How to Evaluate Engine Value for Boat Motors

by Eric Cedric

If you have a boat motor you wish to sell and are not sure of the value, or even how to establish value, follow a basic formula to find the fair worth of the engine. Much like automobiles or trucks, boat motor value is determined by the year, make, model and condition. NADA Guides publishes annual updates to reflect the value of boat motors much like they do with cars, trucks and other transports.

Write down the make, model, size and year of the motor to be valued. For example, if the motor is a Johnson 85HP and was made in 1985, write this information down. Most motors have the maker name on the cowling and a number indicating the horsepower. For year, look under the cowling at the serial number or engine identification number to find the year of the motor.

Read all the maintenance records of the engine and see how many major overhauls have been done, if there are reported troubles with the motor and if there are any current mechanical issues with the motor. A motor decreases in value with age, use and mechanical overhauls.

Enter all the information into the Nada motor value website, or consult a hard copy of the guide. Find the appropriate condition of the engine on the information fields and enter. For example, the aforementioned Johnson 85HP made in 1985 shows a low retail value of $35 and an average retail value of $40. Use these values for your particular engine to evaluate value for sales.

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About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera outboard motor boat image by Wimbledon from