New Boat Price Estimator Tools

If you are shopping for a new vessel, you might be wondering how much negotiating room is there on a new boat?  Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a bit challenging because, unlike with automobiles, determining the dealer cost or average selling price for boats is hard to come by.  Plus, as I discussed in my article “How much Off MSRP for New Boat“, there are many factors that impact the degree to which a dealer is likely to discount the product.

However, given my insider knowledge of the boating industry and applying some averages and assumptions, I have developed two simple ways to estimate a ballpark price to give you a more realistic expectation of how much it will cost to buy a particular boat.  The first is based on the MSRP and the second is based on knowing the value of prior year boats of the same make and model.

While neither approach is perfect and the two might produce somewhat different estimates, this information should at least equip you with an approximate price to use to help you start your negotiations with a dealer.

Estimating the Price Based on the MSRP

This approach is based off of the assumption that the dealer cost is generally about 70% to 72% of the MSRP AND that dealers typically strive to earn a 10% to 20% margin on new boat purchases.  Simply enter the MSRP for the boat you are considering and this tool will estimate a fair price based on both a 20% margin (Upper range) and 10% margin (Lower range).

It is important to note that this is an approximate estimate and many factors could impact whether you could expect to pay closer to the upper end or the lower end or even outside this range.

Also, this approach is only applicable to MSRP pricing.  It does not pertain to Nationally Advertised Pricing (NAP) where there is often little to no room to negotiate.  Check out my article on “How much Off MSRP for New Boat” for a description of these two types of prices and how that impacts your ability to negotiate.

Estimating the Price Based on Prior Year Value

The second approach to estimating a fair price for a NEW boat is to reverse-engineer a used boat’s depreciated value.  The estimate is based on some average depreciation rates for boats and assumes that the boat model you are interested in has been made in prior years.

The first step is to look up the USED value of the particular boat make and model you are interested in from NADA.  Be sure to equip the boat as closely as possible to the one you are considering and select the most recent model year that has data available.  Once you have located that, enter the CURRENT model year at the top of the form and insert the “Average Retail” value you just looked up adjacent to the corresponding (previous) model year you selected in the NADA guide.  The tool will then calculate an approximate new value by reversing the estimated depreciation.

Of course, this is just a ballpark estimate since boat depreciation rates vary somewhat by make.  And, it will not work for completely new models where there is no Used data history.

By using one or both of the approaches above, you should have a more realistic expectation of what you will likely need to pay for a particular boat and will have a reasonable starting price point to begin negotiating with the dealer.