An Item Not Covered Boat Prices

No price ranges are given here. There are several reasons for this.

First and foremost, there's often a wide range of advertised prices for a given make and model, depending on the boat's age, her condition, and what gear goes with her. Note too that pricing for boats—new or used—is not nearly as uniform or consistent as for automobiles. Second, prices fluctuate with the economy. Recessions, for example, create a larger supply and lower demand, forcing prices down, sometimes sharply. Prices also vary considerably with season and geographic area. Any prices we were to quote here would soon be obsolete. The price for a given boat at a given place and time is best estimated by following local ads for similar boats in publications such as Soundings or Latitude 38, or in online listings (which you can access by Web search engine).

But do exercise caution because quoted prices may vary wildly. For example, actual prices for a Marshall Sanderling 18 (page 40) advertised online in mid-2009 (during an economic recession): for a new boat, $37,000 (plus $11,500 for an inboard diesel and more for other extras); for two boats built in 1981, $12,000 and $15,000; for two boats built in 1975, $10,000 and $17,000; and for a boat built in 1963, $23,000. Is it possible that the condition and gear of the 1963 model justify its seemingly high asking price? Yes, it's possible, but without examining each of the boats you'll have no idea which is the best deal.

You can also consult a free online boat price guide such as www.nadaguides.com, but the prices quoted there may be unre-alistically low or occasionally too high. For example, the NADA guide in mid-2009 shows the following Marshall Sanderling 18 prices (rounded to nearest thousand): for a new 2009 boat, $48,000; for a 1999 model, $13,000; for a 1989 model, $7,000; and for a 1979 model, $3,000.

In the end, of course, any boat's market value depends on how much a ready buyer is willing to spend and how little a ready seller is willing to accept. The range of market choices is often so broad that attempting to cite realistic numbers from either ads or NADA is next to useless.

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