Looking for a cool classic boat? Trying to figure out what to buy, and how much to pay? You’re not alone, it’s a bit of the wild wild west out there. One rule of thumb that I have learned…the hard way.. is each boat is unique and a work of art. Each one. You can have two identical models, years, everything, and one can be worth double the other ones. Yes, the Hagerty Price Guide can help, but sometimes stuff is just the same. Lets take a 25 Sportsman for example. I only mention this because its the latest personal one for me. These boats range from $20K -$225K. How does one price one, or buy one? How does one have two and price them against each other? You can start with these questions. Usually the answer is in these.
- Who did the restoration? This can be a huge difference. Did Nelson do it? Add a bunch, Katz’s, Same. Lenny in his back yard? Subtract.
- Bottom, how was it done and when? Who did it. There are plenty of crappy 5200 bottom jobs out there.
- Who did the engine? Napa? Or VanNess? Huge difference.
- Finish, is it clear and crisp? Does it need refreshing.
- Interior, did they use real leather or short cut?
- Who owned it? History.
- Is it correct or been altered?
- Does it run? You may be surprised that some folks just don’t check that part. ALWAYS WATER TEST if possible.
- Where is it? Have two identical boats, one out west one out east? Shipping can add into the cost. And sometimes, SOMETIMES. the local climate your in can be somewhat unique to the boat. Take a boat from humid Florida to dry lake Tahoe, and you are gonna see a different boat in a month. . Hey its small, but if you are comparing two boats, location can be part of the choice.
- Support. Dealers like Katz’s offer a Warranty. Antique Boat Center has a Water Tested thing, and other reputable dealers like Sierra know there boats and will always add value and give you objective advise you may not even know what to ask.
- Make sure it’s the right boat for you. You may save on a runabout, when a utility is really what you use. Be sure you know as much as you can. Go to shows. Try several styles. Not all classic boats are the same. Seems simple, but they are more diverse than boats today.
Hopefully this has helped you with your purchase. It’s very important to us that you are happy and enjoy your Woody Boating. The world needs more of the dreamers, artists and romantics. Woohoo, it’s almost Memorial Day!