Collector Boat Classifications & Conditions

The Hagerty Classic Boat Value Guide is designed to help you learn how to value your classic boat and assess the current state of the market. Our goal is to provide classic boat enthusiasts with the tools to help make informed decisions when buying or selling a classic boat. Important things like race wins or ownership history can impact boat values, as well as restoration history.

Boat Condition
It’s important to correctly classify your antique boat based on the condition. The Hagerty Classic Boat Value Guide uses four categories to determine a value based on the condition of the boat.

Marketplace comparisons
Next, compare the boat to others in the marketplace. Do they have value features that make them worth more or less? What is the asking price?

Clarify the claims of the seller
Are there records of maintenance and repair work? How long ago was the bottom replaced? Who did the work? What system was used?

Consult with experts
Have a mechanical evaluation performed. Hire a qualified surveyor or appraiser to value the craft. Join a club that celebrates the type, kind or brand of boat. Go to local or regional shows, as well as national events.

Condition Ratings

In the Hagerty Classic Boat Price Guide, the following is assumed, but not always present. If these conditions do not exist, deduct accordingly:

  • A trailer, in very good or better condition is included with the sale. For larger boats, this trailer will have brakes.
  • The boat is under responsible care or ownership. A title, or appropriate paperwork, is included with the sale.
  • The boat bottom is to a good standard, and there is no immediate need for attention for the boat to be safely used.
  • The powerplant might or might not be original. If the power is not original, then it is an acceptable substitute. "Acceptable" varies from boat to boat and will change over time.

#1 Boats are also known as "Bristol" boats.

Boats in #1 condition are better, and in some case much better, than the day they first left the manufacturer. All varnished wood is of matching grain, and there are no flaws visible to the naked eye on any external surface. All hardware fittings are as new, and all bright work appears fresh and polished. The engine compartment is without spill or stains from fuel, oil or coolant. The bottom is as new, but might be of an acceptable updated material. There is no use or wear damage evident on any part of the boat. Many boats in #1 condition have not seen the water since restoration.


#2 Boats are in "Excellent" condition.

Boats in #2 condition may be boats formerly restored to #1 condition, but with hours of use or possible seasonal outside storage. Boats in #2 condition may also be a well-done amateur restoration, or might have near-perfect wood and interior, but only good chrome and hardware, for example. A seasoned boater might see some flaws, but the casual observer will think this is a perfect boat.


#3 Boats are in "Very Good" condition.

Boats in #3 condition will have only light visible cosmetic flaws. The coloration of the deck might be off from original, and the varnish might have some light clouding. Small repairs, or areas that need small repairs, might be in plain sight. All gauges will be present, but the faces might be faded or even cracked. Chrome is good, but possibly not all of it is fresh. A seasoned boater will be able to make a list – from five feet away – of this boat’s needs.


#4 Boats are in "Good" condition.

Boats in #4 condition will possess multiple flaws, but are usable for both pleasure and transportation use. The deck might have mismatched woods, and some "fixes," as opposed to restoration work, are easy to spot. The gauges might be complete, but they are of an incorrect type or style. Hardware and chrome might be pitted, and some of it might be from different generations. The seat cushions might have a tear, or they might be of an updated style.

What’s your classic boat worth? Value it now