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10 Great Used Motoryachts You Can Buy For $150K

January 16, 2017 1:45 pm

Consider this scenario: you’re in the market for a used motoryacht — probably nothing smaller than 40 feet — with a budget of $150,000, more or less. You want a boat from a good builder (preferably one of their more popular models), and you’re open to the layout as long as it’s comfortable. Everything else is on the table.

If that describes your boating future, you’ll be happy and perhaps a little surprised at the choices available to you in a used motoryacht or cruiser yacht.

To find out for ourselves, we spent two weeks researching this market on YachtWorld,, etc., and came away with a list of ten models that represent a cross section of what’s available for about $150,000. There’s a lot to choose from here — traditional aft cabin motor yachts, cockpit motor yachts, classic pilothouse yachts, and sporty sedan cruisers.

All of the ten boats profiled below were popular models during their production years which means (a) that a clean used model should be relatively easy to find, and (b) selling or trading up one day should be no problem.

At the end of the day it’s good to know $150,000 still buys a lot of boat. Assuming 20 percent down and a 15-year note, the monthly payment for one of these yachts can be less than $1,000. For many, that’s an affordable number, especially with strengthening home values and historically low interest rates. Food for thought as we approach the spring boat show season.

1. Carver 500/504 Cockpit MY Production Years: 1996–2000


At a Glance: A super-popular model for Carver, basically a condo on the water. This is a cockpit version of the Carver 455/456 Aft Cabin model produced during the same years.

Spacious two stateroom maple interior has a folding bulkhead in the forward VIP stateroom that conceals a small guest cabin/den to port with convertible bunks. (This feature was eliminated in 1999 when the interior was redesigned and the name changed to Carver 504.)

The large U-shaped galley is aft in the salon rather than forward as it is in most motoryacht floorplans. In the master stateroom, the walkaround queen bed faces aft to permit the installation of cockpit access door. Washer/dryer is in forward stateroom. Twin 450hp Cummins diesels cruise at 18 knots.

Best Feature: Huge interior, the result of moving the superstructure well forward in the hull (note the relatively short foredeck).

Price Spread: From a low of about $150K up to the mid-to-high $200s for a newer model.


2. Carver 444 Cockpit MY Production Years: 2001 – 2006


At a Glance: The top-selling cockpit yacht in this class for several years. Basically a Carver 396 Aft Cabin with a good-sized cockpit. The 444’s huge full-beam interior — made possible by raising the side decks to eye level — comes as a surprise. With its panoramic views and nearly seven feet of headroom, the salon’s dimensions are those of a much larger boat.

To save space, the forward head is split with the shower stall to port and toilet compartment to starboard. A sliding glass door in the (smallish) master stateroom opens directly into the cockpit.

In 2004, an optional “Extended Salon” floorplan with a full-size dinette, enlarged galley and redesigned VIP stateroom became available. Twin Volvo 370hp engines cruise at 18–19 knots. Carver sold a ton of these stylish boats.

Best Feature: Enormous salon/dinette/galley area with panoramic outside views.

Price Spread: A random YachtWorld check will find several priced in the mid $100K range.

3. Meridian 411 Sedan Production Years: 2003 – 2008


At a Glance: Very popular (and very affordable) sedan cruiser — a winning blend of sharp styling and spacious accommodations — made the Meridian 411 one of the best-selling midrange boats in her class. Huge interior layout with galley and booth-style dinette forward, a step up from the aft salon area with entertainment center and facing settees.

Large salon windows bring the outdoors in. Modern decor with cherry cabinets, Ultraleather seating, and Corian counters. Master stateroom includes private en-suite head; guest stateroom has a double berth (tucked under the dinette) and access to the second day head. Extended swim platform leads to a large cockpit (with molded bridge steps) suitable for fishing and entertaining.

Lower helm was optional. Wide side decks make it easy to get to the foredeck sun pad.

Best Feature: A super-social flybridge with sun lounge, wet bar, settee, and aft sun pad.

Price Spread: Low-to-mid $100s to over $300K.

4. Silverton 39 Motor Yacht Production Years: 2002 – 2008


At a Glance: This maxi-beam aft cabin cruiser — and her lookalike predecessor, the best-selling Silverton 372/392 Motor Yacht — is proof that a roomy interior trumps graceful styling almost every time. Elevated side decks on both sides of the house provide a huge full-beam salon as well as direct flybridge access to the foredeck.

The 39’s galley rivals many larger boats in storage and counter space. Both staterooms have queen beds, generous storage, and en-suite heads with stall shower. High-gloss cherry trim, Corian counters, and Ultraleather upholstery compliment the interior. Molded steps lead from the swim platform up to a roomy aft deck with wet bar, bench seating and hard top.

Note the triple helm seat on the flybridge. The 39’s high freeboard will test your docking skills on a windy day. Standard 380hp gas engines cruise at 16–18 knots.

Best Feature: Enormous two-stateroom interior dwarfs anything in her class. Excellent galley.

Price Spread: $150K to the mid $200s.

5. Bayliner 4788 Pilothouse Production Years: 1994 – 2002


At a Glance: Arguably the best big-boat value ever. Spacious, well appointed, and surprisingly fuel efficient. This is basically a restyled (and lengthened) version of the very popular Bayliner 4550/4588 Pilothouse.

Her three stateroom, two head interior features a full-beam salon with large U-shaped galley forward to port, wet bar, L-lounge seating, and large side windows. In the pilothouse, there is a settee aft of the helm and a companion seat to port.

Visibility from the pilothouse is excellent. Second guest stateroom with upper/lower bunks doubles as a den and opens directly to the master stateroom — very clever. An inflatable dinghy can be carried on the extended flybridge deck. The engine room is a tight fit. Forget all that talk about Bayliner quality — the 4788 is simply a lot of boat for the money.

Best Feature: Comfortable salon that opens to the large cockpit — perfect for entertaining. 

Price Spread:  Low-to-mid $100s for a 1994–95 model to $230 to $250K for a 2001–02 model.

6.  Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge Production Years: 1992 – 1998


At a Glance: Stylish 1990’s cruising yacht with three-stateroom interior and extra-large cockpit. The salon is impressive, a wide-open (carpeted) living area with cut-down galley, long leather sofa, entertainment center, and big wraparound cabin windows.

The forward master stateroom is huge with an island queen bed, two hanging lockers, vanity, and private en-suite head. Roomy guest stateroom has a full-size berth, and the second guest cabin has over/under bunks. Both heads have stall showers, but guest head is tight. Lower helm was optional. Center transom door is flanked by built-in bench seats in the cockpit.

In 1996, the flybridge ladder was replaced with molded steps and the helm was relocated aft. The 550’s straight sheer and drooping bow are distinctive. Detroit 625hp 6V-92 diesels cruise at 22–23 knots.

Best Feature: The large cockpit and party-time flybridge — great attributes for entertaining.

Price Spread: $150K to the mid $200s

7. Maxum 4600 SCB Production Years: 1997 –2001


At a Glance: Modern styling, an inviting two stateroom interior, and a very competitive price made the Maxum 4600 SCB one of the best motoryacht buys of her day. Maxum engineers packed a lot of value into this boat. The salon is exceptionally inviting with wraparound windows, a long leather sofa, cherry cabinets, and full entertainment center.

A raised dinette is forward to starboard, opposite the home-size galley with overhead glass storage and Corian counters. A lower helm was optional in place of the dinette. Note the tub in the master head. In the cockpit, a center transom door opens to an extended swim platform able to support a PWC.

The 4600 SCB is surprisingly fuel-efficient boat, a feature that stems in part from her relatively light weight. Cummins 370hp diesels cruise at 16–18 knots.

Best Feature: An affordable price — this is what brokers call a lot of boat for the money.

Price Spread:  From about $100K for an older model up to $200K-plus for 2001–02 model.

8. Sea Ray 450 Express Bridge Production Years: 1998 – 2004


At a Glance:  An innovative yacht when she was introduced in 1998. Not many 45-footers have three staterooms. The aft stateroom — accessed via a private entryway next to the salon door — includes a full-length berth with hanging locker and built-in washer/dryer.

Forward of that, the amidships stateroom features a double berth with partial standing headroom and an opening port. An island queen is in the forward stateroom. Both heads include separate stall showers. Aft of the galley is a breakfast bar with two swing-out stools. Small salon windows limit natural lighting below. Topside, the huge party-time flybridge has seating fore and aft of the center helm console. Note the unique staircase descending from the flybridge to the foredeck.

An extended swim platform was a popular option. Cummins 450hp V-drive diesels cruise at 20–22 knots.

Best Feature: Huge party-time bridge area.

Price Spread:  An early model might be found for $150K. Newer can easily exceed $200K.

9. Carver 440 Aft Cabin Production Years: 1993 – 1999


At a Glance: The largest model in the Carver fleet when she was introduced in 1993. A big 44-footer with an usually spacious salon, two double staterooms, two full heads, and a convertible dinette — sleeping accommodations for as many as eight adults.

The maple wood accents and carpeted salon are showing their age, but large cabin windows make the interior open and airy. Note salon entertainment center. Full-service galley includes double sink, upright refrigerator, washer/dryer, Corian counter and hardwood floor.

The aft deck is large enough for a table and chairs, and the flybridge has dual captain’s chairs with bench seating forward of the helm. Bow pulpit, fiberglass swim platform, and radar arch were standard. Carver sold a lot of these boats and used models are plentiful.

Best Feature: Very spacious layout with room to entertain a small neighborhood.

Price Spread:  From about $100K for an older model up to $200K-plus for 2001–02 model

10. Sea Ray 420 Aft Cabin Production Years: 1996 – 2002


At a Glance:  Sleek aft cabin cruising yacht incorporated European styling influences in an era when too many American-built motor yachts looked like floating condos. Well-appointed two stateroom galley-down interior sleeps up to eight — includes L-shaped sofa and raised dinette in the salon, walkaround queen berths fore and aft, two full heads, and stand-up utility room under the salon sole.

Full-size galley comes complete with separate Sub Zero refrigerator and freezer, convection oven, and lots of counter and storage space — a big plus. The aft deck is big for a boat this size. Molded steps make boarding from the extended swim platform easy and safe.

Built on a fully cored hull with prop pockets to level the engines. A good performer with 450hp Cummins diesels— cruise in the mid 20s (27–28 knots top.

Best Feature: Utility room with washer/dryer and pantry — a very unique feature in a boat this size

Price Spread:  From the low $100K range for a 1996–97 model up to about $200K for newer.

Ed McKnew 
PowerBoat Guide Founder

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