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  #1  
Old 02-18-2008
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Prices of Boats When New

So, I was at the Miami strictly sail today, and nearly ever manufacturer was claiming that their boat held value like no other. Many claimed that because they sunset models every 5 years, owners actually get more for their 5-10 year old boats than what they actually paid for 'em.

I say hogwash. Boats being depreciating assets just cant work this way. So to put my spreadsheets in front of them, I want to find out what boats cost new. Its tough to find this info I'm realizing. So, does anyone know where there's an online resource listing "new" price in that years dollars for a production boat. IE, what is the 2002 price for a Catalina 400? That way, I can get actual depreciation values.

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Old 02-18-2008
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I would guess, the best you'll do is to find base prices.
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Old 02-18-2008
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It is absolutely true that some old boats sell today for more than they sold for originally if well kept. And there's the rub. To keep them well requires lots of money over the years and even using the 10% annual maintenance fee, a 20 year old boat would have more than twice its' initial selling price poured back into it over that time. Plus the dollars aren't constant and over 20 years probably are worth 1/2 of what they were initially.
The idea that you can buy a boat and a few years later get back what you paid for it fully outfitted is unlikely at best. The best that can be said is that some boats lose their initial worth more slowly than others.This tends to be true with the smaller custom brands and the better quality production brands...much like Lexus vs. Chevy.
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Old 02-18-2008
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PB's post brings up another point. It is possible that a 5 year old boat could sell for more than it cost new if the if the comparison is between the base price and the resale price after the boat has been all fitted out. Even then I'd be surprised if what the reps are saying is true, but you might find cases where it is. Still, since the value of all the goodies you add to the boat depreciate too, you still wouldn't really be getting a positive return on your money. For example, if I bought a $100,000 boat (base price) and put $20,000 worth of sails, instruments, etc into it and then sold it for $110,000 I'd have actually lost $10,000 even though my resale price was higher than my original purchase price.

Good old boat owners probably understand this the best. A $10,000 piece of classic plastic with $20,000 worth of refit invested ends up just being a really nice $10,000 boat
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Old 02-18-2008
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My boat cost 28,500 in 1961. With some minor restoration she's worth at least that much now. It depends on the boat but most lose value over time. Of course, with inflation the way it is, maybe not. 28K in 1961 is worth probably 200K in 2008.
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seems like there is a point where the decline reverses. IF the boat is in very good shape. But any boat as an investment?
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This may help with the discussion:
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Hey all,

I guess the aim really wasn't to find a boat that would sell for more in 5, 10, 20, x years from now. My aim was to try and ascertain depreciation of a boat at each of those points in future time, factoring in time value of money as well as functional obsolescence (of equipment) as well as hull/joinery.

That being said, where can I find the base prices of production boats (Hunters, Beneteau/Jeaunneau, Catalina, Sabre, Island Packets) stretching back to the mid 80s.
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Old 02-19-2008
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It all depends on condition and rarity... much like classic cars actually. Some GTO's sell for way over 100K but in the boat world you simply do that have that same gusto for reliving the past so to say.... Some brands - yes - others maybe... but also at the same token some car buffs just had a passion and never knew what they held onto...

Boats are pretty much the same but much more diluted... everyone's point posted is true... in the end it is about a seller wanting Y and a buyer believing he is getting X (as in extacy)...rare to find sometimes... Yachtworld is a good place to get an idea of new versus old... but as the adage goes - it usually takes more money to make less money most of the time...there is no formula so to say... unless you can carefully ****** ownig a rare production number, have it in a oscar winning film and sit back and hope that emotion leads the pocket book..
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"I guess the aim really wasn't to find a boat that would sell for more in 5, 10, 20, x years from now. My aim was to try and ascertain depreciation of a boat at each of those points in future time, factoring in time value of money as well as functional obsolescence (of equipment) as well as hull/joinery. "

Have I been transported to a planet where people believe what a salesperson says?

Put away the slide rule, save the batteries on the calculator and forget the Excel graphs.

There are just too many factors, hard and soft to cipher.

Just a couple that come to mind.
Economic boom and bust. In "good times" people spend more than they should for boats (new and used).
When times are a little tougher, the tub is the first thing thats gotta go. There a pile of boats out there right now sail and power that are CHEEEEPPPP, compared to what they went for just a couple of years ago.

I kind of feel bad for the guy (darkside/powerboat) that has a 34 ft Sundancer he purchased for 75k 2 years ago, (96k new) and now can't get rid of it listed at 39k. (almost 4.00 a gal. gas will do that to ya.)

Yes, some boats will sell for more than the original sales price. geez, a '76 catalina 27 sold for about 6500.00... in 1976.
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Last edited by cardiacpaul; 02-19-2008 at 08:08 AM.
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