I hear client's talking all the time about how much new boats have gone up compared to the last time they looked. True, everything goes up in life, boats included, but if you compare what you used to get in a new boat 10 years ago vs. what you get today, you might be surprised to find you're getting more than you bargained for.
Let's take the average 32' today that runs about 90K from the factory. Let's see what we get for our money now that we didn't use to get. All of the items listed are things that are now standard on a new boat that you wouldn't have gotten 15-20 years ago. Plus there's an approximate price for comparison
Let's start at the top, Sails: Yes you get the boat and then have to buy the sails. By the time we get the basic main and genoa we would have spent about $1,500.00 and $1,200.00 respectively. Plus we all want Roller furling for the headsail. Who could live without that? That's another $2,000.00 for our 32 footer.
Plus a lot of boats have In-Mast Furling standard. This option used to be a $10-$15K option back in the 80's but mass production and demand has lowered the price. Even so it still would cost about $4K to add to our 32 footer today.
So far we've added $8,700.00 to our new unequipped boat and we really haven't finished with the outside.
Everyone wants a coach roof traveler, all the lines led aft with halyard stoppers , self tailing winches for both the halyards and the sheet winches. A good traveler alone would run about $1K and to upgrade the winches to self-tailers and run all those lines aft would probably run another $1K. So now we're up to $10,700.00.
Most new boats have windlasses now and most of them are electric. Chaulk up another $2K for the windlass. New total $12,700.
If you wanted any instruments you had to buy them. Now we have knot and depth as standard on most 32's, plus a VHF with masthead antenna and a stereo with interior and cockpit speakers. Even a less expensive combo unit knot, depth with a log will set you back $1,200.00. Add another $500.00 for the low grade VHF and stereo and we've grown to $14,400.00. I don't want to even consider the fact that binnacle compasses, wheel steering and instrument pods weren't always standard.
Let's move inside and start at the galley. Refrigeration was rarely standard on any boat 15 years ago. Neither was propane-stoves and/or ovens and definitely not microwaves. Those three items would cost you $2K, $1K and now $200.00 respectively and most of the time the microwave now is built in. New total $17,600.00. Plus here again I won't even mention a hot water heater or even pressure water as an option but a few years ago they were.
Batteries are certainly necessary to run a boat, but they never came with the boat. Neither did the battery selector switch or all those nice overhead and bulkhead mounted halogen lights.
For length of boat, manufacturers are installing much larger diesel engines than they use too. I don't know how to equate that to dollars but it's good to know they are. But we do see dripless packing glands, fuel water separators, and sea water strainers as standard now. Cost? Add in mere $500.00 for these.
Did you know most boats didn't have opening ports as standard? You were lucky to get one or two way far forward and those fixed dead lights on the sides aft.
One thing that is missing from some new boats is the absence of exterior teak. It took me a long time to get over the non teak exterior look, but every time I pay the teak lady's mortgage payment for doing mine I get over it real quick.
The bottom line is there is at least $20K worth of gear and equipment that is installed on the average 32' as standard equipment today that we had to pay for a few years ago. Take the average base price of $90K for a 32' today and knock that $20K off when you're comparing prices from years ago. I think you will find you get a lot more boat for your money.