Real Numbers. Figure out your bottom-line price well in advance of meeting the first buyer. Don't forget to tally the cost of advertising, storage, and maintenance, as well as the time you lose while your boat is for sale.
Gag Order. Do not reveal your bottom-line price on the phone to someone who hasn't seen the boat. Before a buyer sees your boat, he or she has no emotional investment. Plus, buyers on the fence often have friends call as "new prospects" in an effort to trip you up.
Getting Paid. Cash is king. Checks are fine -- once they clear. So-called bank checks are not as good as cash. All these do is certify that the buyer has the amount on account on the date of issue. Plus, they can be canceled as easily as a personal check.
Why? Why? Why? Buyers invariably ask why you're selling. Well, for the money, stupid. But you can't say that (or that you're tired of tinkering with a boat without a warranty). The best answer? You're looking for a change in lifestyle. Say you want to try cruising and can't do it in an open boat, or your kids don't go with you anymore so you don't need a skiboat, or you don't fish offshore anymore so you want to downsize.