There’ a lot to consider when buying a canal boat. What microwave and stove to put in your narrowboat are a few of the considerations that most boat owners are thinking about straight away. However, whether a narrowboat holds its value should also be on every boat owners mind. We all know that the value of cars, for example, drops as soon as the showroom hands over the keys to you, but is it the same for narrowboats? Are narrow boats a bit like houses? If you add some extras to a narrowboat and keep it in good condition, is it possible to get what you paid for it, or even more? Well, here some examples of narrowboats on sale right now and how much they sold for when they were made.
Before we get to the canal boats on sale, a quick disclaimer. These narrow boats are still on sale. This means, of course, that the value put on these canal boats are from the owner and not actually the price it sold for. We can’t say for sure that these narrowboats will sell for this price, but we do know what they sold for when they were first made. This should give an indication of whether narrowboats do hold their value. However, you should perhaps take a few thousand off of these prices as there is no guarantee that they will sell for the prices mentioned below.
Are Canal Boats a Good Investment?
For this canal boat study, we’re going to look at three example canal boats. These narrowboats are on sale now, and we have found the price list from the original manufacture that shows the price when they were first built. So, let’s jump right in, shall we?
Mirrormere – a 40ft narrowboat priced at £37,500
Mirrormere was built in 1999 by Peter Nicholls. At this time, this would have cost the owner about £72,250 if Mirrormere was fully fitted out. Currently, this 40ft narrowboat is on sale for £37,500. So, this means that in 21 years, this canal boat has basically half in price. When you compare that to a car, that isn’t too bad!
Swann Song – 57ft cruiser stern priced at £93,000
Swann Song was built in 2016 by Aintree Boats and looks to be in fantastic condition and fully kitted out. In 2016, Aintree Boats was charging £75,000 for a fully kitted cruiser like Swann Song. Now, there’s a good chance that the owners of this canal boat have added lots of extras. In fact, the listing does say that solar panels and solid wood flooring have been added. So, the price is perhaps worth it for the right person. Although Aintree Boats are currently offering these for £89,500. As I said above, though, this boat hasn’t sold for this price. Still, even if they knock a few thousand off the price, it certainly seems to have kept its value.
Molly Marie – A 55ft Semi Trad Stern Narrowboat, priced at £68,000.
This is another narrowboat made by Aintree Boats. It was built in 2014 and would have cost the owner about £69,000 at the time. So, a £1,000 difference isn’t too bad, right? Well, compared to Swann Song, the interior of this canal boat isn’t the nicest, so it’s doubtful that the owner will get this asking price. Still, if they loose £5,000 off of the asking price, they are quids in if you ask me.
Conclusion – do canal boats hold their value?
As you can see, if you take care of your narrowboat, add some optional extras like hardwood flooring and solar panels, then it seems that you can (at least try to) sell it for a bit more than you paid for it. However, if your narrowboat is a bit older, you’ll be looking at about half of your investment back after 20 years of enjoyment. That doesn’t seem like a bad deal.
So, canal boats can hold their value extremely well. If you compare all of the canal boats above to cars, even the 20-year-old Mirrormere gets a better return than most 20-year-old cars (excluding some classic cars). So, in some cases, your canal boat could actually be worth more than what you paid for it. That’s if you’ve added more and kept it in excellent condition. For most canal boats, though, you are likely to get a large amount of your money back. You may lose out on a few thousand (£10,000 in some cases). But you have enjoyed your narrowboat for a good few years, so I think that’s worth a few thousand, don’t you?
We hope this look at canal boats and their value has been helpful. We’re sorry there isn’t an exact science about narrowboats and their value over time. Still, we hope you have seen that canal boats can be a good investment and do hold their price well. For more information about narrowboats, please explore our website further. We have plenty of canal boat articles on here about canals, popular pubs on all of the canals in the UK and amazing equipment that your boat shouldn’t be without.