How Much Does A Sailboat Cost? – Haggle Tips!

If you’ve ever been on the water, chances are you’re already wanting to pursue sailing as a hobby or a career. In any case, you may be on your way to purchase a sailboat. Your question first question would probably be – how much does a sailboat cost?

A sailboat costs anywhere from $500 to $100,000+ depending on the size, model type, amenities, usage level, and purpose. You could find a basic sailboat for around $10,000, but the condition and size may affect that price.

If you need expert guidance in choosing the ideal sailboat for you, keep reading to find out what you need to know about buying your first or second sailboat. 

Buying A Sailboat: Factors To Consider

Every sailboat varies in terms of maintenance, size, usability, amenities, and purpose. Depending on the factor, the cost and availability can vary. Before you head on to buy a sailboat, you should know this first. 


Ask yourself if you need a new or a used sailboat. This is the first and foremost thing to decide before you buy a sailboat. If you’re looking for a new sailboat, you can expect excellent amenities, but the price can be high too. On the other hand, a used sailboat can cost less but might incur additional costs depending on the condition.

For example, a used 22-ft sailboat (manufactured in the 1970s) can cost around $5,500, while a new one can cost around $30,000. 

I bought my first sailboat in 2013. It was a 1984 Catalina 22′. It cost me $3000 and I think I overplayed but you live and learn. Read all about my first purchase here!


What are you buying a sailboat for? Are you planning the purchase for your personal use or for your family’s vacation, or to change it into a business? Decide what the purpose is and then think about the type of boat that would best serve that purpose.

For example, multihulls offer more space and are great for sailing as a business. On the other hand, a speedy monohull can capture the interest of hobbyists. 


The size of your preferred sailboat is directly linked to other factors. However, the price can significantly vary depending on the size. For example, a 22-ft yacht can cost between $27,000 and $84,000, while a larger vessel, like a 40-ft yacht, can cost between $400,000 and $600,000.

I know these prices are all over the place but until you know what you are looking for they will be.

If you’re unsure of the size, we’d recommend you to visit a seller physically and assess various aspects, including features. Remember you can always improve the features of the boat but the size can never be increased. Make sure it’s the size you want or you may have to upgrade or downgrade down the road.


Amenities are what make your boat more enjoyable and less of a headache. If you are set on a certain brand of sailboats then you may be limited on what features you can have. I recommend an open mind when looking for a boat.

Let me reveal a quick tip. 

You don’t need all of the features and amenities when you buy the boat. You can buy a boat that is missing a few. I love working on my boat and improving it over time. This saved me a ton of money upfront and I was able to learn so much building as I went.

If you do need some basic amenities or gadgets like a GPS, make a list of what the boat needs on day one. Fancy items like a hot water heater can wait!

Average Costs of Sailboat

Now that you’ve decided on the various factors required to purchase a sailboat, it’s time to get your budget ready. 

As a rule of thumb, remember that a new small sailboat costs $10,000 while a used one costs $5,000. 

Let’s look at the costs associated with different sizes, brands, and types.

Table 1: Costs based on sizes

Size (feet)Cost (in USD)
>5040,000 up to a million

Table 2: Costs based on types/brands

TypeCost (in USD)
Laser sailboat6,000-20,000
Sunfish sailboat4,000-6,000

The prices above can vary but these are a good range if you are thinking of buying new.

Haggling Techniques 

Who doesn’t love negotiating and bringing down a sailboat’s price? As soon as you like a specific brand of sailboat, choose other factors like size, condition, and amenities. Now, it’s time to get into action and haggle with the buyer. 

Here are several tips to negotiate boat prices and arrive at the ideal value:

  1. Perform market research and list comparative prices. This will inform the seller that you’ve done the research and that it’s inappropriate to pitch an extremely high value. 
  2. Conduct a detailed walkthrough of the boat and make a note of every repair that needs to be made. Even if you’re planning to upgrade technology equipment, you can still note that it’s outdated.
  3. Make an offer with a lower price. However, don’t compromise your ethics. 
  4. Go for a sea trial. This gives you a detailed understanding of the technical aspects of the sailboat. For instance, you can assess speed, comfort, and other boat operations. 
  5. Assess the seller’s knowledge about the boat. This helps in negotiating better. If the seller is completely unaware of things concerning the boat, that may work to your advantage.
  6. Don’t counter-offer more than 3 times. Instead, look for other options at hand. 
  7. Remain unemotional and take enough time to do your research. Sometimes, people lose deals because they get too emotional or attached to the boat. The research process is totally left behind. I have personally been there!

Here’s a great video explaining the ideal method to strike a good deal while purchasing a sailboat:

Did you know that these techniques can bring down costs significantly? If you’re considering operating a business with your sailboat, decide on your long-term goals and check if all licenses are updated. 

Final Thoughts

Boat buying is an art! From deciding to buy a boat to negotiating, your skills play major roles. Nevertheless, it all starts with proper background research and regularly consulting with a surveyor to ensure that you aren’t fooled at any point. 

Prioritize market research and look at as many options as possible. Above all, don’t forget to haggle. It saves time, and money, and gives your a reason for the price you paid.

So, are you all set to get hold of your dream sailboat? Happy buying! Cheers!


Boatlifehq owner and author/editor of this article.

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