Boat Sales Websites

In today’s digital age, the internet has transformed the way we buy and sell goods, and the boating industry is no exception. Boat sales websites have emerged as powerful platforms that connect buyers and sellers, revolutionising the process of buying a new or used boat. 

These online marketplaces have not only expanded the reach and accessibility of boat sales but have also provided a wealth of information and resources for boating enthusiasts. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned sailor, exploring boat sales websites opens up a world of possibilities, offering an extensive inventory, detailed listings, and valuable tools to help you navigate the waters of boat shopping. 

In this article, we will delve into the advantages, features, and considerations of using boat sales websites, highlighting how they have become an indispensable part of the boat-buying experience in the modern era.

We also try to clarify the different types of listing sites that you will come across. Maybe the biggest sites aren’t the best places to go and knowing where to sell a boat online is vital.  Perhaps a niche sales site will give you better results in your search or laser-focused potential buyers for your boat.  It’s important to understand the difference between a listing site and a broker’s site and how best to use both, and the options out there whether you are a buyer or a seller.

What Makes a Great Boat Sales Website?

The ultimate goal of a boat sales website is to connect interested buyers with the seller of their ideal boat.  It follows, then, that such a website should:

  • Be easy to navigate and use
  • Load lightning fast
  • Clearly present the desired information to site visitors
  • Enable a buyer to compare listings

For buyers, this means making it easy to navigate to the boats they are searching for, and for sellers, this means making it easy to list their boat for sale and to reach their target audience.

Types of Sellers

In order to compare the different listings websites, it’s helpful to understand the types of boat sellers.

Yacht brokers and boat dealers are paid to promote the vessels they broker/represent to reach an audience and achieve a sale.  One of the biggest and best-known boat sales websites,, lists only those boats being sold through a broker or dealer.  Most brokers and dealers also have their own website, which lists only their own vessels and has considerably less reach in terms of site visitors.

Franchised Brokers, for example, and, are networks of linked brokers channelling their listings through a common website, giving it more search authority in terms of size and traffic.  The ability to showcase a greater range of boats means that it may be more likely for a site visitor to find what they’re looking for.

Private sellers pay to list their vessels with the aim of reaching a buyer.  They choose the sites they feel will best meet their needs to provide an appealing display and attract the right visitor.

Search volumes show a distinct seasonality, with interest peaking in June-July and dropping significantly in September, with a low just before Christmas. Interestingly, search volumes, which were at a peak during the pandemic and which remain high, have dropped to slightly below pre-CoViD levels.

All individual site search data found in the following paragraphs has been extracted using SimilarWeb in July 2023.

Types of Websites

There are three different types of boat sales websites; 

  • General listings sites accept listings from anyone, be they private individuals or brokers
  • Brokerage sites are limited to brokered boats and range from the site of a single broker to the larger networked or franchised brokerage firms and listings sites limited to broker access
  • Brokerage and For Sale By Owner sites aimed at niche markets

General Listings Websites – The Big Players

There are several sites offering paid listings to both brokers and private sellers; the two largest sites are very similar in both look and feel:

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience GeographyPrice Private Ad
BoatTrader4.6m106,658103,6932,015North America$69 for 2 weeks to $229 for 12 weeks 2.3m140,919125,27914,739USA$49 for 2 weeks to $149 for 12 weeks

As this data shows, the large majority of listings on these two sites are powerboats.

Note that in all listings figures, numbers include new boat ads, and where there is more than one broker for a vessel, listings are duplicated. The numbers of power + sail may not add up to the total no. Of listings due to other types of vessels or marine parts listed.

General Listings Websites – The Others

Alternative listing sites offering paid listings to both brokers and private sellers with fewer listings and less traffic include:

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience GeographyPrice Private Ad
Boatline154,70046,07832,359506USAFree for 30 days up to $49.95 for 1 year
Boats for Sale104,50036,422322USAFree
The Yacht Market351,80027,24419,7337,086UK, Europe, USA£55 / €64.02 / $72.00 for a 3 month listing
Boat 24911,20021,5874,419Europe€49.90 for 30 days to €89.90 for 90 days
Youboat417,40020,6699,2462,376Europe & UK€29 til sold
Rightboat 289,50019,13615,4053,382USA, UK, Europe$24.99 per month
Apollo Duck162,50015,9082,587UK, USAFree to £149.95 for 3 months enhanced listing
Boatshop24137,90015,23912,6412,584N/A£9.95 to £39.95 for 4 weeks renewable at £9.95 or £19.95
Boats for Sale77,3008,4583,8532,196UKFree
Yachthub.com226,9005,900AustraliaFree to AUD $45 for 1 year
Band of Boats139,5005,4703,5581,912Europe€12 per month options to boost

By having an understanding of the visitor geography, sellers can target a particular market using these boat sales websites.

Niche Listings Websites

The following listings websites target particular sales niches offering paid listings to both brokers and private sellers:

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience GeographyPrice Private Ad
iBoats1.5m15,894Small Power BoatsNorth America$45 for 1 month
Sailboat Listings297,00015,000YesNorth AmericaFree or $25 for enhanced listing til sold
BoatCrazy67,30013,231Small Power BoatsUSA$19 to $65 one time fee til sold
OnlyInboards54,5004,780Ski & Wakeboard BoatsNorth AmericaFree to $109.95 for 90 days

Local Listings Websites

There are many local marketplaces, including Facebook Marketplace and local sales groups and classifieds; they are too numerous to list.  Craigs List is the big one in the USA.

I have included eBay in this roundup as the majority of eBay listings are sold sight unseen.  In reality, few people would buy a boat without seeing it so someone would need to be local to the eBay listing to go and see it.  Listing levels on eBay currently sit at 59, so evidently, it is not really a big outlet for boat sellers.

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience GeographyPrice Private Ad
Craigslist RegionalRegional????Local$5 per listing
eBay Motors??59N/A$60 to $125 per listing

Local In-Country Listings Websites

There are also local marketplaces, which are tailored to particular countries and search languages:

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience GeographyPrice Private Ad
Annonces du Bateau228,50010,6688,1682,492France€9.99 for 3 weeks to €59.99 for 12 weeks
Annonces Marine117,10017,7908.0451,912Europe (France)€19 for 1 month to €39 til sold plus € enhancements
Boot24202,40010,5668,5312,026Germany€19.95 to €39.95 for 4 weeks renewable at €19.95
Cosas de Barcos566,30035,88228,1967,686Spain & spanish speaking countries€19.95 to €39.95 for 4 weeks renewable at €19.95
Botentekoop 303,50035,88228,1967,686Netherlands & dutch speaking countries€19.95 to €39.95 for 4 weeks renewable at €19.95

Broker’s General & Franchise Listings Websites

The big one here is Yachtworld, which is a reference for anyone buying a boat, as it is available in all languages and currencies.  No private ads are allowed; only brokered boats are listed.

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience Geography
POP Yachts64,0003,381192USA
Boatshed235,4001,150488391UK, USA, Europe, Russia

Broker’s Niche Websites

Some brokers specialise in particular types of boats; catamarans are popular at the moment:

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience Geography
The Multihull Company51,400659CatamaransN/A
Catamaran Guru45,900659CatamaransN/A

For Sale By Owner Niche Websites

There is also a handful of niche sites aimed at private sellers:

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience GeographyPrice Private Ad
Catamaran Site44,10085CatamaransUSA$89 quarterly for 6 months, then free; $40 uplift per payment for enhanced listing

Monster or Niche Sites?

Boats Group owns all of the three largest listing sites; they also own the largest of the European listings websites, using the same dataset to cater to local languages:


Advantages of Boat Sales Websites

Boat sales websites offer numerous advantages that have transformed the boat buying and selling experience. Let’s explore some key benefits of utilising these platforms:

Accessibility and Convenience for Buyers and Sellers

Boat sales websites provide an accessible and convenient way for both buyers and sellers to connect. Gone are the days of solely relying on local dealerships or classified ads in newspapers. With just a few clicks, prospective buyers can access a vast array of boat listings from the comfort of their own homes, regardless of their geographical location. Similarly, sellers can easily create and manage their listings without the constraints of physical showroom spaces, expanding their reach to a wider audience.

Wide Range of Boat Listings and Inventory

Boat sales websites are a treasure trove of boat listings, offering an extensive inventory that caters to various preferences and budgets. Whether you’re in search of powerboats, sailboats, fishing boats, or catamarans, these platforms typically boast a diverse selection of vessels. This wide range of listings increases the chances of finding the perfect boat that aligns with your specific requirements and preferences.

Detailed Information and Specifications for Informed Decision-Making

One of the key advantages of boat sales websites is the abundance of detailed information and specifications provided for each listing. Buyers can access comprehensive descriptions, specifications, features, and condition reports for individual boats. This wealth of information empowers potential buyers to make informed decisions based on the boat’s characteristics, condition, and suitability for their boating needs.

Search Filters and Advanced Features for Tailored Searches

Boat sales websites often feature robust search filters and advanced features that streamline the browsing process. Buyers can refine their search based on criteria such as boat type, length, price range, location, and additional features. These search filters allow buyers to narrow down their options and focus on the boats that meet their specific requirements, saving time and effort in the process.

Increased Exposure for Sellers and Reaching a Broader Audience

For sellers, boat sales websites offer unparalleled exposure and the opportunity to reach a broader audience of potential buyers. Instead of relying solely on local or regional markets, sellers can showcase their boats to buyers from different parts of the country or even globally. This increased visibility enhances the chances of finding the right buyer quickly and efficiently, maximizing the potential for a successful sale.

Features and Tools Offered by Boat Sales Websites

Many boat sales websites go beyond simply listing boats for sale. They offer a range of features and tools designed to enhance the boat buying and selling experience. Let’s explore some of the valuable resources available on these platforms:

Comprehensive Boat Listings with Detailed Descriptions, Photos, and Videos

Boat sales websites provide comprehensive listings that go beyond basic information. Buyers can expect detailed descriptions highlighting the boat’s specifications, features, and condition. High-quality photos allow potential buyers to visually assess the boat, while videos provide a closer look at its interior and exterior. These resources help buyers gain a better understanding of the boats they are considering, making it easier to shortlist potential options.

Financing Options and Assistance

Some boat sales websites offer financing options and assistance to potential buyers. These platforms have partnerships with financial institutions or provide tools to connect buyers with lenders specialising in boat loans. By offering financing resources, boat sales websites aim to simplify the purchasing process and make boat ownership more attainable for a wider range of buyers.

Insurance Resources and Guidance

Boat ownership often requires adequate insurance coverage. Some boat sales websites recognise this need and provide access to insurance resources and guidance. Buyers can find information about boat insurance providers, policies, and coverage options. Some websites may even offer tools to help buyers calculate insurance costs based on their boat’s specifications, assisting in budgeting for ongoing ownership expenses.

Access to Additional Services such as Boat Surveys

To ensure transparency and peace of mind for buyers, some boat sales websites offer access to additional services such as boat inspections and surveys. These services can help identify any underlying issues or potential concerns with a boat before finalising a purchase. Buyers can opt for professional inspections or connect with surveyors who can thoroughly evaluate the boat’s condition and provide a detailed report.

Boating Forums and Community Engagement

Some boat sales websites elect to foster a sense of community by providing boating forums or online communities where enthusiasts can connect, share information, and engage with fellow boaters. These forums can be valuable resources for exchanging knowledge, seeking advice, and connecting with like-minded individuals who share a passion for boating and can provide valuable insights.

Considerations When Using Boat Sales Websites

While boat sales websites provide numerous advantages, it’s important to consider certain factors to ensure a smooth and successful buying or listing experience. 

Considerations for Buyers

Authenticity and Verification of Listings

As with any online marketplace, it’s crucial to verify the authenticity and accuracy of boat listings. While most boat sales websites make efforts to authenticate listings, it’s wise to exercise caution and conduct your own due diligence. Pay attention to details such as seller credibility, photos, descriptions, and any provided documentation. Research the boat’s history, maintenance records, and ownership status to ensure transparency and avoid potential scams or misrepresented listings.

Communicating with Sellers and Asking Pertinent Questions

When you come across a boat listing of interest, it’s essential to communicate directly with the seller; bear in mind that you may be communicating with a broker rather than the actual boat owner. Ask pertinent questions regarding the boat’s condition, maintenance history, equipment, and any potential issues. Engaging in open and transparent communication with the seller allows you to gather valuable information and clarify any doubts. Request additional photos or videos, if you need to, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the boat’s condition.

Arranging Boat Inspections and Sea Trials Before Purchase

To make an informed decision, it’s advisable to arrange for a professional marine survey and a sea trial before finalising the purchase. Pre-purchase inspections by experienced surveyors can identify any hidden problems or deficiencies that may not be apparent from the listing. A sea trial provides an opportunity to evaluate the boat’s performance, handling, and overall seaworthiness. These assessments give you peace of mind and help you make an informed decision.

Considerations for Sellers

Understanding Pricing Structures and Additional Fees

It’s important to understand the pricing structures and any additional fees associated with using boat sales websites. Some websites charge sellers for listing services, while others may have tiered pricing plans with different features and durations. Buyers should also be aware of potential fees such as transaction fees, escrow services, or financing charges. Familiarize yourself with these costs to avoid any surprises during the purchasing process and ensure that the pricing aligns with your budget and expectations.

Tips for a Successful Boat Buying Experience on Sales Websites

To ensure a successful boat buying experience on sales websites, it’s important to keep in mind certain tips and strategies. 

Research Boat Models and Understand Personal Needs

Before diving into boat listings, conduct thorough research on different boat models and types that align with your boating aspirations. Consider factors such as size, intended use, features, and amenities. Understanding your personal needs and preferences will help narrow down your search and focus on boats that best suit your requirements.

Set a Budget and Consider Additional Costs

Gain a good understanding of the market, establish a realistic budget for your boat purchase and take into account additional costs beyond the purchase price. These costs may include maintenance and repairs, insurance, mooring or storage fees, fuel, licensing, and registration. By factoring in these expenses from the beginning, you can make an informed decision about your budget and avoid financial surprises down the line.

Read Reviews and Feedback from Other Users

Take advantage of the experiences and insights shared by other users on boat sales websites where present. Read reviews and feedback from buyers who have previously purchased boats through the platform. Their perspectives can provide valuable information about the reliability of sellers, the overall buying process, and any potential issues to be aware of. 

Use Secure Payment Methods and Protect Personal Information

When it comes to making payments, prioritise secure methods such as Escrow and protect your personal information. Use reputable payment platforms to ensure the transaction is safe and protected. Be cautious of sharing sensitive personal information and avoid engaging in any suspicious transactions. If in doubt, seek guidance from the boat sales website’s customer support or consult with professionals to ensure a secure and trustworthy transaction.

Seek Professional Guidance When Necessary

Don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance, especially if you’re new to boating or uncertain about certain aspects of the buying process. Engage with marine surveyors or brokers who can provide expertise and guidance throughout the transaction. Their knowledge and experience can help you make well-informed decisions, navigate complex paperwork, and ensure that you’re making a sound investment.

Precautions and Warning Signs to Watch Out For

When engaging with boat sales websites, it’s important to be vigilant and aware of potential scams or fraudulent listings. Here are some key points to consider:

Recognise Potential Scams or Fraudulent Listings

Be aware of red flags that can indicate potential scams or fraudulent listings. These warning signs can include unusually low prices for high-value boats, sellers who insist on only communicating through email or messaging apps, requests for wire transfers or unconventional payment methods, or sellers who are unable or unwilling to provide proper documentation or history of the boat. If a deal seems too good to be true or raises suspicions, exercise caution and investigate further before proceeding.

Verify the Identity and Reputation of Sellers

Before entering into any transaction, take the time to verify the identity and reputation of sellers. Research their contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, to ensure they are legitimate. Look for seller reviews and ratings on the boat sales website or conduct online searches to gather more information about their reputation. Trustworthy sellers will be transparent and responsive to inquiries, providing the necessary information and documentation to establish trust and credibility.

Trust Your Instincts and Being Cautious with Suspicious Offers

Trust your instincts when evaluating offers and engaging with potential sellers. If something feels off or suspicious, proceed with caution. Be skeptical if a seller rushes the transaction, puts pressure on you to make quick decisions, or requests personal information that seems unnecessary or excessive. It’s always better to take the time to thoroughly evaluate the offer and gather all necessary information before proceeding.

Remember, if you encounter any suspicious activity or believe you have come across a fraudulent listing, report it to the boat sales website’s customer support or the appropriate authorities. By promptly reporting potential scams, you can help protect yourself and other users from falling victim to fraudulent schemes.

Ultimately, staying vigilant and being cautious are key to safeguarding yourself during the boat buying process on sales websites. 


In conclusion, boat sales websites have revolutionised the way boats are bought and sold, providing convenience, accessibility, and a wide range of options for both buyers and sellers. These online platforms have become invaluable resources for anyone in the market for a new or used boat, offering an extensive inventory, detailed listings, and helpful search filters.

The plethora of boat sales websites caters to various preferences and needs, whether one is looking for powerboats, sailboats, fishing boats, or even catamarans. With a few clicks, potential buyers can explore multiple listings, compare prices, and research different boat models from the comfort of their own homes.

Likewise, these websites have opened up opportunities for boat sellers to reach a broader audience, connecting them with interested buyers across different regions. Sellers can create comprehensive listings, showcase their boats through detailed descriptions, photos, and sometimes videos, enhancing their chances of attracting potential buyers.

Moreover, boat sales websites often provide additional resources and tools, such as financing options, insurance assistance, and even boating forums for enthusiasts to connect and share information.

However, it is essential to exercise caution and conduct thorough research when utilizing boat sales websites. While most platforms strive to verify listings and maintain the integrity of their services, there is still a possibility of encountering fraudulent or misrepresented listings. Prospective buyers should communicate directly with sellers, ask for additional information, and if possible, arrange to inspect the boat in person before finalizing any transaction.

Overall, boat sales websites have become indispensable tools for boat enthusiasts, making the process of buying or selling a boat more efficient, convenient, and accessible. By harnessing the power of technology, these platforms have transformed the boat market, connecting buyers and sellers in ways that were once unimaginable. Whether you’re in the market for a sleek powerboat, a sturdy sailboat, or a luxurious catamaran, the vast array of boat sales websites is sure to offer an avenue to navigate your way towards finding your dream vessel.

Samantha J Bartlett


Sam Bartlett is an IIMS Surveyor, a Commercial Skipper of sailing boats, and a boat owner for over 30 years. She lives in St Martin in the Caribbean and provides yacht surveys, skippering and marine consultancy throughout the Caribbean.

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