Do Boats Hold Their Value? (With Examples)

Do boats hold their value? This question might be bothering you for some days as you want to invest in a boat. It’s also possible that you already own a boat and are worried about the value of it. Understanding the boat values can help you invest wisely.

On average the pontoon and fishing boats have a 25% to 30% drop, yachts or a sailboats can expect 10% drop in the resale value in the first or second year. Basically, it would depend on the type of boat you own and how you are maintaining it.

When you are investing in a boat with the intention of keeping it for a long period and have some fun time, you might wonder if the boats hold their value. It’s, in fact, an interesting thought that can help you get a suitable boat for yourself.

Let’s dig in for more information.

Can Boats Hold Their Value?

Let’s say you bought a boat and for some reason, you have to immediately sell it then it would depreciate in value.

However, if you are holding the boat for some time and it’s in good condition then you can get a good resale value. On the other hand, if it’s a classic wooden boat then it may even appreciate in value.

Think of your boats as your cars. Just like when you are driving your vehicle around a lot, it depreciates in value just like that your boats would start to depreciate. So, typically it depends on what type of boat you own.

Do Boats Hold Their Value? (With Examples)

Your boats require maintenance and the owners spend more on the boat accessories that makes it hard to predict the resale value of the boat.

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How Fast Can Your Boat Depreciate?

On average, you can expect a boat to depreciate 7 to 10 years.

It’s hard to find an exact estimate as there are a variety of factors to consider. The pontoon and fishing boats have a 25% to 30% drop in the resale value in the first or second year, but if you own a yacht or a sailboat, you can expect the resale value to be 90%. Basically, it would depend on the type of boat you own and how you are maintaining it.

It’s important that you think about your boat like a car. Just like the day you buy your car, it would start to depreciate in value. Unless you are getting a classic boat, you can expect the value to depreciate over the years.

If you are a company trying to calculate the depreciation value of the boats, it’s best to ask your accountant for help. Using the straight-line or any other depreciation method, your accountant would be your best source of information.

What Boats Give You A High Resale Value?

If your boat is clean and well maintained you can expect to get a better resale value. If you understand what boats are having a higher resale value then it would be possible for you to invest wisely.

In order to understand the resale value of the boats, let’s do a little experiment. Just check the sale price of the old boats that are up for sale and see what’s the value now! It can give an idea of whether the boat holds value or not.

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This particular boat is 2012 18’ Chaparral H2O. It’s available for $21000. It’s available in a used condition and the beam is 7 ft while the draft is 2 ft. The length is 18 ft and the hull material is fiberglass.

Now, look at this one. It’s a 2001 18’ Sea Pro 180 Center Console and is available for $19,900. It’s in used condition and the length is 18 ft. The fuel type is gas/petrol. The hull material is fiberglass.

This 1936 17’ Hacker-Craft Utility is available for $30,000. The hull material is wood so you can obviously expect a better price. It’s 17 ft in length and the fuel type is gas/petrol. It’s in used condition, but it appears as a classic.

Based on the above-mentioned examples it appears that whether the boat holds the value would depend on the type of boats you own and various other factors. In the same way, you can search for different types of boats to get an idea of their value.

It’s a good idea to do a little research especially if you plan on investing. If you are buying a brand new boat and expect to sell it in the coming years then you can calculate the value of the boat keeping in view the depreciation in mind.

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What Can Affect The Resale Value of Boats?

If you are keeping your boat in good condition, you can expect a good resale value. It’s important to keep the following points in mind:

1. Spending Too Much On Accessories

Let’s say you are fond of your boat and you are spending on the equipment and accessories. When you sell your boat, it’s possible that the buyer might not be interested in it.

If you intend to sell your boat at some point in the future then it’s better to refrain from spending too much as it can be costly. You don’t want to get expensive accessories that can be hard to sell later on. It can be an add-on for the buyer, but you can’t expect it to give you profitability.

2. Boats Appear Dull And Old

Even though the brand of your boat is new if it appears dull and old then how you can expect a buyer to give you a good price for it. In fact, you would be taking the images of your boat to display to the potential client, and then they might like to see it in person. If it’s too dull and old, it would appear dirty and thus, would give out negative vibes leading to low resale value.

The resale value of the boat would decrease if the boat is not in a good condition. On the other hand, if the cosmetic appearance of the boat is a great plus, it’s working accurately then you can expect a better price for it.

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3. You Are Pricing The Boat Too High

When you have to sell your boat, it’s better if you check the market price of it. What’s the point of selling a 10-year-old boat much higher than the current market price. You are making the potential clients run away from you. When you are trying to sell your boat, opt for a sensible demand. It should be affordable for the buyer and yet profitable to you. You can do thorough research and set a price for your boat.

Just do a quick survey and see what price the buyers are interested in paying. You can come up with a price by doing a little research on your own or you can also ask people on social media to guide you with suitable pricing especially if you are a beginner and have no idea of what to do.

4. You Have Not Worked On The Maintenance

When you have invested in a boat, it’s important that you focus on maintenance. It’s possible that you didn’t bother about it and now your boat is corroded because of the salty water. If you have properly maintained the boat then it would give you a better resale value.

When you are a boat owner, it would be wise to work on the maintenance. Think about it! Everything in life requires maintenance to stay smooth and in good condition.

5. The Mechanical Condition of The Boat Is Not Suitable

It’s possible that the mechanical condition of your boat is not suitable. Your boat might be needing the repairs. You have to work on the repairs and then set a selling price. You don’t want to sell a boat to someone that’s not in working condition.

Why would you expect someone to buy your boat if it’s not even working the way it should. There should be something special about your boat to make it worth considering for the potential buyers on the market.

6. There Is No Demand On The Market

If there is no demand for the type of boat you own on the market then you might not be able to expect a higher resale value. People are ready to pay a premium price for something that’s in demand. When you are investing in a boat or getting a boat for the first time for yourself then it’s important that you check out the market demand of the boat.

Wrapping It Up

Whether the boat would hold its value or not would depend on the overall condition of the boat. If you have properly maintained the boat and haven’t spent too much on the accessories then you can expect a better resale value.

It all comes down to how much effort you have been putting on your part! Think of your boats like your cars. The more you use the cars, the more it depreciates. If you own a classic boat then it might be a different story!

Hopefully, you now understand in depth, Do Boats Hold Their Value? (With Examples).


Hi, I’m John who owns multiple different boats and i love all kinds of water activities. From boating to fishing, from scuba diving to windsurfing, from water tubing to snow tubing.

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