My Dinner With Dave Kinney. A Hagerty Classic Boat Price Guide Conversation.


Dave Kinney left, Fellow Woody Boater Alan Himes right.

As many of you have already noticed, the Hagerty Classic Boat Value Guide was released a couple weeks ago. This value guide is a huge step in helping the Classic Boat world. It’s a guide for folks thinking of buying a classic boat, and a reference for folks selling. It helps restorers justify a quality restoration, and as the values adjust, we can see what is hot, and what is not. It can help you not over insure or under insure. The pricing on our beloved classic boats is all over the place since they are for the most part emotional purchases. When you want one, its whatever your heart can afford, and when you are done with them, what ever your wife will not kill you over what you sell it for. This price guide, helps. “It’s a guide, not the Gospel”, that is what Dave Kinney, the author of the guide had to say at our fun dinner the other night with David and Alan Himes a long time pal that is a big time collector and racer. These two guys know more about how the collector car world operates than anyone else I know, and are a hoot to hang out with to boot.

We had the dinner in order to give you all the behind the scenes look at what it takes to heard the “value” cats of classic boats. Dave is a loooong time appraiser of all things cool, mostly cool cars, and now boats. Dave’s company is US Appraisal  for cars only, and the Hagerty Price Guide published 3 times per year, and cover cars from 1946 forward, makes him the  perfect guy to put all this together. It took hundreds of hours to complete, and it’s always changing. He studied sales trends, auctions, spoke with sellers, brokers and collectors and a myriad of other things that appraisers use to value things.  We talked about regional differences, conditions of boats, and values of certain restorers. We all know a restoration by  Dan Nelson is far more valued then one by Lenny is the back of the local marina.. A guarantee like at Katz’s Marina, or  Water Certified boat from Antique Boat Center adds a bunch..A fiberglass bottom done at Sierra Boat Co. vs anyplace else. Was the motor done by Van Ness, or the local Napa dealer? Is it the Real Golden Pond boat? or one of the 500 fake ones out there? All are different value adds. We all commented on how the pre-war boats  have not grown like the post war boats. And brought up the issue of the 25 sportsman price that just seemed way out of whack. That is being addressed.. Alex… One can image the complexity of such an undertaking. All over the world classic boats are being restored, bought and sold daily in many subjective ways. Now thanks to Hagerty and David, we have a value guide to help us.

10 replies
  1. Mark
    Mark says:

    Was there any discussion on when our feedback would be addressed ?

    I asked how they factored in rarity a particular model was and how much weight it was given. Maybe you talked about this at the meeting.


  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    Can we please set the 25′ Sportsman value at what I have into “The Majestic?”

    Survey says…

    [say that like Richard Dawson did on Family Feud]


  3. mark Edmonson
    mark Edmonson says:

    Matt, after being around wooden boats 35 + years, I have seen the prices go up and down, It follows what the trends are. In the 80’s -90 the big triples/pre-wars were hot sellers, Now the boomers want to have more room so the big utilities are the big hot. It all in the age of the buyer and the quality of workmenship. Good Luck

  4. thomas d.
    thomas d. says:

    will the price guide go up and down with the economy? i’ve seen some nice boats go for half what they were worth in the past year. great picture at the top. Texx, is that you bidding againist me on the capt. hat?

  5. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    Alex I saw your two chris craft x k 19 being splashed in the Hessells harbor today. I will be up in the area talking to all the marinas about the Scuttlebutt boating magazines. They sure are pretty. wish I had your phone number I could have bought you a pop at the islander.

  6. Bill
    Bill says:

    its hard to put a value on a boat unless you have a extensive knowledge of zippers cause as we all know a incorrect zipper can be a major factor in the boats value i hope this guy knows his zippers

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