5 June 2014

Marketwatch: Hagerty Marine Value Guide reveals a mixed bag for high-end classics

Hagerty’s valuation team has just updated our one-of-a-kind, online Marine Value Guide, and we’ve seen a general increase in values for the majority of makes and models. Notably, there were significant changes in the values for two manufacturers usually associated with the higher end of the collector market. The popular Garwood Triple Cockpit model faced a decline, while most Rivas are benefitting from an increase.

Produced from 1925-48, the Garwood Triple Cockpit runabout is certainly one of the most desirable runabouts from that era. These boats, available in lengths of 22, 25 and 26 feet, routinely fetch six figures if in very good – but less than excellent – condition. Boats in Bristol (or nearly pristine) condition can claim even higher sale prices. While the previous edition of the Marine Value Guide listed the Bristol value as $370,000 for all three sizes, a value likely propelled by the sale at auction of a 1937 25-foot model for $308,000 the year prior, recent sales figures no longer support such a high value. According to our valuation team, a 22-foot boat in Bristol condition should now bring, on average, $198,000, with 25-foot and 26-foot models averaging $238,000 and $255,000, respectively. While this is still a significant amount of money – and much higher than other boats of this style and period – the decrease illustrates how a single high-profile sale may temporarily skew the market for a particular type of boat. This quick correction in value, however, indicates that the $308,000 sale did not set the market (as is often the case for collector vehicles); instead, it was a one-time occurrence fueled by the stellar condition of that particular vessel.

On the other end of the spectrum, the values associated with classics manufactured by Italian boat builder Riva have risen steeply over the last year and have done so in a more uniform manner. Nearly every Riva model included in our value guide has seen a significant increase, including the Riva Aquarama Special, which has a Bristol value approaching $1 million. Only 278 examples of the Special submodel were produced from 1972-96, and their European provenance makes them exceedingly rare in the United States. In addition to the Aquarama Special, seven other Riva submodels are now listed with Bristol values higher than $500,000.

While the Hagerty Marine Value Guide is a useful tool to see how recent sales have affected boat values, the guide is designed to offer you a range of values – not a definitive price. There will always be marine craft that sell for more – or less – than any value guide would indicate. Location, provenance, equipment, originality and dozens of other factors affect the actual value of any given vessel. As such, any value guide should always be regarded as a useful supplement to a qualified appraisal or marine survey.

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