to list your boat, we highly recommend you find a Certified Professional Yacht Broker. This is a broker that has committed to a higher level of professionalism and has a thorough knowledge of the laws and procedures to successfully guide you through all the proper steps to the closing. Although there are nearly 3000 licensed yacht brokers in Florida, only about 125 have acquired this highest lever of professional certification. Joe Zammataro, owner of Preferred Yachts is proud to be one of those brokers that earned the CPYB initials after his name. We have the ability to market your boat effectively, represent your boat accurately, negotiate for the most money possible and do this quickly and with the least amount of hassle for you. We have been successfully selling new and pre-owned yachts since 1978. we are full time sales professionals and have a thorough understanding of all aspects of buying, selling and outfitting yachts.


Broad exposure of your yacht is a key element in its sales success. Marketing your yacht internationally as well as domestically is important in today’s’ economy. With the strength of the Euro, we are seeing more international buyers than ever before. Our extensive experience as a marketing executive is helpful in selecting the best strategy for maximizing the exposure of your yacht to prospects.

The internet has become the single most important source for generating leads for your boat. We learned web design in order to take advantage of the marketing power the internet possess to help sell your boat. You’ll notice our website is rich with relevant content designed to solicit an immediate response. One of the innovative features is the ability of clients to contact us instantly from anywhere in the world by clicking a button on our site. Our reasoning behind this is because buyers don’t always look for a boat between the hours of 8 AM to 5:30 PM EST. Many clients search the web in the evening after the kids are asleep. Our commitment is to rapidly respond to inquiries about your boats. If you entrust the sale of your boat with us, be assured we take that responsibility serious and will do everything possible to get you boat sold quickly and for the most dollars possible.

Certainly, traditional print media still has a place and our aggressive advertising in selected monthly magazines and online services is designed to increase the audience size of potential buyers for your boat. Your listing is advertised in sailing publications with full color ads. We create an individual web page for placement in YachtWorld, the most successful worldwide multi-listing internet service.

Your yacht is placed on the Preferred Yachts website  We create our own listing collateral material in-house so we can better expose your yacht to prospective purchasers.  When you place your yacht in one of our high traffic brokerage slips, a “For Sale” signs with our personal contact information is placed on it. Color pictures of your yacht are placed in our brokerage window displays. All of our brokerage listings are featured in our direct mail and email campaigns. We will do everything we can to get your boat in front of as many potential buyers as possible. Our marketing strategy must work since we consistently sell more brokerage sailing yachts between 35’ and 55’ than anyone. Why not put us to work for you?

PICTURES! PICTURES! PICTURES! ( Also, Videos, 360 degree Virtual Tours and Drone Footage)

The internet has changed forever how boats are sold. Quality High Definition Pictures, Videos and Virtual Tours sell boats. A visually attractive and accurate presentation of your boat is essential to stimulate contact from potential buyers. We have our own in-house production capabilities to create outstanding Videos, Virtual Tours and photographic presentations of you boat  We invested in and use the most advanced software and equipment on the market to make certain you boat looks great.

Prospects like to see quality pictures, videos and virtual tours before investing the time and money to personally inspect a boat. This is especially true with foreign buyers or buyers outside of Florida. Being able to zoom into greater details in a picture, or use a virtual tour to ‘walk through” your boat,  allows a prospect to better appreciate your boat and see finer construction details such as laminated door frames and rounded cabinets. Prospects are led to our website from multiple sources like Yachtworld , print advertising, e-mails and direct correspondence. We routinely have  purchase offers made subject to visual inspection and survey based initially just on the photos alone. Every one of these offers resulted in a purchase! This concept works. Can we do it for you too?

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! – Preferred Yachts Brokerage Display Center – The Harborage Marina

Our marina based location is an integral part of our marketing strategy. The easier it is to have clients see your boat, the faster it will sell.  It’s simply a numbers game.  The more people that see your boat, the greater the chance of finding a buyer.  Our Preferred Yachts Brokerage Display Center has dozens of boats for clients to consider and attracts buyers from around the world. It’s like a boat show everyday. We are located at the beautiful 350 slip Harborage Marina in charming downtown St Petersburg, Florida.

We have discounted slips available at out Preferred Yachts Brokerage Display Center.


Better yet, why not let us do the research for you. We have access to volumes of information. Our research includes reviewing the Buc and NADA values, a search for comparable yachts in YachtWorld  and what similar yachts actually sold for, searching popular sailing magazines and a review with our fellow brokers. At that point we review this research with you. As the yacht owner, you have the final say regarding price. Our objective is to advertise your yacht at a price that will get attention quickly, yet yield the full market value to you


When you add up all the costs of holding your yacht every month, the quicker your boat sells, the better. The principal and interest payment each month are only part of the expense. Insurance, the slip fee, routine systems maintenance, bottom cleaning, replacement of worn or broken parts and cosmetic maintenance expenses all add up. Plus you must keep a watchful eye on your yacht in times of adverse weather. Yachts are typically a depreciating asset, so they don’t often become more valuable with time. They do just the opposite. If your yacht is priced right and given maximum exposure through marketing and location, holding costs can be cut to a minimum.


How your yacht looks and smells makes a big difference. We have all purchased houses or boats in our past. Try and remember the impact of the first impression. Clutter and a strong “boat” smell can be the kiss of death in showing yachts. When you put your yacht up for sale, that is the time to strip the interior of as many of your personal items as possible. Get rid of any food and galley items. Go through every locker, drawer and bin. Empty as many of them as possible. Scrub every inch of the interior and get rid of any mildew. Vacuum all cushions and berths. Make sure the holding tank is pumped dry; scrub the bilge and engine area, especially around the edges of floorboards. All items that are left on board should be neatly organized and put away. The topsides and hull should be scrubbed and waxed, sails neatly flaked and the stainless steel polished. Exterior teak should be cleaned and treated. Remove excess lines, fenders and any non-essential items in cockpit lockers. Try to make your yacht as “boat show” presentable as possible. If you don’t have the time to properly prepare your yacht to be shown we can help by referring cleaning and detailing teams directly to you Remember your yacht will only have one opportunity to make a good first impression.


All the pieces are in place at this point. Your yacht is being marketed, is easy to show, is clean inside and out and priced appropriately. I, along with the entire Preferred Yacht Sales team and other brokers will begin showing your yacht. I will monitor the “traffic” your yacht receives on Yachtworld and my website, quickly telling me where your yacht stands. We will keep you advised of activity and any comments or suggestions that were made about your boat.


We will present each offer to you and confirm that the appropriate earnest money deposit has been taken. We will discuss any conditions of the sale with you, their possible impact on the sale and assist you in the acceptance or counter offer. Sometimes offers and counter offers span a period of several days. Our job is to remove the stress from the sales process as much as possible.
We communicate on your behalf with the purchaser’s broker. We help you formulate the sales strategy that should result in a final sale. However, the sale of your yacht is not always successful as a result of the first offer, sometimes it takes several offers and substantial negotiations. As your listing broker, we will be there for you from the beginning to the final sale.


After there is an acceptance of offer a sea trial and survey will be scheduled. Those dates are usually noted in the offer to purchase. We will represent you during the sea trial and survey. Sometimes owners are present during the sea trial and survey, but not too often. Let us  be the buffer and help make arrangements during this period. Your obligation is to make sure the yacht is sea worthy and available. The purchaser is responsible for the cost of the survey and the haul out. Your only cost would be for a captain to run your yacht should a captain be necessary.


At the completion of the sea trail and survey the purchaser usually has up to three days to indicate his acceptance of the vessel. This is done by the purchaser signing an Acceptance of Vessel form. Any contingencies to the Acceptance of Vessel are to be noted on the form. This is not unusual and you should expect some last minute items to be corrected or a slight final price adjustment based on the survey report we will assist you in this final negotiation. After both you and the purchaser agree to the Acceptance of Vessel terms a closing date is set.


We use Yachtcloser, which is a innovative way to quickly and easily send, sign and organize all the documents necessary for listing, buying or selling a yacht. By simplifying the legal process, it make aspects easy, Our Closing Coordinator becomes an important part of the process at this point. The Closing Coordinator creates a closing statement that all parties agree to. She works closely with your bank or lender to make sure the correct funds are available for payoff and helps secure satisfaction of mortgage if you have an existing loan on your yacht. She also collects funds or works with other brokerage companies if there is an outside broker involved. You are kept informed at all times and will receive updates as the closing progresses. Again! Let her do all the leg work and preparation of the appropriate documents. We want the sale of your yacht to be as stress-free as possible for you.


When all funds are collected, closing statements and all necessary documents are signed, liens released and free and clear title established we convey ownership to the new owner of your yacht. You receive your owner proceeds and enjoy the second happiest day of yacht ownership.


Do brokers need a license to sell my yacht?
Yes, all brokers in the State of Florida must be licensed and bonded, similar to the real estate industry.

Where is the deposit money kept?

All money is deposited into the Preferred Yachts  escrow account where it must remain until applied to the sale or refunded to buyer. Preferred Yachts is accountable to the State of Florida for all monies in their escrow account.

May I use my yacht occasionally while it is listed?

Yes, please communicate with your Preferred Yachts listing broker. Also your yacht should be cleaned after each use and put back in ideal showing condition. If your boat is being kept in a Harborage Marina Brokerage slip, which is at a discounted rate, you are limited in your use.

What additional expenses do you incur during the sale?

All normal holding and maintenance cost continue to be your responsibility during the period your yacht is for sale. You will be responsible for captain’s fees if you cannot handle the boat during the sea trial and survey.

What is the length of the listing agreement?

Six month. You may cancel your listing with Denison at any time with a written 30-day notice.

Am I particular about what I list?

ABSOLUTELY!! I am very selective on what I list and prefer to have a few quality listings that are properly priced and in proper condition, rather than listing everything afloat. A yacht must be clean and able withstand the scrutiny that my published high resolution photos will allow. Working strictly on commission, it only makes sense for me to focus my energy on listing yachts I’m confident will sell.  I assure you that if you entrust me with your listing, I will concentrate my efforts on successfully selling your yacht.

To List Your Yacht, Call Us:
Joe Zammataro, Jamie Birch, Bennie Ficarrotta, Pepper
727 527-2800

About Preferred Yachts

For 36 years, Preferred Yachts has helped thousands of clients realize their boating dreams. We'd like to help you too. With extensive experience as sailors, boat builders, yacht brokers, business professionals and proven negotiators, we will provide you with sound advice and representation. You will find our practical experience and broad product knowledge insightful in comparing and evaluating yachts you are considering. Put us to work for you. Dream Makers and Yacht Brokers Since 1984.

Recent Updates

Explore our Online 3D Virtual Walk-Through Tours of many of our listing. Click on the Virtual Tour Tab at the top of the page, then select a boat. These tours are the next best thing to stepping aboard.