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Old 07-17-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

Julie, I think banks go with NADA because it is free and easy to access. BoatUS requires you to submit a form. Soldboats requires you to be a member. If Yachtworld has sales information, that's only available to members as well. NADA is open. That does NOT mean NADA is inherently more accurate than BoatUS or others. That being said, when I was looking, NADA was a great first pass at what the boat would be worth when sold. If the seller was way out of line, I wouldn't usually bother trying to see the boat. If the asking price was within a range that was comfortable for me to make an offer based on NADA, then I'd go look at the boat. If that turned out OK, then I'd hit up BoatUS and base my offer on that, taking into account the features/gadgets/upgrades that had any value to me, and any that I might have to remove.

I believe your surveyor had it right - BoatUS's data is more accurate. I also found tha BoatUS's prices were typically lower than NADA.

I can't tell you how many sellers I talked to who said "I paid $X for the boat 6 years ago, and put $Y into her [which, in some cases, appeared to include the cost of winter storage!] so she's worth $(X+Y)." They don't seem to understand the market conditions. If it's a common boat (e.g., Catalina 25), it is only worth as much as the other, competing sellers are willing to take (not their asking price) for their boat. If you've got some shiny bell or whistle (or radar, chart plotter, etc.) that the other guy has, I might be willing to pay a little more if it's a "must have", but otherwise your boat is fungible. I know it stinks when you're the seller to have to deal in these terms, but its true. As a buyer, it's really tough to get sellers to understand this.
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