“Always Buying, Consigning and Selling Queensland’s Best Used Boats Since 1964”

Selling a boat isn’t as simple as selling a car. As a prospective buyer can’t just “jump in” go for a drive around the block, look in the glove box and see the service records nor easily find its real value. Comparisons can be problematic in the used boat sector due to so many variables that influence the price. 

Boat Pricing – in simple terms – the easier it is to dispose of and sell the boat, the lower the amount you receive. 

A balance must be found factoring convenience to the seller, the risk to the buyer, condition, warranty, ease of purchase and costs to bring the hull/trailer and motor back to seaworthy/roadworthy and reliable condition. 

The following information and overview is, in my opinion, are four considerations on ways to Sell Your Boat in 95% of cases, being via a Boat Auction, Selling your boat privately, selling your boat via consignment and direct sale or trade into a trusted dealer.

1/ Boat Auction 

May sound promising but buyers are vary wary as Auction purchases come with no warranty, so pricing reflects the risk of this type of investment. It does, however, make selling very simple and easy with no strings attached. 

PROS – It’s the quickest sale with the least hassle to the seller but the lowest return. 

CONS – You will receive the lowest return because: 

  • There is too much risk for the buyer as they have little means to test what condition the boats/motor/trailer.
  • No warranty is implied nor given under Auction Terms. 
  • The boat and trailers are sold unregistered and sold AS IS condition. 
  • Time works against your better judgement, and emotions are strained. 
  • No chance to complete a water demonstration and no water orientation is provided to learn how to use the boat.

Other than the Auction process offering the buyer “guaranteed title” there are no other buyer benefits, hence the quickest, but lowest sale price is achieved.


2/ Selling your boat privately

Our world and community have been changed significantly with COVID, and this issue now adds another level of thought when bringing strangers to your home to sell your boat. Selling privately takes effort and patience. 


  • By putting in the hard work and the hours, you will receive a higher price than selling through a boat auction.
  • Pricing it right, should see a reasonably quick sale. 
  • If you want to be in control of the sales process, this way is for you. 


  • Bringing strangers to your home and openly saying when your home and when you’re not
  • Internet fraud and funds fraud from sophisticated scammers – “My dad works on an oil rig”, “My freight company has overcharged me” “When are you home?” 
  • Doing water demonstrations on the weekend with potential buyers that have little interest in buying your boat or low ball you after the run, and if you knew the offer, you would have never wasted hours prepping and now washing a salty boat.
  • Once paid, do the buyers lodge and complete the registration documents at the local Transport Office.
  • Handover, do they have the right trailer connection, the right trailer light plug?
  • You need to take the trailer to a Road Worthy Inspector (If ATM over 750Kg’s) for an inspection, if it fails, organise the repairs before the RWC is written. If repairs can’t be completed for weeks, this delays your sale.
  • Finance companies reluctance to finance private sale boats 
  • The buyers’ insurance company may make it hard to insure as a “Condition Report” may be needed and further issues identified by the experts.
  • The buyers may request you to tow to a local Engine dealer for a thorough mechanical inspection – more of your time to tow to and from.
  • On water demonstration, takes time, risks and is it sold after the run or were they timewasters?
  • Buyer still doesn’t get warranty or professional back up that will reduce your “ buying audience” considerably. 

When you find a potential buyer, they will want to come and inspect the boat, remember the golden rule - first impressions are everything when it comes to selling a boat! Ensure you have removed your personal items, cleaned and detailed the boat, polished the sides, repair any torn or worn upholstery, ensure the cushions are clean and the underside of the cushions free from any mould and no salt on the engine block, tyre shine the tyres and ensure they are inflated, aerials up, clears fitted and zips lubed, toilet clean etc. Although this is again more work for you, a tidy and clean boat will help you in a successful sale.

Servicing - make sure the engines service history is up to date, batteries are charged and electricals all in good order and ready to be turned on to show the buyer how to operate. Then the biggest hurdle is the water test, nerves for both buyer and seller…… are you ready for it?….. ask for a deposit and settle on a price BEFORE you go and make the sale pending a satisfactory sea trial…! Launching and on the water, take your time, go slow, be honest and use your local ramp that you are familiar with. The downside is if they back out, you will have to do repeat this process all over again with the next buyer….. 

In the end, more money back in your hand but still a lot of effort and higher risk. 


3/ Sell your Boat via a Consignment Arrangement

Consigning your boat is another convenient way of selling your boat. Did you know goods regularly sold on consignment include motor vehicles, boats, wedding and formal dresses, cameras, farm machinery and artworks. 

Technically you are referred to as the Consignor and retain ownership whilst the boat isn’t under contract, and the Consignee holds the boat.  The boat sold on consignment is sold to the buyer first before the Consignee buys the boat from the Consignee. You must ensure you are dealing with a reputable dealer and the Boating Industry endorses the paperwork.

The paperwork should note the price the Consignee agrees to purchase the boat for when a buyer is found and the terms of the Consignment Arrangement.


  • Reputable businesses have been providing sellers with the convenience of Consignment sales for over 55 years.
  • Established dealerships like John Crawford Marine have a vast database of buyers, and constant enquires for late-model used boats to help sell your boat quicker.
  • The dealership looks after and arranges/co-ordinates the boat and trailer registration acquisitions and transfers, Title, Finance payouts, Warranty and EPIRB transfers for your convenience. 
  • The Consignee looks after the marketing and finding the buyer and handles the correspondence leaving you out of the selling process so you can stay focussed on family and work time.

CONS and Things to ask BEFORE you Consign your boat

  • Ensure the dealership is using endorsed Boating Industry Consignment paperwork.
  • Ask are there any hidden fees or charges?
  • If the boat is used for an on-water demonstration, is it covered by insurance?
  • Is the boat kept clean whilst being marketed?
  • Where is the boat being marketed – Internet/Enewsletter/Magazines/Social Media?
  • Will your boat be used as “switch bait”, and the sales team upsell potential buyers into new boats?
  • Do they have an internal workshop and detailer to assist you in bringing the boat up to dealership standards?

John Crawford Marine has specialised in consigning late model trailer boats since 1964. No one does it better nor with the professionalism that our team strives to offer every buyer and seller. 

Make selling your late model trailer boat hassle and stress-free – contact the Consignment Boats Specialists since 1964 at John Crawford Marine or complete the form below. (add form)


4/ Sell Your Boat Outright 

If time is an issue and you require an immediate sale with a quick settlement, why not simply call  John Crawford Marine to Buy My Boat, we can certainly help! Selling your boat has never been more straightforward subject to satisfactory workshop reports, and you have the authority to sell.  

We offer you the security of dealing with the Used Boat Industry Specialists and the most experienced team and largest Used Boat dealership. With a rock-solid 55 years plus in the industry, we are respectful and professional in our dealings with you – No gimmicks - no tricks! Valuations simply based on years of experience, up to date market conditions and in-depth knowledge of the used boat values. 


  • Experienced and respectful valuations and offer to buy
  • Deal with a company in business for over 55 years
  • Specialists in the sale of late-model used trailer boats. 
  • Settlements mostly within 24 hours
  • We look after and arrange/co-ordinate the boat and trailer registration acquisitions, Title, Finance payouts, Warranty and EPIRB transfers for your convenience.
  • Private and discreet process. 


  • Accepting the dealer has to make a fair margin to be in business.  
  • The boat will be priced assuming seaworthy/roadworthy and engines service up to date, otherwise after reports these costs can be deducted from the purchase price.
  • Will need to take the boat to the dealer and wait for the workshop to complete the mechanical inspections and pre-purchase inspections to be completed.

If you would like a quick and straightforward settlement, then call the team and make an appointment to bring down the boat and don’t forget the following:

  • Registration papers
  • Drivers Licence
  • Any books/manuals/spare key/spare wheel or supporting service documents
  • Bank account details and if relevant finance payout details

John Crawford Marine is easily found on Manly Road, just south of the Gateway Bridge off the Gateway Motorway at 1029 Manly Road, Tingalpa and simply turn into our dedicated boat/trailer parking lot - you don’t even need to reverse! Our expert and friendly staff will guide you through our established process, making the process respectful and hassle-free. 

Make selling your late model trailer boat hassle and stress-free – contact the Used Boat Specialists since 1964 at John Crawford Marine or complete the form below.