A Guide to Getting an Accurate Vessel Valuation

a row of canal boats

Amidst the beauty of our waterways, it's important to remember to protect your boat and keep it safe. Having the appropriate canal boat insurance coverage is essential before sailing.

To safeguard your investment in the maritime industry, it is crucial to get a precise evaluation of your boat. This will prevent any chance of having insufficient insurance coverage when making a claim.

This article will discuss the importance of knowing the correct value of your boat. It will cover the factors that affect its value and provide guidance on obtaining an accurate appraisal.

What is a vessel valuation and why is it important?

Regular boat valuations are crucial because a boat's value can change based on market trends and societal conditions. E.g. according to Boat Trader, in 2022, global boat values were 29% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Accurate boat valuations ensure proper insurance coverage, minimizing the risk of being underinsured when making a claim.

You may also choose to have your narrow boat surveyed. A narrow boat survey aims to determine the boat's condition, construction date, and any damages acquired over the years. Having your boat surveyed can be beneficial, especially if you have recently purchased a second-hand vessel.

What affects a vessel valuation?

A boats value depends on a number of factors such as make, model, size, age, condition and even location of the vessel.


Also referred to as brand, influences the value of a vessel the same way it would influence the value of a car. Top boat manufacturers earn their reputation for excellent craftsmanship, advanced features, and superior materials in comparison to other vessels. For this reason, their boats may retain their value better over time. As well as this, certain boat makes may just be in higher demand in the current market.


The value is impacted by boat design, especially when manufacturers tailor models for specific activities. If the model is from a well-established brand than that also helps it hold its value for longer.


Helps determine a boats value for a number of reasons. A bigger boat will likely be more expensive because of the materials, extra work, advanced features, and additional amenities. These factors contribute to its higher value. Additionally, a larger boat offers more space on board.


As we know with cars, normally the older they get the more their value tends to decrease. This is the same with vessels. Older boats are typically worth less than newer ones because of factors like upkeep, damage, and distance travelled.


Geographical location can greatly influence a boat value. A vessel in one region may not be as valuable in another region because of the level of demand. If a boat's purpose aligns with its location, it's more likely to be in demand and more valuable in that area.


Arguably, the most crucial factor in valuing a vessel is its maintenance. A boat that's well-maintained will hold its value better than a poorly maintained one, even if they are of the same type and age. Some components of the condition of a boat include Structural integrity, Mechanical systems, Electrical systems, and Interior & Exterior appearance.

How do you obtain a correct valuation?

Make sure that you use a trusted, registered Marine Surveyor or Boat Broker for your valuations. They will, for a relatively small fee, provide you with a current written market value for your vessel. No need for a survey in water, just a valuation like an estate agent does for your home.

Are you properly insured?

Make sure you have the correct marine insurance before you start your journey on the water. No matter how relaxing your cruise may be in your narrow boat, there are risks that could become reality at any moment. Ensure that you have proper coverage in case of an accident. Contact us today to speak to an insurance broker and arrange a quote…