Is Using Another Boat To Sell Yours A Good Idea?

The Calendar Shot of a calender shot.

The Calendar Shot of a calender shot on a Calendar

We have been seeing a trend lately of the use of others photos to sell boats that are not the boat being sold. In this most recent ad we found on Craiglist, the seller is using a photo of a photo on a calendar taken by Don Ayers, for the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club calendar, of a 1st place Tahoe Winner, “Barnwood” Chris Craft 25 Sportsman Hardtop restored by fellow Woody Boater Mike Mayer and owned by Paul and Karen Harrison. The actual boat being sold is a Chris Craft 22 hardtop sportsman.

A 22 Sportsman hardtop. NOT the calendar boat. Confused?

A 22 Sportsman hardtop. NOT the calendar boat. Confused?

Actually a very nice cool boat. It’s kinda cool in the barn and all. So whats confusing? It’s not the real boat. So to the buyer, you, me…. the seller has already confused you…me,  about the boat. Everything becomes suspect. I think in most cases it’s an innocent mistake by the way, but to the consumer who in the end is the intended target of the ad, it’s one more hurdle to go over. through…. Not to mention, but I will, confusing to folks out there when that actual boat may show up at a show or is for sale elsewhere?  Just imagine selling a work of art, would you use one painting to sell another?

Confused? It Gets More Confusing When Dealers Do It! That’s right. There are some dealers out there, that do this as an ongoing method of not only using photos, but the entire listing. Here is how it works. The listing is placed at let’s say Antique Boat Center, and then it appears at another broker? Only the seller has no idea that’s happened. The other broker, is doing it to grab buyers, the buyer sees the ad, calls on it, and the broker then calls the seller and says they have a buyer. It happens all the time. If you look closely, its why Antique Boat Center now puts water marks on there pictures.

Note the water mark. Cool boat by the way. Interested? Click here.

Note the water mark. Cool boat by the way. Interested? Click here.

The bad part of this is clear. It’s confusing to the buyers. But it also hurts the seller. People, buyers get confused easily. They don’t know where to buy the boat. So they stall and go elsewhere. So everyone looses.

So why are we speaking out? Because this passion, hobby is a fantastic group. And I am including the guy that did the craigslist ad featured today. It is a cool boat by the way, I bet the seller is a fantastic guy that means well. Spent a fortune on the restoration and just wants to move on… We by the most part play well together and look out for each other. Especially here on Woody Boater.  Please let us know what you think?  Maybe we are being overly sensitive? It happens..


35 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    So if I want to sell Panther I may post a picture of Thunderbird AND I’ll have brokers trying to sell it for me besides? There will always be disreputable people out y trying to make an easy buck off you, as always “buyers beware”.

  2. Cliff
    Cliff says:

    Nope, if your selling YOUR boat take a picture of it and list it AS YOUR BOAT. There is a big difference between a 25′ sportsman sedan and a 22′ sedan. Sorry Craigslist guy, FAIL. As for the broker guy steeling a listing, you FAIL too.

  3. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    You are doing the right thing to expose this and are NOT being overly sensitive. I can’t believe the lack of integrity and honesty prevalent in today’s world. Now I know it has even invaded our beloved domain of classic boats. Very sad!

  4. Randy Rush Captain Grumpy
    Randy Rush Captain Grumpy says:

    No different that car dealers using “stock pictures” . Or people using photos of a boat taken 5 years ago. Ive been burned by that, driving 200 miles , salivating at the thought of this beautiful boat in the pictures, the one you’ve mentally stripped down to the screws , only to get there and see a piece of crap covered by a old poly tarp.

  5. Chad
    Chad says:

    FAIL for the guy potentially buying the boat off Craigslist, not knowing the difference between a 25′ and 22′ boat. As buyers, you need to know that Craigslist is full off this kinda crap. Do your homework.

    I also FAIL Troy.

  6. Big Red
    Big Red says:

    Happens at both ends of the spectrum… I tried buying a boat from a new classified section (of an established dealer) only to search a little more and find it listed on another part of their website for more than double. After ~2wks they took the listing off the classified (still have it listed at the other price) and didn’t really give me an explanation. Boat bait? Confusion? Regardless, I lost a lot of trust, even for ‘the good guys’. Do your homework – buyer beware.

  7. Troy
    Troy says:

    I know there are gray areas in life, but this should not be one of them.

    False advertising is wrong and so is stealing a competitors listing.


    (Image thanks to devintart, Sandro Magnoler)

  8. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    I’ve seen boats listed on different brokerage sites at different prices. Makes you wonder about the places with the higher prices.
    Did the guy with the 22 Sedan mention if it came with any fuel?

  9. Speedboat Outlaw
    Speedboat Outlaw says:

    A number of years ago I sold my 28′ Bertram. I received numerous calls from people interested in purchasing it up to 8 years later. Obviously the picture and listing had been borrowed by unscrupulous brokers that needed a popular boat to build up their listings. A word to the wise.

  10. Bill
    Bill says:

    The only value I can see to this practice is, if you are selling a boat clearly marked as needing restoration and have pictures both of you boat and the same model in show or near show condition. This might help some people (my wife) visualize what the boat will look like after restoration.

  11. John Baas
    John Baas says:

    I’ve got this Cruisers Inc Holiday I started to re-assemble but now have changed course (got a different boat) and want to sell it in unassembled form. Is it wrong to post a vintage ad with the listing showing what the boat SHOULD look like when finished?

    • Troy
      Troy says:

      I feel that if it is explained in your add it is fine.

      Also using original advertising is cool anyway.

      I wouldn’t even mind if, like Bill said, you show a picture of what could be, as long as it is the same model and it is spelled out for people.

  12. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    So explain this to me..Broker A lists a boat…Broker B sees the listing and also lists it. As a result a buyer sees the second ad and buys the boat. Broker A gets the commission since he presumably has the contract with the seller, Broker B helps spread the word and maybe gets a residuary commission, the seller gets rid of his boat and the buyer gets what he wants….Seems like everybody wins…What am I missing ?

    • Troy
      Troy says:


      I think there are a couple of things wrong.

      1) Broker B may try to cut Broker A out of his commission.

      2) Broker B may re-list at a higher price so he can pay Broker A and make money for himself. This gets confusing. I am helping my Uncle with a boat right now that is listed with two different brokers and the prices are 10K (about 25%, or 33%) apart.


    • matt
      matt says:

      Good point Wislon, as always. IF?? the brokers agree, its fine. If the owner does it, fine. Dumb, but fine. If the photographer agrees fine. But none of that happend in this case. The boat in the lead on this story is not even the same type boat. And the broker stuff we are talking about is not consentual. Even the sellers in some cases DONT WANT THAT! and yet it happens. But if they all agree, its good.

  13. Alex
    Alex says:

    Randy mentioned some other deceptive practices in classic boating above. But there’s one he missed. It’s the most grave of them all.

    Deceptive photos in online dating!

    Is there anything worse than seeing a beautiful woman on a dating site, building a “relationship” by emails, texts, and calls, setting up the first date, planning every single detail down to the minutiae, seeing her cross the restaurant floor to your table, and THEN finding out her 25 Sportsman Sedan is actually only a 22 Sedan?

    It’s horrible!

    • Heninger
      Heninger says:

      Something similar happened to me. I had an ongoing internet relationship with a woman who was representing herself as an undercover FBI agent. When I go to meet her at a mall, she turns out to be be a 15 year old girl!

      • LG boater
        LG boater says:

        Benefit of the doubt to you, trying to be funny but missed by a wide margin. Any “joke” involving a 15 year old girl and the internet is bound to go badly unless your name is Leno or Seinfeld, esp. on a msg board.

      • Henninger
        Henninger says:

        I don’t know – I was talking to her about pulling her fasteners, and she got up and left. I had a sinking feeling I wouldn’t be seeing her again.

  14. Sean
    Sean says:

    I found a local DEALER using pictures of MY BOAT (taken by the former owner) to sell another year and older model of the same marque.
    So, I called him and told him to take the pictures down (which he did).
    It is always best to show exactly what you are selling. If you don’t have pictures, take some. Original Ad copy is okay as long as you have the right AD and you are plain about what you are selling.

    Broker “shenanigans” are a separate topic and a fact of life like internet virus’.

    • Doug P
      Doug P says:

      Lotsa broker tricks out there. Real estate, auto, marine…

      Next door neighbor just put house up for sale….uses pictures on web of my property.

      The one I like is of the broker/restorer plugging ballot boxes for “Peoples Choice” at ACBS shows.

  15. Kevin F
    Kevin F says:

    Alex, I think the analogy is opposite. If a woman thinks yours is a 25 sedan and turns out to be a 22, then she is disappointed.

    However, having been dating for eight years, I can attest to the falsehoods and mirages created by on line dating. I think there is a different definition for the word “average” when used to describe oneself.

    The stories I could tell…..

  16. Andreas
    Andreas says:

    I have seen photos of MY boats used in advertisements by other folks attempting to sell their own boat. Kind of flattering to be honest! But mostly sad that they chose to use pictures of MY boat to sell their own. I have never attempted to contact the seller and tell them they were using my pictures without permission.

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