What is my Boat Worth? Top 10 Boat Value tools & Pricing Guides

Best Boat Value Estimator Tools – Find Your Boat’s Worth or Trade-In Value

Do you know the value of your boat? Are you selling your boat and need to know how much to offer it for? Or looking to buy a vessel and want a fair market value estimate? You surely don’t want to over pay or leave money on the table and in fact, there are a few good boat value calculator tools out there but they rely on much of the same data behind the scenes. It is important to do your due diligence and research a boat’s price to know its worth. Here we list the top 10 boat value calculators and explain what things affect a boat’s worth.

What Is My Boat Worth? #BoatValue

What affects a boat’s value

According to your motivations for selling a boat or trading it in for a newer model you always want to get the best market value and price possible. This entails determining the market value of the boat or yacht and negotiations with the buyer/seller.

There are online resources that can help but can also be misleading. These boat value calculators can give estimated pricing to know the boat’s worth but if your boat is a rare model or has custom upgrades then you cannot really used them. When getting your boat’s price evaluated, there are four main areas that need to be considered:

  • Cosmetic (the look and feel, design, of the boat)
  • Mechanical (engine quality, engine hours and structural integrity)
  • Build (size, age and model)
  • Location
  • The boat’s equipment
  • The boat’s history

Other important considerations include the manufacture, model, and age for the vessel. Before we get started, let’s take a deeper look at how to determine the value of your boat.

What determines the value of a boat?

Before you sell your boat, you’ll need to figure out how much money it is worth. Instead, it refers to money you might reasonably expect someone to pay in your local marketplace.

Those final three words are critical. Boats might be worth more or less depending on the supply and demand in a particular area. For example, if a vessel has a deep draught, it will be more valuable in a place with more deep water and more locations to take it.

Still, it can be beneficial to consult the National Automobile Dealers Association Marine Appraisal Guide (NADA), the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABOS) Marine Blue Book, and the Bureau of Ships (BOS) recommendations. Nonetheless, they can provide you with a decent ballpark estimate of the approximate value of your boat.

Check local postings for boats of a similar kind and age to better understand what you may expect in your region. This can inform you of what similar boats are selling for in your area, allowing you to make a more accurate estimate of your boat’s value.

Undoubtedly, every boat has its narrative to tell, and many have undergone some aftermarket alteration. A dealer or mechanic can provide you with an accurate estimate of the boat’s value, depending on the specific characteristics of boat. However, be cautious when relying on dealership estimations. A lowball offer is more likely to be extended if the seller believes you are looking to trade in your vehicle.

It should also be noted that boats lose value over time.

Boat Type and Age:

The type of boat you have is crucial in determining its market value because a larger deck or powerful engine can make a difference. The amenities included in the boat will fetch a higher price. For their part, smaller boats and sailboats are worth less so they will have lower resale value when they are used.

The other significant aspect that influences the value of a boat is its age. As previously said, boats depreciate over time in the same way that automobiles do. A 15-year-old boat isn’t worth much unless it has some collector’s value attached to it, regardless of how valuable it was when it was new.

The brand is probably more important than it should be in this decision. Boats from well-known manufacturers that everyone has heard of (like Bayliner and Crestliner), sell better.

Towing equipment and water slides retain their value on the second hard market while electronics depreciate quickly.

How to Determine What the Condition of the Boat is?

Understandably, the condition of a boat impacts the valuation. Consider the following scenario: your boat’s hull has been punctured and needs to be repaired. If this is the case, it has the potential to depreciate a boat’s worth by a large proportion, regardless of any other positive characteristics it may possess.

The mechanics are as follows: Engine hours and the physical condition of the hull and deck are among the factors to consider. Are the “bones” of the boat in decent shape, to put it another way? Is the engine in proper condition considering its age? If this is the case, the boat will be worth more money. On the other hand, if the boat has been driven extensively and has required numerous repairs, its value will be significantly reduced.

The cosmetics are as follows: All of the “non-essential” features of the boat are included in this category. Is the paint in good condition? How well does the trim appear to be in condition? Is the metalwork gleaming, or has it become corroded? These considerations come into play when buyers determine how much they are willing to spend for a piece of property.

  1. Is the rigging in good condition?
  2. Is the mast and boom in good condition?
  3. Are the sails in reasonable condition?
  4. All of the pulleys and lines appear to be operating smoothly and quietly?

These are merely questions that apply to sailboats in general.

Podcast: Boat Valuation Explained

If your boat has been exposed to seawater, you will have to be concerned about the paint and corrosion on the boat. So, boats used in saltwater deteriorate faster.

A boat’s history affects its value

You want to make sure to check the boat-alert.com hull ID history report to know if the vessel was in an accident or has any negative events in its history.

How long do boats last? Do boats have good resale value? Or hold their value well?

Since boats are not used a lot during the year, they hold their resale value very well relative to cars. On average you can expect boats to last around 10 to 25 years. Some large ships last 100 years depending on maintenance and materials used in construction. Fiberglass is currently the most common material used to make recreational boats and other watercraft so they can last 50 years. An aluminum boat can last a lifetime. We will cover this in more detail in another article.

How many engine hours on a boat is too much?

If you are buying a used watercraft and do not know what boat engine hours are too much then listen up. “Engine boat hours” are important but have some downfalls when used as a metric to judge a boat. It is an indication of how much it has been used. and the rule of thumb is that 100 boat engine hours is like 4000km on a vehicle. You can use this to know what is too much and too little.

Sometimes the boat hours (like an odometer) is not available depending on where and how it gets recorded for a given boat and motor. We also should note that not all hours are the same. Just like a car with 100k could be better than another one with the same odometer depending on how they used it and maintained it.

Ultra-low boat engine hours are not always a good thing. For example, 2000 engine hours is the life expectancy of the boat engine. So, if it is too low compared to the age of the boat then maybe they did not use it enough or it sat in storage for years.

A very high boat engine hours depends on the region but usually it is not a good sign but it could mean the boat got lots of love and enjoyment. You have to also look at the average boating season.

It can be up to 30 hours per season. You will have to divide the hours by the average to see if it makes sense in terms of boat age by years. Boats in southern and norther climates could still be the same per year even though boating season might be shorter/condensed in northern climates. Ask your dealer for the maintenance schedule based on number of hours. All of this affects the boats value.

Do boats depreciate faster than cars? and How much does a boat depreciate each year?

It really depends on the market and type of boat/car so it is not a fair comparison to make. Generally, a slightly used boat and a used car are better value for your money than a new one due to depreciation. Some people assume boats are luxury items so they lose value faster than cars that are really needed to get around. Having said that boats won’t depreciate faster than cars because they are used a lot less! Normal wear and tear on a boat should be less than a vehicle but that depends on how it is used and maintained. In terms of market is more demand and less supply of boats so they will not depreciate as quickly. Once a boat leaves the lot or showroom, it will depreciate 20 percent per year.

What increases the value of a boat?

Good cosmetics and visual appeal always enhance value or at the very least draw the attention of a prospective buyer to the boat. A vessel that has been cleaned, waxed, and coated demonstrates that it has been well cared for, increasing its perceived worth. There are simple upgrades and additions like custom handrails and solar panels that increase a boats value. A well-documented history, as well as maintenance records, are incredibly beneficial. Suppose a vessel has received regular upkeep and maintenance, including thorough winterization and frequent oil changes. In that case, the boat will sell for a premium price, maybe 10 percent to 20 percent more than the advertised average price, depending on the market—a complete and unblemished Boat-Alert History Report.

Some strategies are available to help you raise the value of your boat, including:

  • Upgrading Electronics
  • Regular service/maintenance of boat engine
  • Upgrading Interior
  • Upgrading Exterior
  • Replacing Worn Items
  • Add New Features

What Are the Issues That Can Lower A Boat’s Price?

When it comes to valuing a used boat, it’s essential to understand what factors are essential and which ones aren’t. A boat survey is also known for including a sea trial. Use it to fix issues before listing the boat for sale.

Damaged internal fuel tanks (which will necessitate the removal and replacement of failing fuel tanks) and a saturated foam core are only a couple of hidden difficulties with a boat (from water intrusion). The buyer’s responsibility will be more minor issues, such as out-of-date electronics, faded canvas, and general cosmetics. If the seller receives a lowball offer, they will not be encouraged to make many concessions. Negotiations will proceed more smoothly if all parties recognize the significance of each issue.

What are The Common Mistakes When Pricing a Boat?

Before you make your boat purchase, you should know a few things about boat purchasing and some typical blunders you should avoid, which is a significant financial commitment that you should not undertake without seeking professional guidance.

Be Patient: Most boating enthusiasts will tell you that the capacity to be patient is the most crucial factor in completing a successful purchase of their vessel. The excitement and joy of becoming a boat owner may often overshadow simple decisions, so many first-time boat purchasers make these mistakes.

For example, somebody new to boating should consider purchasing a used model rather than investing thousands of dollars in a brand new boat. It is also not advisable to buy on the spur of the moment, which many people do when attending a boat exhibition.

Even while boat sales associates may encourage you to buy your first boat at a boat show, doing so is not the best choice. Instead, exercise patience before making a purchase and allow yourself plenty of time to shop around and consider your options.

Do Proper Research: Even if it is a tiny one, purchasing a boat may be a significant financial commitment. You don’t want to rush into anything without first finishing your studies. Doing the research will help you set your budgets and expectations right.

Keep in mind that there are other expenditures associated with owning a vehicle, such as storage, maintenance, and insurance. Talking to other boat owners about their purchasing and ownership experiences should also be part of your research. Know the different ship models and their features.

Be smart: Some people believe that more is better and wind up getting a boat with far more power than required. Others purchase the boat without considering whether or not they will need a motor with sufficient power to perform the activities they desire, such as skiing, tubing, or wakeboarding.

Types of Values you want to lookup

  • Fair-Market Value of a used boat
  • Dealer Trade-in Value when replacing a used boat with a new one
  • Depreciated boat value based on years and hours used
  • Similar watercraft selling prices in your market (used boat listings)

Where to look up boat values? Well Known Guides & Calculators

For a full list and review article comparing the best 10 tools for boat valuation see our other article here.

Remember how the Kelly Blue Book is used for valuing cars? Well, the boat pricing guides are out there and offered by these companies among others: NADA Marine Appraisal Guide, BoatWizard’s SoldBoats database, and the ABOS Marine Blue Book.

Each of them uses a different method of calculating boat values and estimates. As your broker if they can use all three sources including the SoldBoats database and YachtBroker data. There might still be a BoatUS Value Check program but we could not find it.

Table list of all the boat value calculators:

Boat Values ToolURL Address
HINDecoder.com (2 estimators)https://www.hindecoder.com/boat-value-calculator.php
JD Power NADA Guideshttps://www.nadaguides.com/Boats
Boat Trader Price Checkerhttps://www.boattrader.com/research/tools/price-checker/
BoatValue.comhttps://boatvalue.com/get-a-boat-value/
ABOS Marinehttps://app.pricedigests.com/?classification=Boats
BoatWizard’s SoldBoats databasehttps://soldboats.boatwizard.com/soldboats/search  (requires account)
ValueMyTradeInhttps://www.valuemytradein.com/iframe/iframe.php?id=1609
BucValuehttp://www.bucvalu.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=boat_values
BoatCrazyhttps://boatcrazy.com/valuation
BoatFaxhttps://www.boatfax.com/index.php?option=com_bfx_valuer&view=bfx_valuer&Itemid=184
Download the list of boat value calculators here.

What is the equivalent of Kelley Blue Book for boats?

Since there are no Kelley Blue Book® Values for boats that KBB offers you will have to look for other tools. Note however, that KBB does have values for personal watercraft (PWC like JetSki) among other vehicles but not boats. Some websites will use the words “Boat Blue Book Value” or “KBB Boat Book” to get search engine rankings but they are not genuine Kelley Blue Book boat values. Edmunds does not offer any boat value calculator but you can search Ebay and Craigslist for similar boats as part of your research. You definitely want to check the top 10 boat calculators list first.

Agreed Hull Value & Actual Cash Value Coverage

One way to find a boat value is to look at the insurance papers. The replacement value could be listed or at least you should understand this topic. You’ll always know what your claims payout by when you get the agreed hull value in your coverage. It pays to replace or repair your boat up to its agreed hull value. This is something that is determined when you start your policy and it will cover your boat, engines, and boating equipment.

For the boater who took less coverage with the “Actual Cash Value” policy, they will have a lower annual insurance premium. This basic coverage is just for the boat, engine and boating equipment. Whenever there is a total loss, your claims payout is determined using the current market value of your boat (Some losses may be subject to depreciation). To read more on boat insurance coverages see BoatUS.

Types of tools and services to search boat values

  • boat price checker
  • boat trade-in value
  • boat valuation
  • boat value calculator
  • boat value estimator

These tools will either compare to other boats on the market or will use their own database of values to get the pricing of a boat. Some tools would use some math to determine depreciation from the original new boat price based on number of years and hours used. boat values are usually based only on brokers or boat dealers. These sources don’t take into account the significant number of boat sales between private parties. This boat price checker from BoatTrader will show you the listed prices for boats for each boat so you can compare the listing prices for your vessel model and year.

How to Find Your Boat’s Trade-In Value

To find a Boat’s Trade-in value, you must go to a dealer. There are companies that buy boats such as “we buy boats cash” companies. Visit Westshore Marine and We Buy Boats to get cash offers. There is also Off The Hook Yachts.

Trade-in values for boats are not as good as private sales and can vary. You are essentially calculating how much you anticipate your boat to sell for, but take out the dealer’s costs/margins. This knowledge will come in helpful when it’s time to haggle with your dealer over the price of your new or used boat.

The location of your yacht has a significant impact on its market value.

The fundamentals of boat valuation and trading include:

  • Investigate the market value of your yacht using the internet. Check out the NADA, BOS, and ABOS standards. Different types of boats have their own “blue book.”
  • Look for a reputable merchant to do business.
  • Get an idea of how much your boat is selling for by looking at local and online ads.
  • Before handing over your old boat to the dealer, make sure you have agreed on a price.
  • Tools for Marine Dealers to Assess Trade-Ins

A Marine Survey can affect boat offers you get when selling a boat

Marine Surveyors are hired to inspect boats similar to a vehicle pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic. They also check engines, gear, accessories, interiors, structural integrity, compliance with legal and safety laws and standards, etc. They may have the boat pulled out of the water to check the hull, or send a diver underneath, or use inspection tools. See our article on how you do a pre-purchase boat survey.

What is a Marine Appraisal?

When buying or selling a used boat, you will need to get an accurate appraisal. This gives you better bargaining power and puts all the cards on the table. Most boat sales as ‘as is’ so you need this. It will make you aware of small fixes that could greatly increase the value of the boat. Professionally appraised boats also tend to sell faster and fetch a higher price. Learn some techniques to Sell your boat faster and our Best Step by Step guide to selling your Boat.

There are different kinds of surveys. Make sure you get the right one. A condition and valuation survey (C&V) covers the hull and structures as well as the boat’s systems. Your insurance company and bank will need this one too. It is sometimes referred to as a “pre-purchase survey”. You should expect an in-depth written report that evaluates the vessel based on U.S. Coast Guard regulations as well as ABYC and National Fire Protection Association standards.

Other types are “engine surveys” and “rigging surveys”.

Hiring A Surveyor To Appraise A Boat Before Buying

It is wise to hire a specialized boat surveyor and could be required for financing. You may want to hire more than one surveyor – one for the hull and general condition of the boat, one for the rig if it’s a sailboat, and one for the engine survey which should always include an oil sample analysis, especially for a powerboat.

Having said that, to get the value of the boat, you want a condition and valuation survey (C&V). It covers the hull, deck superstructure and systems. It’s important to remember that this isn’t a licensed profession, so anyone can call themselves a marine surveyor. Be sure any surveyor you hire is familiar with the type of boat in question, that they can provide references, and that they are truly independent. Two great places to find a surveyor are the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) and National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS). They maintain lists of boat surveyors in your region.

Do boat prices go down in winter?

What is the best month to buy a boat? You want to shop for a used boat during boat buying season and just before the big boat shows.

View Presentation: Find the value of your boat with this handy presentation

How much should I pay when I buy a boat?

BoatTrader offers a general search tool that is based on a year and length range that you input for a boat make to produce a list of similar boats in your area. This will give you an idea how much others are selling the boat so you know how much to pay for a similar one. View the tool here: Boat Price Checker – Boat Trader.

Fair market value of a used boat – What is a used boat worth?

The value is what someone is prepared to pay you for it. For a boat that costs significant amounts of money, you don’t price it fairly yourself. It is something that surveyors, insurance companies, and banks will get involved in. Never the less, you should do your due diligence to set your expectations in a reasonable range. One amazing trick is to go to an auction to see what the buying public is prepared to pay for similar boats.

State of the Boating Market in 2021-2022

Are boats going down in price?

No, in fact since the start of the pandemic, boats have increased in price. As well, the dollar has lots of boat buying power due to inflation on top of the shortage or boats on dealer lots. Boats have a lot more electronics now so there is a general trend for higher costs.

Are boats increasing or appreciating in value?

Yes, since the pandemic there has been an increase in boat prices. We discussed this in detail in our article: Why U.S. Boat Sales Are Booming.

Are boats more expensive this year? And why are boat prices going up during this shortage?

It’s no secret that boating is becoming more expensive and that the pandemic has caused many shortages in different sectors. Read more here.

Are boats overpriced right now?

It depends who you ask. The dollar has lost its value too but the boat shortage is compounding the problem. We suggest waiting a bit for the supply to catch up with the demand. Read this article about whether Should You Buy A New Boat Now? by Discover Boating.

Conclusion

After checking with guides, speaking with brokers, comparing online resources and histories and paying for a C&V survey, the bottom line on boat pricing (whether you’re selling or buying) is how much is the boat worth to you? That may move the price up or down. Use those tools as a guide but consider that it is an emotional sell in the end. If you’re the seller in need of fast cash, you’ll take less. If you’re an emotional buyer with the dream of a wet summer, you’ll pay more.

Use this boat valuation tool to find the market value of a boat you want to sell or purchase: You can access two such valuators on this link at hindecoder.com/boat-value-calculator.php. A website also can’t factor in any upgrades, accessories, or customizations made to the boat.

Read Related Articles:

#boatvalues #boatprices #boatprice #boating #buyboat #sellboat #tradein


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