Need a value


New Member
Hi there. I purchased a 1971 Ericson 29 in Portland Oregon and brought it up to Washington where I live and will be keeping it. Well I went to the licensing agency with my title and bill of sale which reflected the price I paid for it. Well apparently the tax they want to charge is not based on what I paid for it but rather the value of the boat. The problem is that they did not have the value of the boat so they told me that I need to have a survey or get a letterhead from a dealer to show a value. Well I am not paying for a survey cause that costs to much money and I tried to find a value online but had no luck. Is there anyone that can help me or steer my in a direction to get a formal letter stating a value. Thanks.


Member III
Call a local dealer and ask them for an average value of a '71 Ericson 29 on a letterhead. Tell them what the licensing agency told you and you will pay for the dealers efforts. I am sure a salesman at the dealer would do that for $150 !

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Interesting problem. :(
A friend of mine "shopped around" among several WA license outlets to find one that would certify a fairly low $ value for his just-purchased boat, which lowered the WA sales tax. I have never heard of rejecting a real bill of sale. Absent some sort of fire-sale price like $500., a current bill of sale is the gold standard for this 'value'. Suggest you 'shop around' and find other dealers.
Note B: an early E-29, could be worth anywhere from 1K to 10K, in this pandemic-affected market. Unless it's an exceptional one, I would guess the value at under 6K. But that's just a SWAG.

BTW, do not think that you will never need a survey..... often insurers demand one, and no marina will allow you in without proof of insurance. At least that's the way it is on the Oregon side of the Columbia. Our YC marina has a number of WA registered boats.
Best of luck in your quest.


Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
I’ve found that with the Oregon DMV, if the clerk you’re talking to gives you toxic attitude, hang up and dial again. The phone queue rings at random to every office in the state. The second or third answer may be a human being. IDK if that works in WA.
Come to think of it, I still have a problem on a camp trailer title caused by WA DMV twenty years ago, that has never been resolved.

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Blogs Author
I'd be surprised if any yacht broker wouldn't take a piece of letterhead, look up on his computer the market value of your boat, scrawl a sentence in ball point pen, and hand it to you free of charge.

They're in the business of meeting sailors and now they have a "relationship."