Are Boats Good Investments?

Boats are typically not considered strong financial investments in the traditional sense. While they offer recreational enjoyment and lifestyle benefits, they often depreciate over time due to factors like wear and tear, maintenance costs, and market fluctuations. However, some boats, especially those from reputable brands and well-maintained models, can retain value better than others. The decision to buy a boat should primarily be driven by your passion for boating rather than purely financial considerations.

Is there a Kelley Blue Book (KBB) for Boats?

There is a rough equivalent to the Kelley Blue Book for boats, known as JD Power’s boat pricing guide. While not as widely recognized as the Kelley Blue Book for cars, JD Power provides pricing information and value estimates for various types of boats, including powerboats, sailboats, and personal watercraft.

What Is the Fastest Depreciating Component of a Boat?

Among the components of a boat, the engine tends to be the fastest depreciating element. Engines are subject to wear and tear due to regular use, exposure to elements, and maintenance requirements. Advances in marine engine technology and fuel efficiency can also impact the value of older models. Regular maintenance and proper care can help mitigate the depreciation of boat components, including the engine.


  • Marine Surveyors: Consider hiring a marine surveyor for a professional appraisal of your boat's condition and value. Organizations like the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors can help you find certified professionals.
  • Boat Insurance Providers: Contact boat insurance companies to inquire about boat valuation services and resources they may offer to policyholders.
  • Boat Forums and Communities: Engage with boating enthusiasts on forums like The Hull Truth and Cruisers Forum to gather insights and advice on valuing your boat.
  • Local Boat Dealerships: Speak with local boat dealerships to get a sense of market trends and pricing for similar boats in your area.
  • Boat Manufacturers: Visit the websites of boat manufacturers to explore resources or articles they may have on boat valuation.
  • Online Boat Resale Marketplaces: Examine online boat resale marketplaces such as Boat Trader and YachtWorld to see how similar boats are priced in the resale market.

About the Author

Christopher Murray

Christopher Murray

Personal Finance Expert

Christopher Murray is a professional personal finance and sustainability writer and editor who enjoys writing about everything from budgeting and saving to unique investing options like SRI and cryptocurrency.

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