Where to Sell a Boat Online

When it comes to selling your boat privately, you want to get it in front of as many potential buyers as possible, right? That’s where boat sales websites come in and make things much easier. Knowing where to sell a boat online can make a big difference in whether or not you reach your target audience.

Online platforms have completely changed the game for sellers, and many of the websites which were previously targeted to broker listings have opened up to private individuals, allowing you to showcase your boat to a massive audience of interested buyers from all over the world. Buyers can browse through all the available options and do their research without even leaving their sofa.

The different boat sales websites cover everything from local sites that focus on specific regions, sites that target particular niches of boat types and big global listing sites that attract buyers from all over the globe.  

In this article, we’re going to dive into some of the best boat sales websites for selling your boat privately. By using these websites, you’ll be able to reach loads of potential buyers, get your boat noticed, and increase your chances of making a sale. 

Create an Avatar of Your Ideal Buyer

Creating a detailed profile of the potential buyer based on key characteristics and preferences will guide your choice of where to list your boat. There’s no point listing your boat on a site that targets European residents if you’re selling a $8,000 wake boat in Calgary… the average site visitor will simply not travel that far to buy one. By understanding who will typically buy your boat, you can select exactly which listing sites to use.

Answer the following questions and try to create an avatar that represents your target buyer:

What type of boat is it?

How long is it? What purpose was it originally designed for, e.g. fishing, sports activities, day trips, weekend or full-time living aboard? What is the price range for this boat and others like it?

What level of boating experience is suitable for this boat? 

Is this boat suitable for beginners, or would the new buyer need a boat licence or some level of experience?

What is the target demographic for this type of boat? 

Who currently uses your boat right now and other boats like it… How old are they? Are they mainly older and single, or younger with families, male or female? What is their average income bracket? Where do they live? What other activities and interests do they have?

What are the geographic factors to consider? 

Consider the ideal buyer’s location and proximity to your boat location. Would a buyer travel to see your vessel? How far would he travel? Would he be looking to keep it in the same location? Can the boat be trailers to a new location? Might they want to sail it away? Is this a possibility? How far away do they live from where they use the boat?  

By asking yourself these questions, you can develop a clearer picture of the ideal buyer for your vessel. Visualise the ideal buyer creating a comprehensive profile that represents the target buyer, refining it based on the boat’s unique selling points and the seller’s goals. This avatar serves as a guide for tailoring marketing strategies, crafting effective listings, and engaging with potential buyers in a way that resonates with their specific needs, preferences, and aspirations.

With the knowledge of your ideal buyer, you can plan an effective strategy for listing your boat on a boat sales website, giving your ads the best chance of being seen by your target audience.

Understand What Makes a Great Boat Sales Website

When you’re selling your boat privately, there are several qualities and features that a boat sales website should ideally have:

User-Friendly Listing Creation

The website should offer an easy-to-use platform for creating detailed and attractive listings. Sellers should be able to input essential information about their boat, such as make, model, year, size, and condition. The website should also provide options to upload multiple high-quality photos and, if possible, videos to showcase the boat’s features and condition effectively.

Wide Reach and Targeted Audience

A successful boat sales website for private sellers should have a significant user base and attract potential buyers actively looking for boats. The website’s marketing and promotion strategies should ensure that listings reach a broad audience, increasing the chances of finding the right buyer quickly.

Advanced Search and Filtering Options

The website should have robust search and filtering capabilities that allow potential buyers to find specific types of boats easily. This functionality helps attract interested buyers searching for boats with particular features, sizes, or price ranges. The ability to customise search criteria enhances the visibility of private listings to relevant buyers.

Secure Messaging

A boat sales website should provide a secure messaging system that allows private sellers to communicate directly with potential buyers. This ensures privacy and security while facilitating open and transparent discussions about the boat’s details, answering inquiries, and negotiating terms. The messaging system should also allow the exchange of contact information when appropriate.

Listing Management and Analytics

Private sellers benefit from a boat sales website with tools to manage and track their listings. The ability to edit or update listings, track views, and inquiries, and analyse listing performance can be valuable for optimising the selling strategy. These features help sellers understand which aspects of their listing are attracting the most interest and make adjustments as needed.

Pricing and Duration Options

The website should provide flexible pricing options catering to private sellers’ needs. This may include affordable listing fees or commissions based on the final sale price. Additionally, sellers should have options for selecting listing durations that suit their preferences and the timeline for selling their boat.

Educational Resources and Selling Tips

A boat sales website that supports private sellers should provide educational resources and selling tips. These resources can include guides on creating effective listings, pricing strategies, negotiation techniques, and guidance on completing the necessary paperwork for a private sale. Such information empowers sellers and helps them navigate the selling process with confidence.

Most of the key players in the online boat sales market offer at least some of the factors listed above.

OK, so you’ve prepared your listing information and photographs as per our Guide to Selling your Boat Privately, and you’re ready to start promoting! Let’s look at the options, keeping in mind our analysis of boat sales websites carried out before.

Free Listing Sites

Because… why not!

When it comes to where to sell a boat online, free listing sites may not specifically target your ideal buyer, but they’re free, so unless they specifically target a market that would never be interested in your boat, why not use them?!  

Consider the following websites, which all offer free listings:

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
Apollo Duck162,50015,9082,587UK, USAFree to £149.95 for 3 months enhanced listing
Boats for Sale UK77,3008,4583,8532,196UKFree
Yachthub.com226,9005,900AustraliaFree to AUD $45 for 1 year
Sailboat Listings297,00015,000YesNorth AmericaFree or $25 for enhanced listing
OnlyInboards54,5004,780Ski & Wakeboard BoatsNorth AmericaFree to $109.95 for 90 days

Some of the sites above also offer enhanced listings. Consider whether the audience volume and their audience geography warrant payment for an enhanced listing.

Volume Listing Sites

Next on your hit-list should be the volume listing sites. These have the biggest number of eyes each month and accept both broker and private listings. This means that a site user doing a search will find your listing alongside as many other examples of the same make and model as are on the market… your listing will be in with the same chance of viewing as any of the broker listings if it’s well written and has good photographs and videos.

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience GeographyPrice Private Ad
BoatTrader4.6m106,658103,6932,015North America$69 for 2 weeks to $229 for 12 weeks
Boats.com2.3m140,919125,27914,739USA$49 for 2 weeks to $149 for 12 weeks

Note that if you have a sailing boat, Boats.com has a much larger volume of sailing boats than BoatTrader.com.

Bear in mind that the largest volume of users of the two sites above is in North America, and if your ideal buyer is in Spain, you might be better off looking at a more targeted listing site:

Boats Group, who own the listing sites above, also own the following European marketplace sites, which are some of the biggest:

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
Boatshop24137,90015,23912,6412,584UK & Europe?£9.95 to £39.95 for 4 weeks renewable at £9.95 or £19.95
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
Botentekoop303,50035,88228,1967,686Netherlands & dutch speaking countries€19.95 to €39.95 for 4 weeks renewable at €19.95

Looking at the listing statistics above, a listing on Cosas de Barcos will also get you listed in the Netherlands!

Niche Listing Sites

If you have a specific type of boat, such as a houseboat, a small sports boat, a sailing boat or a catamaran, specific niche sites exist for you to promote your offering. These sites have a laser-focused audience looking for the types of listings there:

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
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
Catamaran Site44,0085CatamaransUSA$89 quarterly for 6 months, then free; $40 uplift per payment for enhanced listing

Local Listing Sites

If your ideal buyer is most likely to live in your neighbourhood, or if there’s a chance he might, you should look at listing in local marketplaces. These include:

  • Facebook Sales Groups & Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigs List in the USA

Extend Your Reach

Based on the above options, you have likely made some choices for the ideal websites to list your boat and may already feel you have a big enough potential reach. However, if budget allows, the following websites also command some high Google rankings and take a share of the search volumes:

WebsiteMonthly VisitsTotal ListingsPower BoatsSailing BoatsAudience GeographyPrice Private Ad
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
Rightboat289,50019,13615,4053,382USA, UK, Europe$24.99 per month
Band of Boats139,5005,4703,5581,912Europe€12 per month options to boost


The above analysis of where to sell a boat online can help you narrow down the best boat sales websites for listing your vessel as a private seller. Set your budget, place your listings and monitor the response. Good luck with your sale!

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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