The cost of a sailboat is dependent on a lot of different factors; therefore, influencing the price greatly. However, we can get a general idea of the price by looking at a few examples and the available market.
The average price of a brand new sailboat is approximately $250,000. The price for a new boat generally ranges between $100,000 to $500,000. The average price of a used sailboat is between $10,000 to $100,000 – depending on the condition.
With all this in mind, this article will be exploring the average price of a sailboat by breaking down different factors including size, type, condition, and age.
Additionally, we will also consider other factors which contribute to the price, as well as the average price for popular boat features.
All information in this article was sourced from professional sailboat pricing guides and new sailboat cruising manufacturers. In addition, we have carefully analyzed and considered the current sailboat market.
Factors That Influence The Cost Of A Sailboat
Many different factors can influence the overall price of a sailboat. These are typically dependent on the primary market they’re sold in. For instance, a used sailboat’s price is affected by its condition, although when regarding new sailboats; this detail is irrelevant.
New Sailboat Pricing Factors
Purchasing a new sailboat can be a very costly investment venture. Over the last few years, this price has gone up exponentially.
They are no longer the family-friendly accessory they once were in the 1960s and 70s when having a fiberglass boat was all the rage. As a result, fewer companies were producing these boats due to a lack of demand.
In addition to this, the technology and equipment located in sailboats have become much more advanced than they once were.
In the 1970s, you would never find a sailboat featuring air conditioning or central heating. However, it’s standard in boats today since it’s what the consumer expects.
The fundamental factors that influence the cost of new sailboats are primarily the size, standard of equipment, level of fit-and-finish, and materials used.
When deliberating the price of a sailboat, the size of the boat is the biggest influencing factor. For instance, let’s consider the infamous 31-foot Catalina 315 as an example.
While this is one of the smallest sailboats manufactured by Catalina, pricing starts at a whopping $163,000.
The price is reflected in the boat’s basic features, meaning that it is on the lower end spectrum of the pricing scale.
Now, let’s consider the bigger and better version: the Catalina 355. Both boats are similar in fit and finish, however, the size is the main difference between the two.
Thus, influencing the cost greatly. For an extra five feet in length, you’re looking to dish out a minimum of $231,000.
Primarily, base-model cruising sailboats available today contain very minimal extra equipment. However, when they do possess extra equipment, this can range from anything such as autopilot and powered winches to air conditioning and radar.
Below, we will consider the pricing of a few different options.
- Radar – $1,859
- Bow Thruster – $2,165
- Air Conditioning – $1,859
- Autopilot – $2,000
- Power Winches – $1,485 each (therefore, if two are installed, it is $2,970)
- Total – $10,872
Therefore, as outlined above, you can see that the more additional features you opt for, the heftier the overall price will get. Likewise, we have only considered the cost of the equipment itself – how are you going to install it?
Therefore, there are some hidden costs to be made aware of, as well.
Additionally, as the size of the boat increases so do the machines required that perform the same effects (this includes everything but the radar).
Fit And Finish
Another major contributor to the price of a sailboat, especially brand new sailboats, is the fit and finish.
For instance, if you were to replace composite countertops with marble or even stone ones, you can expect to dish out thousands of dollars. Additionally, the use of finer metals, fixtures, and woods could significantly increase the overall furnishing price.
Used Sailboat Pricing Factors
When compared with a brand new sailboat, the factors that contribute to the price of a used sailboat are much less dramatic; however, they are more difficult to predict.
For instance, a boat containing the same equipment may sell for 20% more if it were a few years newer.
Therefore, the primary contributors to the cost of a used sailboat are size, type, condition, and age.
The biggest factor, unsurprisingly, that influences the price of a used sailboat is the condition. One reason for this is that it is a direct contributor to the eventual cost of maintenance.
Ask yourself questions such as: how much work is required to make the boat safe, clean, and comfortable? If you’re willing to do the work, then opt for a used boat.
To simply put it, the older the sailboat, the cheaper it will be. However, this doesn’t apply to classic vessels, especially those in pristine condition.
Although, every fiberglass boat that is at least 20 to 30 years old will be significantly more affordable than its brand new counterparts.
Light sport sailboats tend to be cheaper than cruising sailboats, especially as they get older. This is primarily because cruising sailboats are better equipped and more comfortable, which makes them a more desirable choice in the market.
Average New Cruising Sailboat Cost
If you’re looking to purchase a brand new cruising sailboat, then you should expect the average price to be around $250,000. This price was determined by analyzing a range of differently sized sailboat listings, with the average boat being approximately 35 feet in length.
However, this price can vary significantly. Ranging from around $150,000 all the way to $500,000, depending on the size and model you choose.
For instance, fiberglass sailboats will be significantly cheaper than aluminum sailboats (see also ‘Top 5 Welded Aluminum Jet Boats‘), with steel falling in between the two prices.
Wooden boats are near impossible to accurately estimate until the materials are sources and the plans are examined. For instance, by a significant margin; hardwood boats cost more than plywood boats.
Since there are only a few craftspeople alive who are experienced in manufacturing classical boats.
Used Cruising Sailboat Cost
If you’re looking for a used cruising sailboat, you’ll be glad to know that this cost significantly less than brand new ones. Typically, the price of a 20 to 30-year-old cruising sailboat, in excellent condition, can cost you approximately $30,000.
When looking at older vessels you can expect to pay anything from $5,000 upwards. On the other hand, late-model cruisers will cost you around $150,000.
However, used cruising sailboats don’t always go for cheap. For instance, the cost can occasionally soar past $200,000 for high-tech luxury yachts and special models.
Can You Finance A Sailboat?
Yes! It is possible to maintain a loan for either a new or used sailboat. Typically, getting a loan for a sailboat rather than a powerboat is much easier, and is cheaper to insure, too.
However, sometimes, sailboat loans can be more costly and difficult to maintain than a house or car loan. Although, having said that, good credit makes a big difference.
2 Ways To Reduce The Cost Of Buying A Sailboat
There are two different ways to minimize the cost of purchasing a sailboat. These include:
1. Buying Used Boats
If you’ve been following this article thus far, you’ll already know that this is the cheapest method of purchasing a sailboat.
Contrary to popular novice sailors’ belief, you can buy a boat at an affordable price with due diligence.
Boats manufactured within the last half of the 20th century are now available in the market for less than $30,000.
Since many boat enthusiasts are passionate about their boating hobbies, exceptional care is taken in the preservation of their boats. This ensures the price of sailboats maintains their market value over many years.
Notably, you can even purchase an oceangoing boat in near-pristine condition, at 26-32 feet, for under $100,000.
Likewise, the most popular sailboats have a large, worldwide following; therefore, sourcing spare parts that your used boat may require shouldn’t be too difficult.
Another way to reduce the cost is to partner up with someone who also has an interest in sailboats.
Between the two of you, you can share the purchase cost as well as any maintenance expenses for the boat. However, these can sometimes be problematic.
For instance, you run the risk of your partner not honoring the commitment when it comes down to paying for the vessel.
Additionally, one person may end up spending much more on the boat than the other, which can lead to responsibility conflicts.
Therefore, if you decide to choose this route, it may be better to partner with a friend or family member – establishing a contractual agreement that clearly connotes the responsibility and obligations of the members involved in the transaction.
Since most sailboats are in good condition and affordable, you can save yourself a lot of time and money by co-owning a boat.
Since the early part of the last century, sailboats have come a long way. While they were once a serious, affordable, pastime for families, this is no longer the case for many.
However, boating can still be experienced by many, as long as you consider all your options thoroughly. Due to the early sailboat’s quality and construction, you are now able to find a decent sailboat without having to break the bank.
For less than $10,000, you can find many pre-owned offshore capable sailboats. Although, you should keep in mind that the older the boat, the more maintenance it may require. This can sometimes be a costly venture.
Whatever your budget, sailboating is a great way to unlock many different adventures. Hopefully, this guide has informed you about the average price of a sailboat.