Marketwatch: Increase in Utility values reflects desire for practicality

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There’s no doubt that the economic climate of the past several years has had an impact on our hobby. Increased fuel costs, coupled with less spending money, often means less time out on the water or the prospect of downsizing to a smaller boat. As a result, many collectors are looking for a boat that can fill several different roles.

Instead of owning one boat for shows and another to simply enjoy with their children and grandchildren, many enthusiasts are now looking for a multi-purpose vessel. Of course, there’s a classic boat type that lends itself to this practicality – the traditional utility style design. While utilities have long been popular, their open configuration has made them increasingly desirable among new collectors as well as those looking for a multipurpose boat.

Utilities, characterized by their open interiors with an engine box placed near the center of the boat, were an extremely popular design throughout the 1940s and ’50s. Although first developed as a low-cost alternative to the traditional runabout during the Great Depression, the popularity of the utility’s practical design was a reflection of the move toward boating as an activity for the masses following World War II. By the mid-1950s, iconic designs such as the Chris-Craft Holiday could be found in boathouses across America.

While utility values will likely continue to trail boats that are built in a more traditional runabout design, we are beginning to see values regularly top the $50,000 mark for boats that had larger production runs, such as the Chris-Craft Sportsman and Century Resorter. Although we can’t predict if values will continue to climb, there is no question that utilities continue to do a fantastic job of being the rugged, affordable, multi-talented boat their original designers intended, and will no doubt be a popular choice for generations to come.

To find out more about Hagerty’s Classic Boat Insurance, click here.

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Marketwatch: Increase in Utility values reflects desire for practicality

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As part of a continued effort to provide timely and accurate classic boat information, Hagerty Marine recently updated its online Marine Price Guide. The guide provides valuation figures for the most prominent collector boat marques, including Chris-Craft, Century, Gar Wood, Lyman and others. As this article was about to be posted, the Chris-Craft section of the guide had not been published. Please check back for updates.

On the whole, most values have remained stable. However, here are some highlights from the most recent revision of the price guide:

  • While values for most Gar Wood runabouts have increased, values for Gar Wood Triple Cockpit runabouts have skyrocketed, with vessels in Bristol condition increasing by more than $200,000. This increase in value can be attributed to the recent sale of a 1937 25-foot Gar Wood Triple Cockpit for a staggering $308,000 at the January 2013 RM Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Fiberglass Century Resorters, produced between 1964 and 1968, have seen a modest increase in value. This supports the general trend of increased interest in classic fiberglass vessels.
  • There has been a slight decrease in value for Century Sea Maids and Palominos, which is likely a reflection of the availability of similarly priced Chris-Crafts on the market.
  • Values for most Riva models have been a mixed bag, with decreasing values for the Ariston, Super Ariston and Ariston Cadillac models, and increasing values for the Florida, Super Florida and Olympic models.

Hagerty Marine will continue to provide up-to-date information as frequently as possible. Prices are developed through careful analysis of actual sales figures from the past year, as well as the agreed value of boats currently insured with Hagerty.

We are happy to share this resource as a tool for anyone looking to determine a value for their collector boat. As with all collector guides, our valuation tool is not intended to be a definitive statement on the value of a particular boat, but should instead be used in conjunction with other resources to determine what an appropriate level of coverage may be for insurance purposes. Again, please note that for Hagerty Classic Marine Insurance clients, the values shown do not imply coverage in any amount. In the event of a claim, the agreed value on your policy declarations page is the amount your boat is covered for, even if the value displayed in the guide is different.

If you are wondering how much your boat may be worth please check out our Classic Boat Price Guide.

To find out more about Hagerty’s Classic Boat Insurance, click here.

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