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How Do You Find Out What A Boat Is Worth

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  • Boat value determination, Pricing a boat for sale, Factors affecting boat price, Boat class, model, and brand, Condition, age, and location impact on boat value
  • Posted date:
  • 26-06-2023
How Do You Find Out What A Boat Is Worth

This article looks at how you find out what a boat is worth. Cetec Marine Ltd provide boat valuations throughout Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire and Greater London. We look at how to determine a boat’s value and what factors affect the price of a boat. 

How to Determine A Boat’s Value

There are many reasons to part ways with a beloved vessel. You might be upgrading to a newer model or handing up your sailing hat to spend more time on solid ground. But whatever your reasons, the one question you'll want answers to is what's the best price you can get for your boat?

First things first, we'll take a look at how to estimate the value of your boat.

How to price a boat for sale

Some of the steps in selling a boat are fairly simple. Ensuring that it is clean, tidy and attractive for potential buyers is easy to understand and do (if a little time-consuming). However, it's valuing a boat that most people tend to struggle with.

Choosing a fair starting price will give you the best chance of successfully selling your boat. But it's easier said than done. There are numerous factors to consider when valuing your boat and any one of these will determine what a fair price might be.

However, given that it's such a difficult thing to do, this does give you an advantage. Many second-hand boats will be dramatically overvalued, meaning if you can determine a fair price, you're more likely to sell. One trap many boat owners fall into is looking at historical trends to work out the value of their boats.

For example, it's wrong to assume your boat will have maintained or increased in value over time. Boats aren't like real estate, where you can expect to get back more than you initially put in. However, boats also don't depreciate as quickly as cars do, they sit somewhere in the middle.

You also need to think about what's happening in the second-hand market. For example, while there used to be a big demand for boats built during the 70s and 80s, this trend has disappeared in recent years. Today, these classic boats are seen as too cramped and impractical by modern owners. These older boats also tend to cost more in mooring fees due to the amount of space they take up.

You need to consider all of these factors when valuing your boat to sell. It may sound confusing, but the rest of this article will take you through some of the key factors to consider when valuing your boat.

How Long Do Boats Hold Their Value?

How Do You Find Out What A Boat Is Worth? Boat Valuations Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Greater London

What factors affect the price of a boat?

The main factor determining the value of a boat is whether it is brand new or second-hand. While boats don't depreciate as quickly as cars, their value still drops once they've had a previous owner. However, there are some common factors that both new and used boats share when it comes to value.

These include the following:

After the new or used status of a boat, its class is the next most important factor determining its value. For example, you'd expect to pay less for a fishing boat compared to a sailing yacht. Additionally, it's important to know that depreciation affects different boat classes in different ways.

You can expect a bowrider to lose much more value than a sailing boat or cuddy cabin, for instance. The model of your boat will also affect its value. Iconic boats attract more interest, meaning you can charge more for a Leader 33 than something no one has ever heard of before.

Alongside iconic models, iconic manufacturers also attract higher prices. For example, vessels built by companies such as Princess Yachts and Beneteau will naturally have a higher price tag, whether new or used.

This one might sound obvious, but it's worth mentioning. Essentially, the bigger the boat, the more expensive it is. Don't forget that it's not just the initial price that will be bigger, but appraisals, wintering and maintenance will also be more expensive.

Another obvious one, but worth mentioning. Newer boats that are fresh out of the box will be more expensive than second-hand ones that have had a chance to depreciate. Even more, when a manufacturer brings out a new model, this can affect the price of their older models on the second-hand market.

Boats have a lot of components, from mechanical systems like the hull and engine to rigging and masts for sailing boats and other aesthetic features. The condition of all these components will all affect the price in different ways.

Much like other vehicles, if you've properly maintained your boat and it is in good condition, you can naturally ask for a better price. Second-hand boats that are well cared for will be a bargain for any potential buyer.

Buying a boat is always an exciting time and might even be a relief if the process has been difficult. But in all that excitement you may have missed the fact that as soon as you purchase a vessel, its value depreciates. It will continue to drop in value through the years, with different brands and models depreciating at different rates.

If you've bought any additional equipment for your boat, such as trailers to move them around, you can lump these in with the boat to boost the price. Of course, how much you can ask for depends on the quality of this equipment, but selling it as an all-in-one package can make your boat more attractive to potential buyers.

It's generally accepted that fewer engine hours means a better second-hand boat. However, the difference is more nuanced than that. You might think that a used boat with hardly any engine hours would be better than one with plenty. But you should also consider the year the boat was built when looking at the engine hours.

If a boat with hardly any engine hours is also very old, then this should give you cause for concern. Engines that have been neglected for years can be in horrendous condition, making them far worse than younger boats that have been regularly used and well-maintained.

Age, condition and engine hours should be considered together. Old boats with plenty of engine hours will usually be in pretty bad shape. Therefore, these boats won't be able to command large prices. Unless these older boats are classic models from big brands, it's safe to say they won't be as valuable. You should also remember that most of the depreciation occurs in the first year of ownership before tailing off year by year.

If you try to sell your boat in a popular boating area, you'll find you won't get the best price for it. This is because there is more competition in the area, meaning you'll have to try harder to attract buyers. Alternatively, you might try relocating your boat to a quieter area with less accessibility.

How can I know the value of a boat?

One of the best ways to know how much your boat is worth is through online price guides. Here you'll find listings for thousands of boats that you can compare with yours. Second-hand listings might also be helpful if you can find ones for boats that are similar to yours.

If you are looking for boat valuations or marine surveys in Surrey and the surrounding areas contact our professional boat surveyor today. 

We work throughout Surrey and the surrounding areas including Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire and Greater London. 

We can also travel throughout the UK if required.

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