A flat-bottomed airboat that uses powerful propellers for moving without entangling in swamp vegetation is ideal for those living near shallow waters. In that case, you can use it for fishing or spending leisure time with your family.
The crucial thing is how much does an airboat cost. Typically, you should pay $40,000 to $400,000 for a new model or only $5,000 to $30,000 for a used one. However, that price can significantly vary, depending on numerous factors. Let’s see.
New vs. Used Airboat
Since an airboat is expensive, most people who want to buy it consider both options available, a new model or a used one. Things are simple.
After paying $40,000 to $95,000+ for a new boat, you won’t need to consider possible hidden flaws and required repairs. Plus, most manufacturers provide a warranty.
On the other hand, a used airboat will come with 60% less price than its retail value. So, you can get a more sizable vessel with attractive extras for far less money.
When purchasing a new airboat, you can count on the benefit of being the first owner. Since it comes with a warranty, the manufacturer will be responsible for possible repairs.
Moreover, current models have an up-to-date design and the option of adding the adjusted high-quality upgrades and extras.
Even though the price range for new airboats is wide, be prepared that they are a significant investment. Their cost typically depends on the brand, design, used materials, desired upgrades, and premium accessories.
For instance, you can pick out an affordable Diamondback commercial airboat for $32,000. On the other hand, it is necessary to set aside an impressive $420,000 for an enclosed, 24 feet (7.3 m) long American airboat corp model.
The common question is why are new airboats are so costly. The primary reason is the lack of mass production. Plus, large airboat engines and fans are expensive.
Keep in mind that most parts are handcrafted, making labor costs high. For instance, outfitting with fine details and using superior materials like stainless steel will cost you money. If you want a personalized airboat, you should count on an even higher price.
Finally, the crucial factor that influences the airboat price is its rarity. As expected, it is always pricey when you have difficulty finding something.
Buying a used airboat model is often the only option for many people. First of all, you should be sure whether you want an old design pre-owned airboat, a newer one, or last year’s model.
Whatever your option is, you can notice a few advantages of such a decision, such as:
You will get more for your money – Since the second-hand airboat market is more affordable than buying a brand-new model, you will get a more quality vessel for less money.
Purchasing a used model means decreased initial costs, like dealer fees. Plus, accessories typically come with the boat.
More comprehensive buying options – You can look for a used airboat online. Numerous niche airboat websites, boating communities, Facebook marketplace, and forums are excellent places to get the correct info.
Once people know what you are looking for, you will get more information about a desirable type, make, and model in your budget range. That will possibly include airboats unavailable to buy new.
Customization and upgrading – Most used airboats come already upgraded and customized. The best of all is these features rarely affect the final price.
Numerous online and offline sellers – Most airboat owners who plan to sell them offer them both online and offline. Surprisingly, you can also find manufacturers selling used older models that way.
An average price for used airboats is $5,000 to $40,000+, depending on the fan and engine conditions. However, you can find a manufacturer-sold used customized airboat that reaches even $100,000.
Be prepared that location significantly affects the overall costs. It is possible to get an excellent airboat at an affordable price if you do your homework.
Factors That Affect Airboat Price
Since you can use an airboat for different purposes, you should expect to find numerous types on the market.
The first airboats were made for military purposes in 1915, but manufacturers have expanded the list of the designs and ways of use since then. Nowadays, you can find various types, including:
- Ride airboat
It is a classic, min 24 feet (7.3 m) long airboat type you can use for short trips. In most cases, it comes with GPS, a 550 HP engine power, and a fuel capacity of 60 gallons (227 l).
The primary advantage is a hull made of stainless steel in combination with a flexible seating arrangement. You should pay approximately $20,000 for a new vessel.
- Fishing and hunting airboat
Fishing and hunting airboats are the most common in the US. Such a vessel is excellent for you if you enjoy fishing in shallow waters, and you can find it for around $20,000$. The tricky part is that you need more inside space and more accessories for inserting the gear.
- Ice airboat
This airboat is an excellent solution for you if you go fishing during the winter season since its specific hull makes it easier to sail in the ice. Since its hull is stronger and safer than regular ones, you can expect to pay more for it. The estimated essential cost is typically about $25,000.
- Touring airboat
Agencies that organize tourist tours near rivers are the primary users of this airboat type. They vary in the seating number, ranging from 6 to 40, affecting the price. Models with six seats will cost approximately $20,000, while those for 40 passengers are worth over $300,000.
- Commercial airboat
A commercial airboat is different from the touring boats by the seat number. It typically has fewer seating places, making it less expensive. You can purchase one for $15,000 to $30,000.
- Search and rescue airboat
It is a rare airboat type for people with a license on rescue. As expected, they are costly because of a more powerful engine. Plus, some models include expensive special firefighting equipment. Most models available on the market have a price of approximately $35,000.
- Law enforcement airboat
These official airboats are intended for law enforcement officers. Since it has a powerful motor and it is possible using it in any condition, its estimated value is around $40,000.
- Mini airboat
Mini airboats are significantly cheaper than regular-sized commercial models. You can purchase one for approximately $16,000, depending on the length.
As expected, the airboat price will directly depend on the model you choose, its length, and the engine power level. The most popular models you can find on the current market will cost you $29,000 to $95,000.
Airboat price by model
|1999 18 by 8 feet (5.5 x 2.4 m) Panther class 425 HP||$29,000|
|2012 15 by 8 feet (4.6 x 2.4 m) AirRanger 450HP||$45,000|
|2017 16 by 8 feet (4.9 x 2.4 m) Floral City airboat 556 HP||$50,000|
|2008 19 by 8 feet (5.8 x 2.4 m) Alumiteck airboat 572/620 HP||$55,000|
|2016 16 by 8 feet (4.9 x 2.4 m) AirRanger 450 HP||$59,000|
|2013 20 by 8 (6 x 2.4 m) AirRanger Thrills and Kills 625 HP||$67,500|
|2012 18 by 8 (5.5 x 2.4 m) AirRanger Dragon Lady edition 600 HP||$70,000|
|17 by 8.5 feet (5.2 x 2.6 m) AirRanger 1000 HP||$90,000|
|22 by 9 feet (6.7 x 2.7 m) AirRanger 900+ HP||$95,000|
If you plan to buy an airboat, you will find out that several US manufacturers produce them. All companies provide a few models with a wide price range.
Airboat price by brand
|Brand||Highest price||Lowest price|
|Diamondback||$59,000 for 20 feet (6 m) long airboat||$32,000 for 12 feet (3.65 m) long airboat|
|Panther Airboats||$121,000 for 33 feet (10 m) long airboat||$37,000 for 12 feet (3.65 m) long airboat|
|American Airboat Corp||$420,000 for 24 feet (7.3 m) long enclosed airboat||$69,900 for 16 feet (4.9 m) long airboat|
You can see them in the table, but pay attention to the fact that those prices include neither customizations nor a trailer. They are only for a primary model.
Be aware that the maintenance costs for this boat type are slightly different from other available models because of the engine, fan, and unique building design.
Therefore, you need to determine the motor type before purchasing the airboat and take care of it timely and adequately. Regular maintenance typically costs several hundred dollars a year, but you should set aside a few thousand dollars for some engine models.
Be careful to avoid the no longer manufactured motor since you may have problems finding spoiled parts when needed. You should also spend about $50 to refresh the hull color at least once a year.
Finally, you need to check a fan regularly. In most cases, it is inexpensive action since you only need to inspect and thoroughly clean its central part. On the other hand, repairing or replacing a broken fan will cost you $1,000 to $4,000.
The airboat price is variable, depending on numerous factors. You should take care of the type, model, and brand you want. Then, it is time to calculate whether your budget covers a new or used vessel. Remember that the engine price significantly affects this boat’s cost.