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2023 Is Almost Over! – Will Boat Prices Go DOWN? (Ultimate Buyer’s Guide For 2024)

The heat from boat price hike in the pandemic era is still here. Is there a way to get the best deal possible this year? Will boat prices go down or continue to rise as we move into 2024? Let us find out.

What’s going on with boat prices in 2024?

So, what happens with the boat prices trends in 2024? The experts and market data have a lot to say about this. Experts suggest buyers will experience higher prices for both new and used boats compared to the pre-pandemic era. Why is that? There are several factors behind this. We will discuss them later.

Let us first find out the differences between new and used boat price trends in 2024.

New boat price trends

Colorful boats docked in a scenic harbor. Find your dream boat at Drop Ancla

Average price of new boat costs rose by 10% in 2022. Experts’ prediction for 2023 was that prices would rise by another 2% to 5% in 2023. So, in 2024 you can expect this rising pattern to continue. Keeping your eye out for the popular brands and models is a good idea now. Some of these boats might have waitlists that go all the way into 2024, and their prices will remain sky-high. Will the price increase ever slow down? Yes, it could happen if the supply chain issues improve in the future. But do not get your hopes high, new prices will still be higher than pre-pandemic years levels.

Used boat price trends

What will happen to used boat prices in 2024? There was an average of 5% to 10% increase in used boat prices 2022. Prediction was that this would rise by another 5% to 10% in 2023. So in 2024? You can expect the prices to reach a high plateau. What is the reason behind the price hike? It is mainly due to a shortage of used boat inventory in the market. This creates intense demand and then high prices. Today you can sell a well-maintained used boat for 50% to 80% of its original retail price depending on its age.

Factors affecting boat prices in 2024

Now you have a general idea of the boat price trends in 2024. Let us explore the factors that affect them.

Economic factors

Economic conditions in the world can have a high impact on boat prices. Here are some of the key economic factors that influence boat prices.

Oil prices

Oil is an essential item in boat manufacturing to make fiberglass and other boat materials. So, when the oil prices hike with the economy, it will cost more to make boats. So, you will see a hike in boat selling prices too.

Inflation and interest rates

When there is a higher inflation, consumers are less likely to purchase boats. And the higher interest rates can make financing more expensive.

Consumer demand

Buyers change their mind on buying boats when they have issues with the income levels, economic confidence, disposable income, and personal preferences. So, consumer demand also affects boat prices.

Recession impact

Recession is a time people usually spend less on luxury items like boats. But a recession could also mean more used boats are for sale because people might sell them to get extra cash. So, if there is a recession, we could experience more competitive boat prices.

Technological advancements

Did you know technology can affect boat prices? Let’s find out how.

Innovation and quality

We live in an age of innovative technologies. Today boats get many technological upgrades to enhance their performance, efficiency, safety, and comfort. Who doesn’t want to have a highly advanced boat? But there is a downside to these technological advancements too. More upgrades mean expensive production, and higher sale prices.

Online platforms

There are so many new ways today to find and buy boats such as websites, apps, and social media websites. These platforms can expand the boat market and create more opportunities for people to buy and sell boats. But they also affect boat prices indirectly by increasing competition and making prices more transparent for buyers.

Environmental considerations

Today, boat buyers and sellers give first place to environmental considerations when they go to buy boats. Here’s how environmental factors affect boat prices.

Regulations and standards

Environmental rules and standards can change the supply and cost of boat materials, fuel, and emissions. 

Climate change and weather

Climate and weather changes affect the quality of waterways and the duration of the boating season. They also affect the costs to maintain and insure boats.

Supply and demand dynamics

Supply and demand dynamics directly affect boat prices. Here are how boat buyers’ and sellers’ interactions affect boat prices in the market.

Inventory levels

The availability levels of boats show the balance between supply and demand. Prices start to rise when there are a few boats for sale, and many people want to buy them. Again, prices start to fall when there are many boats for sale but few buyers. It is all about the boat inventory.

Seasonality

Aren’t the seasons the best times of the year? This could be partially true for boat buyers. Boat lovers usually go for boat buying in the spring and summer when the weather is good for boating. There is a reason you see more boats for sale in the fall and winter too. That is the time the sellers try to get rid of their inventory before the year ends. So, more boat sales.

How to buy a boat at a fair price in 2024

Two people near an oversized inflatable boat on a beach, with the sea and a distant ship in the background.

Buying a boat at a fair price in 2024 is not impossible. But you need to do some research and have a strategy to get the best deal possible.

Know the market.

Always keep your eye on what is happening in the boat market and boats costs. Soon you will get your right time. Have you heard about websites like BoatTEST.com or BoatBlurb.com? You can visit them to compare the prices and features of different boats.

Buy at the right time.

As we mentioned before, seasons matter. Do not buy a boat during the popular seasons like spring and summer when demand is high. Instead, you can try to buy one during the slower seasons, like fall and winter. There are more sellers willing to lower their prices during these seasons in the year.

Negotiate prices

Are you scared to bargain and propose different prices when shopping? Then you have to work on it before you go boat shopping next time. It does not matter whether your boat market knowledge is small or big, use what you know to explain why your offer is fair. Also, point out any problems or issues with the boat to learn more before you make the final decision.

Tips for buying a boat at a good price in 2024

Drop Ancla: Buy boats at great prices. Tips available

There is no stopping the boat price hike trend in 2024, but will you need to spend a fortune to get your dream boat? No. Follow these tips to save your money when buying a boat in 2024.

How about buying a used boat?

Buying a used boat is a great deal. But you must check if the boat is in good condition and has no hidden problems before you make your move. Otherwise, you might have to pay more for those hidden issues. You can also get advice from a boat professional before you buy one. Visit websites such as BoatHistoryReport.com or Boatfax.com to learn about the past of the boat you are buying.

Look around for the best deal.

Do not buy your boat after checking out one place. Check out different places and compare prices to get a good price on your boat. Go to local boat dealers, boat shows, online marketplaces, classified ads, and auctions to find the best deals. Need help with your research on boat’s value and other similar models? Visit NADAguides.com.

Understand the boat’s value.

Learning a boat is real worth is one of the most important things you should do before you buy a boat. Why? You will not have to pay too much or too little if you know the value.

Do not forget the hidden costs.

Did you know there are costs you will have to bear that are not included in the boat price? Focus on following additional costs too when you are preparing your boat budget.

  • Buy/rent safety equipment for your boat, like life jackets, anchors, ropes, fire extinguishers, navigation devices, etc.
  • Find a place to keep your boat when you are not using it (docking).
  • Get your boat ready for when winter is around the corner. You will have to drain the water system, add antifreeze, change the oil and filters, and do other things to keep it from getting damaged by the cold (winterization).

Will boat prices go down?

Inflation, rising labor, material costs, and higher demand are just a few reasons boat prices have increased over the past few years. Several factors affect the price of boats to go up. They are,

  • Cost of boat materials
  • Costs of fuel
  • Global economy

There are no indications that the rise in boat costs will ever cease. Prices will continue to rise due to inflation, and as the world economy expands, demand for boats is only expected to rise. If we look further into the future, boat prices in 2024 would be the same or worse than in 2023. Experts show no positive signs yet.

Sailboat with racing stripes, docked at a marina on a sunny day.

Let us take a look at the analytics

What is more fun than buying a boat and enjoying a boat trip with your family and friends, right?

According to analytics, in 2021, first-time boat buyers spent 56.7 billion dollars on marine gear. But according to the same analysts, from January through July this year, new powerboat sales fell by 18% compared to the same period in 2021.

Noticeably used boat prices high demand

The need for used boats has grown in tandem with the rise in new boat prices. This is because many people want to own boats but can’t due to the high cost of new boats. The expansion of the used boat market is among the boating industry’s most encouraging trends for 2022.

Why is that?

With COVID-19 restrictions slowly fading, people who bought during the pandemic are trying to sell their boats.  

Is 2023 a good year for the boating industry?

More into analyzing, dealers expressed that as demand decreased and supply-chain bottlenecks loosened, they anticipated that their stockpiles would return to normalized levels in early or mid-2023. Dealers expect retail to be at 2019 levels, a -10 % decline from 2022.

Dealers are apprehensive about 2023 due to rising rates, the market for secondhand boats, boat-sharing clubs versus ownership, and the possibility that the market would pull demand forward during the pandemic. Do boats go up in value? Experts predict that the supply will begin to catch up with demand by early 2023.

When should you buy a boat?

Do you wish to buy a boat?

Unlike other industries, you can buy boats in specific months of the year to enjoy lower prices. So, what is the cheapest month to buy a boat?

It is September and October, the fall months. In these months the majority of manufacturers start to give discounts. Dealers frequently offer incentives to customers through discounts and significant price reductions when demand starts to fall.

How much does a yacht/boat rental cost per person in 2024?

Conclusion

Demand for boats is getting lower with the COVID-19 restrictions being released, and people are looking into the road more often. However, analysts report that in 2023, we can see a higher demand and profit increase from the boating industry. Will boat prices go down? As the world’s efforts to grow out of the difficulties of higher interest rates and inflation continue to succeed, boat prices could go down. Yet, it is not confirmed.

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