Pity the former owners of our new boat. We just paid $2500 for a highly-regarded 30 footer with a working engine and decent (tho not great) sails.
Actually, they donated it via Boat Angel, so they will be able to claim up to 50% of the NADA value against their taxes, or roughly $9k. Which may be more than they could have gotten selling it outright -- older 30'ers with tired interiors are fetching about $7k, like that O'day. And here's the kicker: they were looking at $2k for winter storage. $4400 a year slip fees. Genoa could use updating. And so on. You'd burn thru the book value of the boat itself in ancillary costs every three years
. I reckon you have to balance the annual fun you get out of a boat against the annual costs of ownership, and if the two don't nearly match, sell the damned thing. Forget market value, write off the equity, and never fool yourself you will recoup a dime you have spent fixing or improving it.
So in a way, the buying and selling prices of older boats are neither here nor there. They are a neutral factor, or perhaps you even take a beating. But that's a beating you only take once
Perhaps as a buyer you score a glorious bargain (like we did). Enjoy, cuz that's the last bit of fiscal positivity you are likely to see from the boat. We spent $2500 on the boat. $300 getting it to a storage yard; $2000 having it hauled; $2500 having it shipped; $400 lifting it off the trailer. We expect to put $8k into the refit, then another $2500 hauling it to the ocean, probably $1000 more in commissioning. In the end, we will have more than the NADA value sunk into a boat with a 40yr old Volvo engine. *urk* We might get $10-12k on the open market.
On the plus side, that's still better performance than a lot of 401ks over the past 5 yrs.