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How Long Do Boats Hold Their Value

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  • Admin
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  • Boat depreciation, Used boat value, Brand depreciation, Condition and location, Types of boats depreciating least
  • Posted date:
  • 26-06-2023
How Long Do Boats Hold Their Value

Are you asking: How long do boats hold their value? Explore factors influencing boat depreciation and resale worth. Learn about maintenance, market trends, and expert insights on how different types of boats retain their value over time. Cetec Marine Ltd is a trusted marine surveyor working throughout Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire and Greater London. Make informed decisions when buying or selling a boat with this comprehensive guide.

Do Boats Hold Their Value?

Boats are much like cars and other similar electronics. Once someone has taken possession of them, they gradually lose a percentage of their value, from 10% to 15%, to even more depending on their condition. 

On the other hand, not all boats are valued the same, and some brands depreciate faster than others. Here is a short guide on the resale value of your vessels.

Depreciation On A New Boat

When assessing the depreciation of a brand-new boat, it's best to look closely at two popular, attainable boat manufacturers. 

Those that are more budget-minded may be interested in Bayliner boats; however, for those that seek out more premium vessels, you may wish to opt for Crownline. To ensure the comparison of these two isn't skewed in any way, we have left out any trailers that may have added to the price or performance.

Both of these manufacturers are known worldwide for building fantastic boats, yet they each have various levels of pricing when it comes to new boats. 

Each is quite comparable in engine horsepower and size, especially if we consider the 215 series of bowriders. From such research conducted, we can see that many perceive that if you purchase a boat of a higher quality and price, it will retain its value better. 

There may be a few variables that allow such to be true, yet this isn't the case for every new boat available. There is an extensive rate of depreciation for many new boats after they reach the 14-year mark. 

Many that develop boats, and other vehicle assets tend to imply that the moment they are bought they begin to depreciate in price.

What Affects the Price of a Used Boat?

From the price of a brand-new boat, you can curate a vague estimation of its used price. You can do so according to the overall condition, added features, accessories and location. When assessing the condition of a vessel, you're referring to its functionality and performance standard. 

Those that have never used a boat may wish to get in touch with a contract surveyor, they will be able to analyse more thoroughly. Surveyors take a look at the mechanical components inside the boat, including the engine, and then they take it for a short ride. We recommend going with your surveyor on this ride to get a feel for how the boat sails.

During the process of the sale, along with your surveyor, you should do your part. It's best to listen out for odd noises, check the status of the deck and get a feel for the smoothness of the sailing experience.

If the previous owner registered the boat with a Vessel Documentation Management System, you can utilise this to gain further details about the boat you intend to purchase. 

Once the performance test is complete, you must revisit the other aspects of the boat, such as the stays, mast, sails, and boom. Analyse the physical condition of your boat closely, including the gel coat, canvas, and wood trim. Unless you're searching for a fixer-upper, it's best to invest in a boat in good condition.

The location of your boat typically enhances or decreases the demand for your boat. Across many areas with prominent rivers, lakes or anywhere along the coastline, the prices of many boats are depressed, purely because there is likely an abundance of them. Even the best quality boats suffer from lowered costs due to the inundated supply. 

However, if you wish to sell a boat in an area void of any body of water, then this could encourage the price to decrease. The price can fall by approximately 15%, as there will be a great lack of boat buyers.

Those that utilise their boats in salty water may see their resale value dip much faster than those that predominantly sail in freshwater, this is because salt water can cause a series of corrosion issues down the line. You'll find your boat is at risk of wear and tear. 

However, there are many boats you can invest in that design their boats specifically for saltwater use for you to invest in. In doing so, you might find that their durability enables them to keep a more steady resale value. Such boat brands include the following, Yellowfin, Regulators, Pursuit, Everglades, and Boston Whaler.

To enhance the overall appeal of an old boat, we highly recommend implementing more electronics. Whilst some electronics become obsolete. Therefore aren't considered by some buyers when tackling the value of a boat, advanced devices can add resale value. For example, AIS, radar, and satellite communications are seen as handy for boat owners. An additional factor that will add value, would be to include supplemental gear, like outriggers, towing towers, baitwells and anything else that your budget will allow. This will enable your older boat to appeal to those who fish, thus, meeting their intended purpose.

The boat curve is rather general; however, you may possess a boat that is much different in terms of its brand. For example, you must call into consideration the level of maintenance. Consider how much you have invested in your boat and the many hours you have spent utilising it over time, as this could affect the curve. Most graphs that display the depreciation curve are drawn under the assumption that the average person puts around 50-150 on their boat.

Smaller boats are often resold at higher prices during the first 14-18 years, is due to the extreme demand for them once they are put on offer. However, at the 14-year mark, you can expect most small boat engines to begin breaking down much faster. When vessels become less functional, they begin to depreciate in price.

On the other hand, larger boats have a tendency to be worth more as they get older, as there is more money in the boat as a whole, as opposed to just the engine. The highest percentage of a small boat's value is down to the engine compared to larger vessels. In total, a smaller boat with an older engine will depreciate much more than an entire larger boat.

How Long Do Boats Hold Their Value? Marine Surveyor Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire and Greater London

What boat brands depreciate the least?

Some of the most popular brands available are known to depreciate over time; however, the more respected, popular brands will do so the least. Here is a comprehensive list of the boat brands that are known to depreciate the least as time passes:

Boston Whaler


Viking Yachts




Sea Ray



If you ensure that your boat isn't an off-brand version of the original manufacturer, that way, it won't depreciate as much compared to the common depreciation average. However, if you have a boat of a lesser-known brand, such as Grady-White and Boston Whaler, etc., then their standing price will decrease significantly less. You want to keep up regular maintenance on your boat so that you can keep the value of your vessel as high as possible as time passes.

What types of boats depreciate the least?

Much like the brands themselves, there are particular boat types that are known to depreciate in cost compared to others. Below you'll find a thorough list of the various boat types starting with the least likely to depreciate in price, and ending at the ones that depreciate the most.




Cabin Cruisers

Centre Consoles


Cuddy Cabins


Fishing Boats

If you are looking for pre purchase yacht 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.

Boat Pre-Purchase Survey Berkshire