John and Jimmy Buy A Boat At The Same Boat Show


If you are listing a boat for sale I want to provide some food for thought as to what we see from callers all the time who say “I can’t sell for less than $160k because that’s what I owe the bank”. As we try to instruct people on how to price I think the following example may help in your pricing decision.

John buys a shiny new diesel Sea Ray for $230,000

John goes into the boat show having saved and sold some stock determined to buy his new boat for cash. He gets a deal done and pays $230,000 cash for the boat he has always dreamed of owning.

Jimmy buys the same shiny new diesel Sea Ray for $215,000

Jimmy being a shrewd negotiator walks into the same boat show and buys the exact same boat for $215,000. Wanting to keep his money working for him he decides to put 10% down and finance over 15 years. I’d venture to say 70% of us are more like Jimmy than John and finance our boats with only 10-15% down in the past.


For whatever reason John and Jimmy decide its time to sell. Could be getting out of boating, money, moving out-of-state…. Regardless they both decide to list their boats and as fate would have it the market is a bit tighter than when they purchased. They decide to call Knot 10 to discuss selling their boat. In looking at the numbers we can see the settled sales of that boat being $140-$155k as 6-8 have sold and we can see what the numbers looked like.

You see where we are going with this and why some owners are able to mentally go to the price the market is willing to pay and others get stuck on “I must sell for xxxxx cause I can’t think of writing a check to sell my boat. BOTH GUYS BOUGHT AT THE SAME TIME (and Jimmy actually got the better deal) BUT DIG DEEPER AND YOU SEE WHY JOHN’S GONNA SELL HIS BOAT AND JIMMY IS GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE HIS THINKING.

The Mental Side at Sale Time  Is Where They Differ

John has already parted with his $230,000 and is able to look at our data, digest it and decide yes indeed the market is where it appears and decides hey “price the boat at $155k and get it sold” In this example even if John put only 50% down instead of paying all cash he is still mentally on board with where he needs to be. He views the deal as I’ll get the boat sold and get xxxx amount of money back at settlement.

Jimmy after 3 years of payments from his $215,000 purchase with 10% down at a 6% interest rate at 180 months still owes $167,300 on his payout. He calls and we give him our honest opinion. After listening he does some quick math. If I sell at $150,000 and pay commission (7% w/ Knot 10) I will only net $139,500 and have to write a $27,800 check. So Jimmy decides gosh that can’t be possible and decides to list his boat at $184,000 which he figures after it sells he will net $170k and be ok.

Same boat, same year one priced at $155k and the other at $184k we all know which one will sell and which won’t.

THIS IS SO EASY TO UNDERSTAND AND MOST OF US ARE JIMMY NOT JOHN. But I can tell you right now in the last 2 years John has sold his boat in 2-3 months and moved on. Jimmy still is making payments and will need to decide that there are times when you need to face reality for what it is not for what you want it to be.

This was meant to illustrate and inform what we see from doing this everyday. As a company of boaters we are aware this is not easy information for many to digest but we hope some find it useful.


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