If you have outgrown your old boat or just want a newer model, you do not have to list your boat for sale in the local paper. Instead, you can trade in your used boat on a new one. Just like with cars, you can go shopping for a new boat and negotiate a used boat trade with your purchase of the new boat. When trading in a used boat, it is best to do your trade in early in the boating season because that it when you will get the best value for the boat.
Check the value of your used boat on one of the boat value guides, such as the Buc Valu or NADA Guides website (see Resources). This lets you know the approximate worth of the boat. When you trade in the boat, you will typically get slightly less than its value.
Visit some local boat shops and dealers in your area to look for a new boat. If you find a new boat that you want to purchase, you must get your trade-in evaluated by the shop. When you do that, you will get a quote in return which details how much they are offering you for the boat if you purchase the new boat. Some examples of such shops include Delta Marine Sales, Boat N RV and 1st Klas Marina.
Attend a boat show in your area. Boat dealers and retailers have booths at boat shows and often negotiate used boat trade-ins on any of the new boats they are showing. The Marine Source website (see Resources) has a schedule of boat shows for the year.
Sign over your boat ownership documents once you agree on a trade-in price for the used boat and purchase price for the new boat. Ownership documents vary by state as not all states issue boat titles. Bring your used boat to the dealer or shop when you come to pick up the new boat.