How fast does the average boat depreciate?

When you make a significant purchase like a new or gently used boat, you want to know how your investment will hold up in the long term. While there are general rules of thumb in the automotive world for vehicle depreciation, boats are a little more difficult to predict because owners typically take more ownership over maintenance, they often are equipped with more accessories, and the market isn’t as vast. With those and other variables to account for, it’s impossible to make definitive statements about boat depreciation, but we’ll look to give you general expectations in this blog.

A new boat is expected to depreciate for anywhere from 7 to 10 years after purchase, on average. After that 10 year mark, you can generally expect your boat to be worth $100 per each foot of the boat. This estimation is assuming regular use and wear and tear and no special equipment or upgrades that would raise the boat’s value. Of course, if you keep your boat in pristine condition, upgrade and maintain parts, and add accessories, you’ll likely ask for more than the estimation outlined above.

As another general statement, pontoon boats and fishing boats will depreciate faster than many other boats, with the resale value dropping by about 25-30 percent after the first year or two of ownership. On the other side of the coin, sail boats and yachts will depreciate slower and retain about 90 percent of their value after three years of ownership.

While no one wants to see their boat’s value depreciate over time, attention to wear and tear can extend its life and retain its value for well beyond 10 years.

Like automobiles, boats depreciate fastest in the first few years of ownership, which is why many of our Florida customers opt for our huge selection of used boats to find great deals on their next boat.