After eight years owning their own boat, Ruth and Angus Ross-Thomson have decided to sell, and give us an insight into their experience

We are returning to our cottage in Hampshire to spend a few

years gardening and exploring the UK via campervan. There is a plan to do more

cruising, but not for 10 years – too long to have Do It sitting unused in a south coast

marina. I know I shall shed more than one tear when we sell her, but for a blue

water cruiser
to be tied to a marina dock is akin to keeping a wild animal

in a cage.

Preparation for the big sale

We have always maintained Do it in good condition, but wanted to

make sure she looked her absolute best when she hit the market, so preparation

for her sale started in the Caribbean in January, where we had the topsides

professionally re-sprayed. First impressions count.

We knew that we would need a series of photographs when we

advertised Do It online, so spent a sunny day in St Lucia de-cluttering the

boat and taking plenty of pictures from all angles. We are not trying to sell a standard production boat, but

rather the “dream” of a blue water cruiser. The dream looks more tempting with

turquoise water in the background.

Over the course of our circumnavigation we maintained a website,

to which we added a new “For Sale” section detailing the systems &

inventory, and containing all those lovely pictures we had taken. The advantage

of this is that the wider website provides all the “traveller’s tales” to tempt

someone to head offshore, but conversely also gives the “warts and all”

accounts of when things go wrong.

With a few days to spare in Antigua, we created two bright

red “For Sale” canvas signs which can be attached to the guard wires or

rigging.

The advertising campaign

On our arrival in the Orkney Isles in mid-July, we were

interviewed by the local BBC radio reporter, which led to the first serious

“expression of interest” from a listener to the show. Radio advertising was one

option we hadn’t considered.

Our first thought when deciding where to advertise Do It,

was to place an advert in Yachting Monthly and we opted for the 1/16th

page advert with the online option. The September edition hit the streets on 22 August, so we spent the

following days with the phone always to hand. The October edition generated two

contacts.

In order to widen the reach of our online advertising, we paid

for a “featured” advert. In the past month, this has generated

two contacts from organisations seeking to advertise Do It in their

publication (for a further fee) and one genuine contact.

When we arrived in Premier Southsea Marina in mid-September,

the staff allocated us a berth with the best advertising potential. We are tied

alongside a dock facing the marina office, and overlooked by the café &

restaurant. The canvas “For Sale” signs were promptly secured, and whilst we

have not attracted a buyer, word of mouth advertising never hurts.

Admitting to ourselves that our online advertising may not find us a buyer, we decided to also engage a broker with the hope of casting the net a little wider.

Options for the future

Whilst at Southampton Boat Show, I spoke with to a company who

offered a “fixed fee” approach to brokering, with an up-front payment to be

listed on their website and linked to many others, followed by a conveyance fee

should they find you a buyer. This is an option we may explore next month if we

have not attracted a buyer.

Check back for updates on how the sale is going.

Ruth and Angus Ross-Thomson

have been keen sailors since they were children and their love of boats is what

brought them together. After eight and a half years of enjoying everything this

steel blue water cruiser has to offer, they’ve made the tough decision to sell

and spend a few years on dry land here in England.