I was on a car web page the other day and the comment gang was squawking about a car that had sold at auction for $30K and how it was an extreme price for the car. Normally a $10K car. And I thought, shut the hell up. We all win if the price goes up? And you can’t blame a guy for trying. No one has to buy it? Okay, okay, this is not the point of the story today. The point was we in the classic boat culture are guilty of the same issue. We tell new folks to not spend this or that. We bitch when someone tries to ask ” too much” for a classic boat. In an odd way, we are our worst enemies.
Now, hold on. I am guilty of this myself and we do it to protect our “family”. And I am not talking about being ripped off here. And yes, high prices could ruin the fun. BUT. Lets be honest here. We all spend double the value of the boat on a restoration. And sell it for a loss. Is that good for the culture? No. It’s bad business, and eventually the hobby dies. Because it becomes ridiculous to keep doing it. Look at vintage Porsches. 10 years ago they were flat sales. You could get a 1969 911 for under 10K. I know I did twice. Now, $100K for the same car. Guess whats happened. New businesses are opening up, sales are good and cars are being saved. And after all isn’t that what we all want. To save all the classic boats out there?
So how do we deal with this observation? We don’t want to fool people. And you can get into classic boating for under $10K still. YES! But when a nice restored boat is on the market for $70K and the rest are $40K, maybe, just maybe the $70K is worth it, and it deserves the credit it gets. After all, after a restoration, the value can go from pile of junk done by your Uncle Morty and his deck screws, or a world class job done by a professional. Both are “restored” and Uncle Mortys will cost the buyer more in the long run, and a worse thing happens. We loose a Woody Boater.