Classic Boats: A First-Time Buyers’ Guide 2024

Having a classic vessel on your list of collectibles is a dream for many, but their prices are high and they will cost you thousands of dollars, if not more than that.

However, if you have the financial resources to have a vintage vessel, then you can find here  a classic boat listing. But before making a purchase, read on to learn about some first-time buyer mistakes to avoid.

Things To Know When You Start Building Your Collection Of Vintage Vessels

Know About The Different Type Of Classic Boats

Before you buy a vintage vessel, you must know about the different types of classic boats and decide which one suits you the best. Some classic boats are driven exclusively by sails. They are usually slower than motor-powered vessels. However, the sails give the boat its classic look, and you should go for them if you like to take part in sailing competitions.

Power boats, on the other hand, are smaller and more compact, and if you want to travel to an island in your own boat, then you must go for these. A dinghy is usually small in size and is great if you are looking for a fun rowing experience on a fast stream.

Each of the vessels that are mentioned above has unique features that make them suitable for different experiences, and prior knowledge about them will make sure that you buy the right type based on your needs.

You Can Go For A Pre- Restored Model, Or You Can Restore It Yourself

Classic boats are old, and if you wish to use them, they will need restoration. Most new buyers do not know if they will be able to restore it themselves or if they should get it done by a professional company.

So if you have some experience and the changes required are negligible, you can go for a DIY (do it yourself) project. However, if the vessel is very old and has a wooden body, then it is always a good idea to get a pre-restored boat that has been restored by experts.

Know What Factors Affect The Price Of A Vessel

The price of an antique boat depends on many factors, and if you know about them, you will not end up paying too much for a vintage vessel. If the boat that you are interested in was used by a famous personality like a popular sports person or a movie star, then that will push the price upward.

If the boat has won many shows or races, then it will be a hot favorite among buyers, and this will again inflate the prices.

Remember That The Insurance Will Not Cost You A Bomb

You might think that an old boat will require frequent repairs and hence the insurance premium will be quite hefty, but that is not the case. The insurance premium can be reduced due to deductions based on factors like the safety of the coastal water where it will sail. So if you are getting insurance for a boat that will be used in Florida, then the cost will be high but it will be low for non-coastal states.

Likewise, the installation of safety measures like GPS trackers, navigation lights or having a raft on board will lower the insurance premium. Thus there are many factors on which the insurance premium depends, and there is no hard and fast rule that an old vessel will need expensive insurance.

Learn And Research About Classic Boats Before You Invest In One

There are several resources to learn about Classic boats, like class boat magazines, antique vessel societies or clubs. You should not hesitate to travel far and wide to learn more about vintage vessels, but if you do not have the budget or time, then you can search for online blogs and vlogs for more information.

It Is Not Prudent To Avoid A Broker Or An Agent

Many new buyers tend to think that brokers will increase their overall cost, and they must be avoided to make the deal the most cost-effective. But getting in touch with a broker will expose you to rare varieties that you will not be able to find on your own. Brokers have their networks which they have built over the years. So if you want a fancy and antique vessel, you should not avoid a broker just because you have to shell out some extra bucks as commission.

Remember That Maintenance Will Require Effort And Money

Buying a fancy classic vessel is not enough; you have to spend time and money on maintaining it as well. A new boat might not need any repairs for the first five or six years, but for a classic model, you must set aside at least ten percent of the cost of the classic vessel as an annual maintenance budget.

Do Not Believe The Broker At Face Value

Your broker will most likely keep your best interests in mind, but you have to be sure that you are making a good deal. Remember that the broker gets a commission only if you make a purchase, so before you make any payments, you must check each and every part yourself.

Check if the engine is too noisy or if it starts smoking when used for high power. Likewise, check the hull, the sails, the body and every other part before actually buying it. You can take help from experts if you do not know a lot about classic boats.


First-time buyers often commit mistakes because they do have adequate information or awareness about a particular product and its after-sales maintenance. However, with vintage boats purchasing mistakes should be avoided because these vessels are quite rare and expensive. If you are shelling out a huge sum of money on buying a boat, it is always better to know about the best deals for purchasing a product and the best after-sales maintenance tips about that product.