I had my boat listed with a broker last year. He did it really as a favor to me, as I had been a customer at his affiliated boat yard for some years. His home office doesn't want him to take any listings that net less than a $2000 commission…i.e., $20,000 list price or more. My boat is a 1988 27' Pearson
and it's not worth $20k. The two times it was shown, I showed it, not the broker. I had a similar experience when I was shopping
for the boat. Usually the owner showed it, or the broker unlocked it and told me the location, but couldn't even bother to come out and meet me.
I'd prefer to sell through a broker, because it would limit my risk in collecting the money
, but it's just not feasible in this price range and given I keep it in a harbor with no sailboat brokers.
It didn't sell, so this year I will market it myself. As for what to look for: Take my boat as an example. I'll list it for $12,900 this year. The jib
and harken furler
are 2009 vintage. The Universal diesel
is original, and works fine. Heat exchanger
replaced in 2010 or 2011. Radar
on pole at stern, installed 2010. Propane
cooktop, 2009, tank in dedicated cockpit
with holding tank
(ok it's small!). 2011 VHF
receiver and small chartplotter(2008). I am the third owner and I have enjoyed maintaining this boat and doing some upgrades. Pearsons are great; this is my second 27. As has been said on other threads, people tend to love their own boats.
You can get a well-maintained boat. Don't settle for less. I later ran into one of the two who looked at my boat, and asked him why he didn't buy it. He said after seeing my boat, he immediately eliminated several others he had been considering, because mine was in such good condition with nice add-ons. He ended up buying
a slightly larger sloop
for a couple thousand more.
So, there are nice, clean, well-maintained boats out there for very little money. Take your time; it's a buyer's market. As for me, until I sell it, I'm going to have some fun in the Monday night race
series at the yacht club!