The boating industry saw unprecedented growth during the COVID-19 pandemic as people sought outdoor recreational activities. This led to surging demand and rising prices for new and used boats from 2020-2022. As we move into 2023, many boat buyers wonder – will boat prices go down in 2023 or continue to rise?
Factors Impacting Boat Prices
Several key factors will determine when or if the boat market will crash or remain high in 2023 and 2024:
- Supply Chain Issues – Shortages of materials like fiberglass along with labor shortages have constrained production. As supply chain problems persist, boat prices will stay elevated.
- High Inflation – With inflation at 40-year highs, the rising costs of materials, labor, transport will keep upward pressure on boat prices.
- Interest Rates – Higher interest rates make financing more expensive, potentially dampening demand and prices.
- Consumer Demand – Demand soared during COVID but may moderate with economic uncertainty. Still, new boat buyers entering the market could sustain demand.
- Price of Oil – As a key component in fiberglass, rising oil prices directly impact boat production costs and prices.
Further reading that’s worth your time: The Best Place To Buy A Used Boat.
Our Forecast for 2023-2024
|Boat Type||2022 Price Change||2023 Forecast||2024 Outlook|
|New Boats||+10%||+2-5%||Remain elevated|
|Used Boats||+5-10%||+5-10%||Plateau at high levels|
New Boat Price Trends
Due to the above factors, most industry experts predict new boat prices will remain high rather than decrease in 2023 and 2024. Some key new boat price trends:
- New boat prices increased 10% on average in 2022 and are forecast to rise another 2-5% in 2023.
- Popular brands and models may have waitlists extending into 2024, sustaining high prices.
- As supply chain issues ease, price growth may moderate but overall remain elevated over pre-pandemic levels.
Used Boat Price Trends
Used boat prices are also expected to remain relatively high in 2023 and potentially 2024:
- Limited inventory has driven intense demand in the used boat market since 2020.
- This shortage of used boat inventory will persist, creating upward price pressure.
- Well-maintained used boats can sell for 50-80% of their original retail price depending on age.
- For context, a 5 year old 25-foot center console that originally sold for $100K can fetch $60-80K on the used market.
The Outlook for 2024 and Beyond
In 2024 and beyond, broader economic conditions will determine if boat prices moderate. But key factors suggest prices will remain strong:
- Pent-up demand from the pandemic has introduced many new buyers to boating who will remain in the market.
- Florida’s continuously growing population increases local demand for boats.
- Boating interest continues to grow nationally, bringing new entrants.
Barring an economic downturn, which is still in the forecast for many economists, boat prices are likely to plateau at elevated levels rather than return to pre-pandemic pricing. Savvy buyers should watch for potential sales and incentives during boat shows and end-of-season clearances to get the best deals.
But overall, boat prices will remain high compared to historical levels for the remainder of 2023.