Is there a Kelley Blue Book for Boats?

Is there a Kelley Blue Book for Boats?

Pricing a boat is not as simple as pricing your average car but it is always good to have a starting point and so a commonly asked question that we get from boat sellers and buyers is “is there a Kelley Blue book for boats?”

You will be glad to hear that there are actually a few different options when it comes to pricing your boat!

But before we get into that, here are a few tips to get your boat ready so that you can get the best pricing possible:

  • Make sure boat maintenance is up-to-date and keep all maintenance records
  • If you boat has teak, remove stains and use a deck teak brightener to make it look new
  • Shine the hull with boat marine polish as well as chrome and any other surfaces
  • Fix any major defects or blemishes
  • Remove stains from upholstery
  • Declutter and make it look like it is ready for its next owner to enjoy!

The better your boat looks, the better price you can get!

Also, people love to review maintenance records, so the more history you can provide showing you took great care of your boat, the better!

Pricing a New Boat

Newer boats tend to be easier to price and the pricing is usually set by the boat manufacturers or dealers based on brand, size, equipment, and upgrades.

Condition isn’t as important on a new boat because theoretically, a new boat should be in great condition.

You may notice that some new boats are more expensive in certain locations, and this is due to the fact that there may be less inventory or the cost of shipping the new boats to the dealers is higher.

This is why shopping around for a new boat matters – one dealer may actually have the exact same brand new boat for less.

Pricing a Pre-Owned Boat

Pricing pre-owned boats is where it gets a little more tricky.

Used boats are rarely in pristine condition, regardless of how well they were maintained.

When pricing pre-owned boats, there are three main categories that need to be considered:

  • Mechanical items such as engine hours and performance, status of hte hull, health of the deck, etc.
  • Rigging items such as the mast, boom, sails, stays, etc.
  • Cosmetic items such as gel coat, upholstery, cleanliness, wood trim condition, etc.

Of course, the mechanical and rigging portions are where you want to do the most diligence, but the cosmetics items that you can fix might be a good bargaining point to bring the price down a little.

Many cosmetic repairs can be done on your own with little experience or investment.

The Kelley Blue Book of Boats

As mentioned above, there are a few “Kelley Blue Books of Boats” that you can use as a starting point when pricing a boat:

Now you know how to prepare for selling a boat as well as what to look for when buying a boat.

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!

Jason David
Jason is a boat enthusiast who's own fiberglass and aluminum boats, as well as Fishing rafts that can hold full size trolling motors. He has experience with Repairing, Detailing, Fixing and upgrading boats for customers and as a hobby for himself. His first boat was a Reinell that was rehab back into shape from storage. Jason enjoys writing about Boating related topics that he has experience with and gives opinions, recommendations and reviews on boating accessories, parts, and water sports.