I bought a used boat last year, and when I was searching then I was astonished at how expensive a used boat was. I looked online and people were asking $15,000 for 20 year old boats in poor condition. I even stopped to look at one here in Duluth where they guy was asking $15k for a 16 foot crestliner built in the late 90's. The bank tried to get a value on it using guidelines and even with stretching some of the options it only came to about $10,000. I figured it was a short term pricing issue, but even a year later the prices have gone even higher.

Just today I saw a 2001 Lund 19 foot boat with a 135 HP motor, kicker motor, and some electronics listed for $45,000. That's $45,000 for a 20 year old boat.

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I also saw a listing for a 2006 17 Foot Lund Fisherman boat with a 135 HP motor on it. They are asking $16,000 for it. Seems a little steep right? Going to the NADA website and searching the value, I found with even including the trailer it was barely worth $12,000.

That brings up another issue with buying a used boat. If they are asking too high of prices, the bank isn't going to finance it. So you'll need to have cash to buy it outright or make up the difference. Or you may just want to consider waiting to buy a boat before things calm down. I would imagine also that in a couple of years we will be seeing a flood of used boats on the market. People make a pandemic purchase to get out. After a couple of summers of realizing they don't use the boat as much we will see a lot more for sale, and prices should come back down.

Currently also attributing to the boat price surge is the demand for new boats. Many showroom floors are empty at boat dealers. KBJR reports that some places have said if you want a new boat you need to order now and you'll probably get it this fall.

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