Top 10 Common Mistakes When Selling Your Catamaran FSBO

After a decade of watching sellers and their success on selling catamarans themselves, we now often provide advice to sellers on how to best market their catamarans for sale by owner. We see our success of our boutique FSBO services directly linked to our reputation of quickly and smoothly selling catamarans. Please see our listing page for information on how to sign up for our service and advertise on this website.

1. Price:

Obviously a primary determinant of your success in selling your catamaran is picking a proper price. And all boats especially cruising catamarans are prone to what behavior psychologists called the “endowment bias.” Essentially humans are wired to value more what items that they own that have significant memories associated with them than the market does. It is very hard to justify a premium versus comparable catamarans even when your boat deserves it. We can help by providing you the sales data from our prior listings to help you understand what is the normal price range for your model and how that price has depreciated over time. Pricing is an art not science, and we solely provide educational information for you to make better decisions if you desire the data. We are happy to advertise your catamaran at any price, but we hope that providing sales data will lead to a faster sale for you and a better reputation of our services.

2. Exotic or vague locations:

Catamarans are usually widely flung about the world in exotic cruising locations. If price is not the problem with your advertisement, then location is likely the reason. As magical as it sounds to buy a catamaran in Tonga, most buyers come to the conclusion that the risks and costs in terms of flying to Tonga are too much to bear especially when often they may have kids or jobs or other responsibilities still at home. We can help you by advising what are good and bad locations and the proper pricing difference and costs between those two options. There is usually a payoff to bringing your catamaran in Grenada to a dock in Fort Lauderdale. We even have buyers who perform this kind of arbitrage as regular customers ( and subscribers to our mailing list ). A minor additional suggestion: always specifically state in your advertisement a specific location. While “Cruising enroute to Florida” may be accurate, we find that having a specific location and keeping that updated in our system is important to attract the most number of inquiries. People tend to not take as seriously ambiguously located catamarans.

3. Bad photos:

As we discuss in our article about why selling your catamaran is easier than ever, the sales process has shifted significantly towards decision making prior to even viewing a catamaran. Half of offers are made subject to personal inspection prior to ever viewing your boat. Buyers depend on photos primarily to determine the condition of your catamaran. The more photos the better. We recommend 40 to 50 photos as the ideal number. These should be taken after decluttering and cleaning is done. These photos will be the first impressions. Specifically important is also the first two photos which display prominently on These photos should sell the romance of your beautiful catamaran under sail or at anchor in an exotic location. Photos need to be taken at high resolution and interior photos should be taken with a wide angle lens but not a fish eye lens that distorts the images.

4. Limited specifications and inventory:

One of the most important advancements of our service is our ability and requirement that your advertisement includes extensive specifications and inventory. We find this area is often something that takes the most effort from an owner in composing if they do not have this information already. And while most FSBO sites provide minimal specifications and inventory, we help sellers produce detailed lists. The more detailed your inventory such as specific model numbers of equipment, the fewer questions your will need to answer to curious buyers and the more fastidious you will appear as an owner. Buyers correctly understand that owners who put in the effort to compose detailed inventory items are more diligent in maintaining their catamaran in great condition. We also provide an autopopulation feature from our extensive catamaran reference library that quickly imports key specifications such as LOA or designer and helps best present your listing to buyers.

5. Not responding timely manner to inquiries:

A challenge for many sellers is responding to inquiries while cruising. Your speed and detail in answering questions is another way in which in this virtual world you can show buyers how organized and serious you are about selling your catamaran. We do not answer inquiries, but we do help follow up on inquiries that have gone unanswered if asked.

6. Not including a video:

The newest way to differentiate your catamaran is having a video. We provide an additional page on our site that specifically showcases catamarans who include a video link in their advertisement. A video shows extra effort and helps make your catamaran stand out from other sellers. It shows again your are diligent and serious in your sale. Remember facts tell, but stories sell. And the only way to get a premium price for your catamaran is to sell the story that you are a premium owner who has put in the extra efforts in maintenance and gear over the years of ownership.

7. Not decluttering your boat prior to photography:

Owners often want to highlight all the cruising gear that comes with their catamaran. And that is a good idea. But that type of information should be left for the specifications and inventory sections of the advertisement. The photos are primarily for buyers to determine condition. Unfortunately, the typical cruising catamaran is loaded down like a Grand Canyon pack mule and taking uncluttered photos takes a lot of cleanup. The ideal photos for selling your catamaran look more like the empty vessels as in magazines or at the Miami Boat Show. Professional sales agents set tables with wine glasses and center orchid arrangements not because these are sensible choices for cruising but because they have determined over decades that buyers are swayed by a clean and uncluttered catamaran. Clean and decluttered vessels with labeled boxes with manifests of spare parts are like oasises in a desert. They quickly sell. We can provide feedback on what items should be stored or not for best presentation of your vessel in photos and for in person showings.

8. Hiding information that comes up on survey:

Unless you are lucky enough to find a buyer who forgoes a survey, you will save a lot of time by disclosing certain types of information that will surely come up on survey. Hurricane damage and lightning strikes are two of the most common items. We can provide feedback on how to best disclose survey items to avoid lost time, expensive, and frustration in the sales process. Getting a buyer sometimes is the easy part when you have a tough surveyor and a thorough buyer.

9. Keeping your catamaran clean:

The sales process can be a long process and seller exhaustion is a common pitfall. Hiring someone to regularly clean your catamaran is good idea and especially thorough cleaning before all or at least the most important showings. Depending on your location we may be able to provide helpful contacts for maintenance services.

10. Making sure all equipment works:

The disclosure of many nonworking items is a red flag for most buyers. They will assume the worst and expect discounts based on replacement costs. Your best result for a smooth sale is to fix all nonworking items or remove equipment that is nonfunctional. A generator that does not work is worse than no generator. Nondisclosure of nonworking items may result in success in a contract, but usually results in a disastrous survey and seatrial which scares off the buyer. It is a good idea prior to survey seatrial to go through and test all equipment on your catamaran and fix anything that is not working immediately prior to survey. The fewer problem items, the better the impression on the buyer and more likely you will complete the sale without a broker!

Bottom Line

The success of our boutique service depend on our ability to help you sell your catamaran effectively. The above is a cheat sheet of the ten most common issues we see, and what we do to provide additional support to help offset these common mistakes by for sale by owner catamarans. Our goal is to augment your for sale by owner adventure and give you the support needed to have the best chance to sell.

Ready to sell? List your catamaran for sale on this website and sell her fast!

2 replies on “Top 10 Common Mistakes When Selling Your Catamaran FSBO”

I am flying to fl tomorrow to look at one of your listings. The bank wants a survey Who pays for it? Thanks

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