34 BoatU.S. Magazine September 2009
A rollercoaster of an economy has driven
down prices on new and used boats.
It’s a scary period, but savvy investors
are returning to the boat-buying market.
Here are ways you could snatch up
a bargain. The time is now
c o n s u m e r
r e p o r t
“When we bought our new 240 Sundancer through MarineMax,
I told the salesman I would really like to have an Amberjack,”
said Jim DeForest, above, with wife Jeanne. Soon after, a
2007 290 Amberjack became available through the dealer-
ship’s certified used-boat program. “They gave me the full
amount I’d paid on my trade. I wouldn’t have bought a used
boat unless it was from them. They give you a warranty.”
“We wanted to upgrade to a larger liveaboard,” said
Jeanette Barnes. She and Ken Bellan purchased a repos-
sessed 2003 Silverton 330 sport bridge from Harrison
Marine in Michigan. “We knew which models we were
interested in. Ken watched different auction sites online
for a while before we bid. We’re very happy with our deal.
We couldn’t have done this at home in Canada.”
By Michael Vatalaro
36 BoatU.S. Magazine September 2009
Another’s Loss, Your Gain?
Repossessed boats offer the best bar-
gains in terms of price, but carry additional
risks and costs that a new or used boat
might not. These differ from salvaged
vessels. Know what you’re looking for
and move quickly. Prices are often 20 to
50 percent lower than the asking prices
of used boats. Recent examples include:
a 2007 Four Winns 318 Vista listed by
Lab Marine, Inc., a repossession firm in
Rock Hall, Maryland, for $99,500. The
asking price of an almost identical 2007
318 Vista on Boat Trader? $165,000.
How about a 2005 Larson 274 Cabrio
listed at Commonwealth Boat Brokers near
Richmond, VA, for $42,900? A similar
Larson 274 on Boat Traders was $69,900.
Some of that price difference is the “fudge
factor” that most asking prices include,
which is typically 10-20 percent higher
than actual selling pric