Kelley Blue Book For Boats? Finding The Value Of Your Boat

Yes, there are 3 options, there is the NADA Marine Appraisal Guide as well as ABOS Marine Blue Book along with BoatWizard’s Sold Boat Database. All 3 options provide you the Kelley Blue Book values on boats so let’s check each one of them out. 

The Kelley Blue Book for Boats 

Always do your due diligence, don’t be afraid to ask questions and do your research. Use the resources listed here to compare pricing with other, similar boats sold recently. And lastly, shop around. Don’t just settle on the first boat you find! 

As mentioned above, these resources will give you a starting point when pricing a boat: 

Boat prices can and will fluctuate depending on the time of year as well as age and type of boat. Other factors also include different regions of the country along with the condition of the boat and ascetics/features. One thing to remember when comparing prices is to determine the hours on the engine along with if a trailer “is” or “is not” included in the sale of the boat. 

Kelly Blue Book – NADA Marine Appraisal Guide 

NADA Marine Appraisal Guide allows you to research new and used boat pricing, specs, photos and more for anything from power boats to personal watercraft. It includes pricing for everything from motors to trailers and is used by banks, finance companies, insurance companies, and even government agencies.

A major factor on a boats value is its history. Check the history on your next boat and avoid buying a previously damaged boat. 

  • Check for storm damage, accidents, loss, theft, registration history and more 
  • Don’t get stuck with an unsafe boat needing costly repairs 

Are you selling your boat and don’t know how much to sell it for? Are you getting ready to buy a boat, but want to make sure you do not overpay? NADA Marine Appraisal Guide can help you pinpoint the market value of a boat. NADA Marine Appraisal Guide is a comprehensive vehicle-listing website that publishes blue-book values based on type, specifications, research material, and pricing information not only on boats and personal watercraft as well as other types of vehicles. All these things can be done via NADA Marine Appraisal Guide 

ABOS Marine Blue Book 

One good resource is ABOS Marine Blue Book, which has ‘blue book’ right in the name. It is quite comparable to the NADA Marine Appraisal Guide and is also used by a variety of insurance institutions, as well as banks but it does require a payment/subscription and for this reason, is sometimes not used as often by the general consumer shopping for a boat. 

ABOS Marine Blue Book Online offers a broad range of detailed boat specifications and market valuations. Covers 1976 to current year models of inboard, stern drive, outboard powered boats, sailboats, pontoon boats, houseboats, personal watercraft, outboard motors, and boat trailers. Users can make custom adjustments for engines, trailers on packaged boats, condition, and popular optional equipment. Updated quarterly on 3/1, 6/1, 9/1, and 12/1. The annual pricing subscription is $264.95 

BoatWizard’s Sold Boat Database 

An additional resource option for finding new and used boat pricing along with values is BoatWizard’s Sold Boat Database.  

Boats Group state that they own & operate the world’s largest and most popular boating marketplaces. Boating consumers from across the globe count on their websites to buy their next boat, or sell the boat they have.  

Boats Group’s brands include – Boat Trader, YachtWorld,, iNautia, Cosas De Barcos, Botentekoop, Annonces du Bateau, Boats and Outboards, Boatshop24, Click&Boat, and Trident – are the world’s leading online boating marketplaces, connecting the largest global audience of serious boat buyers with top sellers and manufacturers. 

For nearly three decades, Boats Group has helped marine retailers sell more boats faster and convert more shoppers into buyers than any other source. Through a comprehensive suite of digital business solutions, including proprietary web-based contract management tools, and premier digital marketing strategies and services, Boats Group continues to deliver unmatched value to its industry partners and optimize the virtual path to boat ownership – from research to registration. 

Owned by the Permira Funds, Boats Group is based in Miami, Florida, United States, with co-headquarters in Fareham, England, and additional offices in Padova, Italy and Barcelona, Spain. 

May Boat Owners ask – What Is My Boat Worth? 

There can be many reasons for selling your boat, all depending on your personal reason for selling. But whether you are trading in for a new model or giving up the boating lifestyle, you want to get the best price for your boat. This means you have to know what your boat is worth so that you can negotiate the best deal. 

Many factors go into determining the price of your boat. These include the make, model, age, and condition, among other factors. If you want to get the best price possible for your boat though, it needs to be looking its best. First, let us take a closer look at how to estimate your boat’s value. 

New Boat Pricing 

New boats are usually based on an MSRP and more consistently priced. The boat manufacturers or dealers will set prices. Values are based simply on size, brand, equipment, and upgrades. The condition won’t become part of the equation, as a new boat, well should be pristine and in new condition. You may have options to add additional features, you can order it the way you want, or find a similar model and price from another dealer. 

Boats are generally delivered to common shipping points, but the cost of the boat can differ in certain locations, due to less inventory or the cost of shipping to a final location will often be added to the final price of a new boat. New boats can be a deal if a dealer is looking to liquidate some inventory, closeout models, or even at a trade show. Shopping around for a new boat is always a good idea as one dealer may actually have the exact same brand-new boat for less. 

Pre-Owned Boat Pricing 

Preowned boats are much more difficult and a little trickier in regards to determining a value. Used boats are almost never pristine, no matter how well they are maintained, however when pricing a pre-owned boat, there are three overall categories that can be used to determine a boat’s condition.  

  • Most importantly Mechanical items such as engine hours and performance, the condition of the hull, the health of the deck, etc. 
  • Boat maintenance is it up-to-date and a copy of all maintenance records, etc. 
  • Rigging items such as the mast, boom, sails, electronics, safety equipment, etc. 
  • Cosmetic items such as gel coat, upholstery, cleanliness, wood trim condition, etc.  

The easiest way to get a higher value on your boat is to make it look better.  First impressions are everything and how it looks sets the tone for the rest of someone’s inspection. Is the gel coat freshly waxed? Is the wood or teak trim deteriorating? In what condition are the vinyl seats? 

Of course, the mechanical and rigging portions are where you want to do the most diligence, as these are the main components of the boat, some minor cosmetics items could be repaired, either by you or a professional, which may mean that you can fix it up and get a good bargain. Many cosmetic repairs can be done on your own with little experience, just time, effort and elbow grease as the investment. 

Determine The Boat’s Cash Value 

Before you sell your boat, you will need to determine your boat’s value. The Boats Cash Value is not the same as the trade-in value, which we mentioned separately below. Instead, it is the amount of money you could expect someone in your local market to pay. 

Those words “your local market” are key. Boats can be worth more or less based on local supply and demand. For instance, a boat with a deep draft will have more value in a location with more deep water — and more places to take it. 

To get an idea, an estimate for your local area, check local listings for boats of a similar type and age. This will let you determine what similar boats are selling for in your location and give you an estimate of your boat’s value. 

Of course, every boat has its own history and many aftermarket modifications. A dealer or mechanic can give you an excellent estimate of your boat’s value based on its individual profile. Let’s also note that boats depreciate over time. Like a new car, they will lose 20% or more of their value in the first year alone. Therefore, don’t be disappointed if your boat is worth less than you thought it was. 

The Type of Boat and Age 

The major factor in determining your boat’s value is its type. Larger boats with more powerful engines and more amenities will fetch a higher price. Conversely, smaller boats and sailboats are worth relatively less to begin with and therefore have a lower value in the used market. 

Age is the other main factor that affects a boat’s value. As we mentioned, boats depreciate over time, much like cars. Unless it has some collector’s value, a 15-year-old boat isn’t going to be worth much, no matter how valued it was in its prime. 

The brand is probably more of a factor than it should be. For better or worse, big brand names will have better resale than boats from lesser-known manufacturers. 

Amenities may or may not make a difference. Some things, like towing equipment, bars, and water slides, hold their value quite well. Others, like electronics, lose their value fairly quickly. For example, a pontoon wet bar from 2012 is still a wet bar. But a state-of-the-art TV from 2012 is woefully out of date. 

What is the Condition of the Boat? 

There are several things you need to look at to determine a boat’s condition: 

As one could guess a boat’s value will depend greatly on its condition. For example, a boat with significant repair needed, rotten transom, compared to a boat in pristine condition, well maintained will respectively differ greatly in value.  

The mechanics, aka the Engine: Mainly the engine hours, overall engine maintenance, and the physical condition of the hull and deck. Basically, are the “bones” of the boat. Is the engine in good shape for its age? If so, the boat will be worth more. On the other hand, if the boat has been driven a lot (lots of engine hours) and required several repairs, it will be worth considerably less. 

The cosmetics: These include all the “non-essential” aspects of the boat. Is the boat wax fresh? Is the exterior and interior in good condition? Is the metalwork shiny, or is it corroded? All of these factors come into play when deciding on a boat and the value one is willing to pay. 

If your boat has been in saltwater, one will need to worry about the paint, as well as corrosion. For this reason, boats depreciate more when they have been used in saltwater compared to freshwater.  

The rigging: Are the mast and boom in good shape? Are the sails reasonably new? Do all the pulleys and lines work smoothly and quietly? Obviously, these questions only pertain to sailboats. 

Get A Second Opinion – Period

If you are trading your boat in, get several offers. Period, dealers all value a trade-in differently, without another offer, you won’t have much knowledge or leverage. 

Another method is to have your boat independently appraised by a third-party mechanic. This will cost you money, but it can give you a leg up in negotiations. If nothing else, getting a third-party appraisal will let you know whether or not you are getting a fair offer. 

Selling vs. Trading A Boat 

Selling a boat on your own can be an intimidating process. You have to list your boat for sale, meet with multiple prospective buyers, and handle all of the paperwork yourself, including the possible release of lien process delays with the lending bank and local tagging office. 

When you trade in at a dealership, the dealer handles all of the details, saving you time and headaches. It can be very convenient if you have a boat in mind that you want to buy from that dealership since your trade-in value is applied directly toward your purchase. That said, dealers usually value your trade-in lower than a private buyer, so many times they won’t offer as much money as a private buyer. 

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