5 Tips for Writing a Classified Ad for Your Boat

Selling your boat as a private seller can be a tricky business. You must create an ad that stimulates interest but doesn’t come across as too “sales-y.” People who prefer buying boats from private parties want to see authenticity and not a lot of jargon, so it can be a fine line to walk.   

Luckily, with some savvy copywriting and effective marketing tactics from Boats for Sale, you can craft the perfect classified ad for your boat that will get noticed without seeming too eager or pushy.   

classified ad
Create a classified ad that is clear, informative and descriptive

Highlight the best features of your boat.

When it comes time to write your classified ad for your boat, the most important thing to remember is to focus on highlighting its best features first and foremost.   

That means putting the most exciting aspects of your boat at the beginning of the ad so they stand out immediately. People want to know what makes this particular boat unique before reading further.   

    Ensure the specifications are easy to find.

    Boat shoppers want to find the essential details right away.   

    Be sure that boat specification details like model year, make/model, condition, engine size/type/horsepower, cruising speed, etc., are easy to find within the ad.  

    Keep it simple with a list highlighting the strong points and important specs. The example below is an excellent way to attract a buyer’s attention in a classified ad for your boat.  

    • Location  
    • Year  
    • Make  
    • Model  
    • Condition  
    • Length  
    • Engines  
    • HP  
    • Stock Number  

    Be honest.

    Honesty is vital when selling anything used, especially boats!     

    If you know of any issues with the boat (minor or major), you must disclose this information upfront in the ad. Being honest about potential problems shows buyers that you are trustworthy and have nothing to hide, which could increase buyer confidence and help close deals faster. Plus, if any significant issues arise during negotiations or after sale completion, buyers may be able to seek recourse if they feel they need to be provided all relevant info upfront.  

    Include lots of quality photos.

    Pictures are worth a thousand words and you can never say too much!   

    Include multiple photos of your boat’s interior and exterior to give potential buyers a better idea of what they would be investing in if they decided to purchase it from you rather than another seller or dealer. Be sure to take photos from different angles—including shots taken from inside the vessel—so buyers can get an accurate picture of its condition before deciding whether or not they want more info or would like to arrange a viewing appointment with you directly.   

    Utilize video.

    When selling a boat, you want your classified ad to stand out and attract serious buyers.     

    The best way to do that is to provide the most accurate depiction of your listing – and the best way is through video! If a picture is worth a thousand words, you can only imagine what videos say. Video listings are sought-after by today’s buyers, and smartphones are more than adequate to do the job. At Boats for Sale, we allow you to upload videos to our user-friendly listings. Videos provide accurate views of the floorplan and boat condition and give the buyer a better feel for the boat’s size and overall look and feel. This allows a buyer to make a fair assessment before visiting the boat for a sea trial, which wastes far less of your time. Simply put, a listing with a video makes your listing sell more quickly and will make it stand out on social media!     


    Writing an effective classified ad for your boat doesn’t have to be difficult when you know what elements should be included and how best to showcase them. By highlighting its best features first and foremost; being honest about any issues; and including lots of photos; boaters looking for their next ride will be sure to take notice when searching through listings online.  

    In addition to following these social media strategies, be sure to sign up for Boats for Sale and get maximum exposure today. Good luck!