When buying a used boat, is there a rule of thumb regarding the age at which a boat will yield the most value for the purchaser?
All other things being the same an older boat is generally cheaper than a newer one. Those older boats, however, will usually need more maintenance, repairs, have a shorter engine life, etc. So, is there a rule of thumb as to where the 'sweet spot' of age is? That is, is there a particular age where the price of a given boat is low due to its age, but its not so old that it needs frequent costly maintenance, rebuilds, custom fabbed parts, etc?My wife and I are looking for our first boat, and knowing something like this would definitely help us wade through the sea of 'for sale' ads.
Used boats--not old boats--can be an excellent value. But remember this truism: Every used boat is unique. Depending upon who owned it, and where and how it was used, reliability can be all over the board. You need to be knowledgable and handy with boat repair and maintenance to competetently make that decision or you should hire a surveyor check the boat out for you. Worth every penny.
The best strategy is to look for a two or three year old boat. That way, the depreciation has largely been taken already, yet the boat is not yet old enough to be beat up ( in many cases, anyway). Plus, you might still have some warranty left.