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Old 07-31-2009   #1
Naples, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 16
Raft Depreciation

I am wondering if anyone has ideas on the price depreciation of rafts. For instance, I am considering trading a 1 year old boat (14') for a 13 year old 16' raft. Obviously the condition has a lot to do with it, but what is a fair way to account for the years difference by price tag?

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Old 07-31-2009   #2
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
It seems like you loose about 20% of the value of an item.... like a raft soon as you walk out the door with it. Cars and truck.....sometimes more.

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Old 07-31-2009   #3
oarframe's Avatar
Gardnerville, Nevada
Paddling Since: 00
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 447
Pick a number

From the U.S. Master Depreciation Guide

Assets used in the commercial and contract carrying of freight and passengers by water (except as noted below) are 15 year property

vessels (eg yachts), barges, tugs and similar means of water transportation, but not used in marine construction or as a fishing vessel are 10 year property

Assets used in the recreation business are generally 7 year property

Fishing vessels are 7 year property

Bless the IRS - you can pretty much pick your poison - unfortunately personal assets like your own private boat, not used in business are non-depreciable for tax purposes. But I digress, that was not the question was it?

From a bored cpa on a friday afternoon
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Old 07-31-2009   #4
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
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Posts: 844
Rafts don't depreciate, they just become holier!
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Old 07-31-2009   #5
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
13 years old. That is a coincidence. I just bought a 13 year old SOTAR this spring. Maybe it will help to give you my numbers. Don't know if I paid too much but I don't care because I'm happy with it and I'm kind of rich:

I paid $1300 for a 14' 6" 1996 SOTAR ($1400 and change with tax). It needed $900 worth of work to fix a few blown out I-beams in the floor and have someone else do a butt-load of patching of pin-hole leaks by going in through the valve holes to patch from the inside. Total = $2300.

I always try to think about raft prices in terms of kayaks. An expedition frame costs 1 kayak. A used 13 year old high quality raft that needs some work costs 2 kayaks. Fixing up a decent amount of damage on that raft costs 1 more kayak. So I've got 4 kayaks in it so far.
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Old 07-31-2009   #6
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Originally Posted by Ture View Post
....I always try to think about raft prices in terms of kayaks. An expedition frame costs 1 kayak. A used 13 year old high quality raft that needs some work costs 2 kayaks. Fixing up a decent amount of damage on that raft costs 1 more kayak. So I've got 4 kayaks in it so far.
Couldn't you have just tied the 4 kayaks together then?
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Old 08-01-2009   #7
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
I will second the idea that a raft loses a big chunk of change when you take it out of the shop. Used Hysides generally sell for about $1800-$2500 in a 14ft model. They cost in the range of $5,000 new. They are usually boats that were used commercially for a few years are are in decent but not great shape. At 13 yrs old the real question is the condition of the boat, not its age unless it is a glued PVC boat. If it is a glued PVC boat it's service life is essentially done - not worth much more that maybe $500. If it is Hypalon and in great/perfect condition it could still be worth as much as 75% of its original value, but probably more like 50-60%. Really you should look for comparable boats and what they are selling for in the market (the buzzed swap page, NRS's swap page, Boatertalks page, etc.). That is usually the best guide. You might also try calling some raft sales shops and asking their opinion.

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