Which Sailboats Hold Their Value?

Which Sailboats Hold Their Value? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 6, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • There are a handful of sailboat options that hold their value the best over the years
  • The average boat resales between $30,000 and $100,000 depending on size and age
  • Boats hold their value better when they are taken care of and loved
  • The brokerage market for boats will vary based on location so the value also fluctuates
  • Consider joining a yacht club to learn more about resale values of boats

Sailboats are considered investments by many and can vary in value over the years. But which sailboats hold their value?

Sailboats such as Tayana 37, Tartan 37, and the Hallberg-Rassy 35 are a few examples of sailboats that have good resale value. Other multihull sailboats such as Hobie 16, Fountaine Pajot Elba 45, and Antares 44i also have some of the best resale value.

In my experience, a boat depreciates due to a variety of factors such as age and current condition. The brand name associated with the used boat will also impact the boat depreciation and the boat’s resale value.


Table of contents

Top 12 Best Sailboats That Hold Their Value

Depending on the type of sailboat you have will determine the resale value that you can get out of it at a later date. Some boats will hold their value due to quality or market trends that might not be in your control.

A lot of sailboat brands have been able to show good value as their boats become older and allows the seller to gain back a decent amount of their investment. The following sailboats have shown to hold their value longer than other sailboat brands in the market.

Tayana 37

Tayana 37
Image credit: Tayana 37

The Tayana 37 was built in 1976 but still remains a popular option for classic boat enthusiasts to get their hands on a timeless boat. Even after 45 years you can still find one in good condition for as high as $80,000. As the boat seller you are able to get a decent amount back on your investment.

Tartan 37

Tartan 37
Image credit: Tartan 37

Tartan has made some of the most memorable models for blue water sailing dating back to the 1980’s. These boats had a balsa cored deck that made it appealing to sailors during that time. The Tartan 37 can still be found for around $65,000 in good condition depending on age and location.

Hallberg-Rassy 35

Hallberg-Rassy 35
Image credit: Hallberg-Rassy 35

The Hallberg-Rassy 35 Rasmus is one of the most popular classic models from their sailboat line. They are actually quite difficult to find since most original owners still have them or the current ones are continuing to keep them in sailing form. You can find a select few ranging up to $45,000 for this quality sailboat.

Hobie 16

Hobie 16
Image credit: Hobie 16

There are a little over 100,000 Hobie 16’s built and are one of the most popular catamarans. You can think of these as pontoon boats for bluewater and these smaller multihull boats have excellent resale value due to their reliability and ease of transportation. You can find older models hovering near $10,000 or less.

Fountaine Pajot Elba 45

For those that have a bigger budget the Fountaine Pajot Elba 45 holds onto its value even after just a few short years. This is a luxury catamaran known for its comfort and sailability. You can find ones just a few years old that still hover near $900,000.

Antares 44i

Antares 44i
Image credit: Antares 44i

Fans of catamaran boats likely will name the Antares in their top 10 or even top five of best catamarans on the market. With such a popularity rating they often hold their value for their performance on the water as well as their comfort. You can see these typically around $600,000 for one that is over a decade old if you are lucky.

Catalina 22

Catalina 22
Image credit: Catalina 22

One of the most iconic trailerable boats in existence is the Catalina 22. They are ideal for those that have limited experience or wanting to have a smaller sailboat. These prices can range anywhere between $5,000 to $20,000 for used sailboats depending on age and condition of boat.

Island Packet 31

For sailors that enjoy shoal drafts the Island Packet 31 features a solid fiberglass hull that is great for longevity and shallow waters. It is easier to maintain than other comparable boats which also drives the demand for inexperienced sailors. You can see Island Packets typically near $50,000 for a 1985 version in good condition.

C&C Landfall 38

C&C Landfall 38
Image credit: C&C Landfall 38

C&C has made some of the most popular sail boats among the sailing world. These are difficult to find but not impossible. When you do find one they typically hover around $30,000 for a 1980 model in desirable condition.

Beneteau 423

Beneteau 423
Image credit: Beneteau 423

When you think of boats that are iconic and have little annual depreciation the Beneteau comes to mind. Their 423 model still remains one of their popular options around $80,000 for a 2004 version. The quality and sturdiness make it a great blue water boat that is worth your money.

Amel 64

One of the most famous sailing yachts is the Amel 64. Amel has been making sailing yachts since the 1980’s with some of the most memorable and luxury sailworthy models in their lineup. These can be hard to find but they usually sell for around $1.38 million.

Lagoon 380

Lagoon 380
Image credit: Lagoon 380

The Lagoon 380 might be one of the most affordable luxury catamarans if you can find an older model. At one time it was one of the most popular sailing catamarans during its debut but other competitors have gave them a run for their money. You can likely find some in good condition around $240,000 and up.

Reasons Boats Appreciate or Hold Their Value

Buying a boat is similar to an investment. As with any investment opportunity you should always consider the pros and cons.

The reason you should consider it an investment is because you are spending time and money to maintain the quality of it while you use it and one day you can hopefully get most of your money back from it. Under most circumstances a boat will begin to lose some of its value once you have made your purchase and begin sailing it.

Sailing Classics

If you have a boat that was similar to ones used in movies or has other novelty appeal to it then it will likely have a good resale value. Classic older boats have nostalgia tied to them just like classic cars.

If there were only so many models made and you have one in great condition this also drives the value behind a classic boats. Keep in mind that taking care of a classic boat will eventually cost more than what you will make when trying to sell it.

Bargains at the Right Time

Boats tend to sell best when it is the right time of year for them. If you purchased a boat from someone when it was out of season and did minor work on it then you could look to sell it again once boating season begins. Timing plays a decent role in most large purchases throughout the year.

Supply and Demand

Selling a boat in places like Florida or along the coast will definitely help with finding a buyer. But you have to account for the amount of used boats that are currently being sold and how unique yours is to the market.

If there are 100 Hobie 16’s in your local area along the coast then you will either need to make your price competitive or choose to find a location that has very little for sale. If there is little competition among other boat owners then this will help increase your sale price.

How Long Do Sailboats Typically Hold Their Value?

Sailboats usually have one of the best resale values among other boats in the market. This has to do with a variety of factors but mainly the niche of boat and less moving parts compared to power boats.

A sailboat that retails around $40,000 will only lose about $10,000 after five years of owning it. Assuming you take good care of it then it will be worth roughly about $20,000 after 15 years. In other words a sailboat will lose half of its value somewhere between 10 and 15 years.

Sailboats hold their value a little longer since they do no rely as heavily on powered equipment such as the engine or dual motors. Fishing boats and pontoon boats values drop sharply after five years since they have to be powered by a motor.

When is the Best Time to Sell a Boat?

If you want the most asking price for you boat you can slightly increase the value of the boat simply by selling it at the right time of the year. As the seasons change your negotiation prices will also vary.

The most ideal times to sell a boat is anywhere between February and July. However you should aim to have everything ready to sell it by early spring. Boating season begins around spring so potential buyers wanted to make changes or first time boat owners are likely going to be shopping around.

Keep in mind that you might not get the best price if you are trying to sell it in the fall months or just after sailing season. November is regarded as one of the worst months for trying to sell a boat so avoid this month in general for trying to post it if you can. You can still sell your boat but expect lower negotiations from buyers that want to store their boat for the winter months.

How to Increase Boat Value Over the Years?

Boats will rarely appreciate but the best thing you can do is to slow down how quickly the boat depreciates. Some brands and models have a high resale value in general.

With a little bit of research and hard work you can increase the boat value and get it ready for the market. How exactly can you do that to be as close to the purchase price when you try to sell your boat?

Excellent Cleaning

In order to increase the resale value of a used boat you can make attempts to regularly clean it inside and out. No one wants a dirty boat that has stains or noticeable chips in the exterior. Aim to have proper waxing like an epoxy resin and cleaning when taking it out of saltwater.

Routine Maintenance and Records

Boats should always follow some sort of schedule when it comes to maintenance. From oil changes to inspecting the sails you should have a checklist and keep proper documentation. This paper trail will not only allow you to keep track of your history but it will let buyers know what to expect on a well maintained boat before buying.

Customized Look

If you have an older used boat that has outdated seating arrangements or lights it might be time for an upgrade. This could also be installing new carpet or flooring as well as a new refrigerator. Keep in mind of the upgrades that would rival what a new boat already has.

Mechanical Improvements

It might be time to upgrade your navigational system or engine on an older boat. An old boat might need a little more work and be considered a fixer upper but it could offer the best value depending on your budget. Try to do as much research as you can to see what upgrades you could add to it and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Proper Inspection

You should think about having a professional look over your boat before or after you try to make improvements. It makes the most sense to wait beforehand to make any adjustments because a bigger ticket item may need fixing first. A survey can help increase boat value simply because it gives an honest update about the condition of the boat.


When you feel that it is the time to sell you should take the time to properly display it accordingly. You will need to have some high quality photographs taken or hire a professional. After that you can post it on boating websites that have a lot of traffic or your local options to get buyers interested.

Which Sailboats Hold Their Value?
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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