Since boat shopping is only slightly less fun than actually being out on my boat, I occasionally find myself plopped down in front of my computer perusing yacht listings on the Internet. I am constantly amazed that not only do boats selling for $30,000 to $3 million have incomplete, conflicting and incorrect information on the vessel, but also that their photographs defy description as to the poor quality.
I mean, here’s a 70-foot, million-dollar yacht for sale and there are a dozen fuzzy photos showing pipe fittings, frayed corners of a rug, a stanchion mount, a crooked shot of the inside of a hanging locker, a virtually black photo of the engine room and a parting photo of a flag on the bow.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I see this I’m thinking, a) These people don’t really want to sell their boat; b) If the photos are any indication of the shape of the boat, I won’t even bother to take a look at it; c) If they’ve skimped so much on taking the photos, what else have they skimped on — for example, maintenance; d) The listing broker should be fired immediately.
While taking good photos of your boat is not rocket science, it does take some preparation, thought and a basic knowledge of photography (including lighting and composition). Having a camera with a good wide-angle lens, such as an 18mm model, is pretty much imperative since there are so many tight spaces on a boat.
The choices are simple: Get a good camera and lens and learn how to use a basic photo-editing program, or hire someone knowledgeable to take the photos. Either way, you’re looking at a few hundred dollars — but if you’re seriously trying to interest potential buyers in a $200,000 boat, I would think that spending $500 on good photos would be more than worth the money and effort.