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We sold our Sailboat Online in less than 90 days

Whiskey Charlie is no longer our sailboat.  Will Staat from Fox Point, Wisconsin is the new owner of our 1979 CSY 33′ Cutter sailboat.

We started advertising our boat in Key West on craigslist.  I put listings, each slightly modified for our CSY in all the south eastern major sailboat cities along the coast.  That way a person in Charleston looking for a sailboat might see my ad even thought the boat was in Jacksonville

I also added our sailboat to the Sailing Texas Website because it’s free and it comes up pretty high in the search engine listings for sailboat ads.  The webmaster on that site was very helpful and the listing went up pretty quickly.

I paid a small amount for an ad on Sailboat Listings and I linked the ads as much as possible to our website where I set up a page dedicated to the sailboat with lots of pictures.

I started getting inquiries within about a week of posting the listings.  The CSY is a pretty unique boat.  There were a few people that had never heard of the CSY, but most were familiar and actively looking for a CSY.  In our case, they only made about 60 of the 33′ CSY’s.

I check to see if there are other CSY 33’s for sale and I may find one or two that are for sale at any given time.  When we listed our boat there was only one other boat listed and it was for sale in Canada.  For anyone on the south eastern coast looking for a CSY 33 it seemed like my boat was the natural choice.

Within about 2 weeks I had the boat under contract but it fell through because the husband and wife couldn’t agree on finances.  It seems this is a common theme.  The husband gets all excited and runs out to buy a sailboat and forgets to confer with his soul mate and royal havoc ensues upon return.

I also had a gentleman fly in from Chicago to look at the boat.  He was a very nice man and I enjoyed meeting him, but he literally looked at the boat for less than an hour before he was ready to leave.

I showed the boat several times more before Mr. Staat flew in from Wisconsin on Sunday and by Monday lunchtime the Whiskey Charlie had a new owner.

I think the key to selling a boat quickly (especially in this market) is to be realistic about the condition and sales potential of your boat.  No boat is a good investment financially.  It’s a great investment for your life style, sanity, peace of mind, health- not very good for the pocket book.  We priced our boat at a fair price that was certainly not at the top of the market but not at the bottom.  I wanted to attract attention to the boat pretty quickly.

If we had decided to sell our boat in 2006, chances are we would have priced the boat closer to the $40k mark.  Unfortunately, everything fell apart and there was no realistic way we would sell our boat for that much money now.

While I priced the boat very reasonably, we didn’t haggle too much.  At that price it was already a bargain and there is a point where it’s simply better to keep the boat versus selling it and not being able to buy another boat.

Now that we are essentially homeless- it’s time to look for another boat!

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2 comments to We sold our Sailboat Online in less than 90 days

  • Howard Lovett


    Ran across your site and enjoyed seeing what you are up to. I’m glad everything is working out for you, your wife, and your family.

    I’m sorry our deal didn’t work out. No harm, no foul.

    Best regards,


  • big cheese

    Thanks HWL-

    Just like sailing, you may not be able to head directly towards you’re destination but eventually you can get there.

    Thanks for reading.