Saturday, January 2, 2016

More on boat value or what the frell is a boat really worth anyway?

While there are lots and lots of good boat deals about, it would not be amiss to mention that the used market is a little nuts...

Well, actually it's just plain batshit crazy!

So, here's two nearly identical Columbia 26's...

One's, apparently in better shape than the other but they are both in what I'd call medium condition. Which means that you'd want to spend some time fixing them up but nothing drastic or too expensive.

They are, however, priced quite differently... The asking price on one is pretty much what you might expect at  $3,800. while the other is going at $15,500.

Really! Can you spell B-U-G-F-U-C-K-C-R-A-Z-Y?

It gets even stranger when it's pretty obvious that the cheaper one is a lot nicer...

So, what should a Columbia 26 actually cost?

A while back I was interested in buying a C26 to use as a VolksCruiser crash test dummy and my research came to the conclusion that a near perfect well-equipped and turnkey example was worth somewhere between $5K and $6K. So the $3.8K asking price for the one Columbia is about right (that said, do keep in mind that an asking price is just that so you should be able to get a boat for less and sometimes a LOT LESS). As for the other C26 it's obviously nuts but it is needful to keep in mind that boats like this one seriously distort the market and cloud the true value of all of the boats of the same type.

The moral of all this is to do your homework and NEVER let price be your guide to the quality of a given boat...


  1. Well, there is the asking price and then there is the selling price...

    Thing is, there are a lot of deluded people that think that they can have something like a boat, car, or whatever and use it for free. Buy a boat for $5K, do another $5K of repairs and maintenance and then magically, they have a $10K boat to sell after using it for 10 years. Those that buy new are even worse since they think they are going to get back their purchase price plus the price of the 3 sets of sails and 10 bottom jobs they went through along the way. I am surprised they don't calculate in the fuel they burned too.

  2. I don't believe it distorts the market as no one will pay that. Ask forever.

    1. While it's true that no sane person would spend that sort of money it still distorts the market. Surveyors and brokers tend to use an average based on what's out there for sale so any boats priced like this really does affect that average in a big way...