Monday, November 7, 2011

Selling My Boat

There's an old saying that the two happiest days of a boat owner's life are the day they get their new boat and the day they sell it.  This old joke implies that boat ownership is a total pain in the butt and once you get one you won't be able to get rid of it fast enough.  I couldn't disagree with that more.

Last month I sold my five year old Beavertail B2 flats skiff and I was a very sad guy watching it drive away to its new home in Islamorada.  Owning a boat is an unpleasant pain only if you make a bad decision about what you purchase, and my 2006 B2 was definitely a good decision.

The boat itself did everything I asked of it as a guide both here on Pine Island and down in Puerto Rico where I originally had it delivered.  It was the perfect fly fishing platform and nothing on the market at the time could float as shallow and still run as comfortably in open water.

Its two-stroke Yamaha 50 gave me close to 900 hours of flawless performance.  It was the only engine I've ever owned that never caused me to lose a day's charter because of a maintenance issue.  The way it sipped gas saved me a lot of money at the pump, too.  My customers also loved the boat and the company was always fantastic to deal with, which made ordering a new skiff from Beavertail a no-brainer.

My B2 took three months to sell after I first posted it online.  The buyer gave me my full asking price which was 80% of what I originally paid for it.  He got a very good deal and will be just as thrilled with the boat as I was.

The main reason I got such a good price for the boat despite the high hours on the outboard was that everything worked.  I made sure that each piece of equipment, from the trolling motor to the trailer lights, was fully functional before I put it up for sale.  I replaced the Sea Dek on the cockpit floor, had a new cusion made for the Yeti cooler, installed a new livewell pump, and put new bearings in the trailer wheels as well as a few other things. 

All those minor repairs and upgrades cost me close to $1,000 but its new owners wouldn't need to fix anything in order to go fishing.  That alone is a huge factor when it comes to convincing someone to buy a used boat.  As a seller you'll be able to stay firm with your price and it's good for the buyer, too.

So selling my boat was a good experience but far from a happy day for me.  Even more depressing was the fact that I'll have to wait another four weeks until my new BT3 is ready at the Beavertail shop just before Thanksgiving.  In the meantime I'll be fishing from "The Barge," my dad's very fast but very heavy Action Craft.  At least I'll get a great upper body workout poling that thing around the flats for a while.