Cost Of Owning A Boat – Bankrate. com

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If you are interested in buying a boat and setting sail on the open water, you have a lot of costs to consider. While the cost varies significantly depending on the type of boat a person want, the average cost of a new boat can be anywhere from $ 40, 000 to $75, 000 . The average cost of an used boat is between $10, 000 and $20, 000. However , there is more to the price of the boat than the initial price tag. You also have to consider the maintenance costs, boat insurance, fuel costs and potential taxes.

Yearly boat maintenance typically costs about 10 percent of the particular cost of the boat, though that can vary depending on the type of vessel and how often you do maintenance. You should be diligent about preventative maintenance if you intend to motorboat in saltwater because the salt can damage the particular boat over time. Average boat insurance rates are around 1. 5 percent of the boat’s insured value, but exact rates depend on the insurance company and the area you live in. You ought to also consider the price of getting a trailer, safety items, winter storage and other miscellaneous costs.

The best ship for you will depend on how you intend to use it, the region where you plan to go boating and your budget. For example, if a person want something you can use for water sports, a speed boat would be a good choice; but if you’re looking for something to take out into the ocean and go fishing, a fishing boat or cabin cruiser could be your best bet.

If you want to buy a boat but are unsure about the costs involved, the information below will help you make the best decision for your finances.

Chart of boat types

Financing a boat 

The best time to buy a boat is typically in the fall, right after summer. Most manufacturers start advertising discounts in September or October and continue to do so into the winter months. Purchasing your boat during the off-season could help you cut costs significantly and could even help you avoid taking on any debt.

However, buying and maintaining a vessel is expensive no matter when you buy it, and you may need help financing it. If you need to borrow money to cover the cost of your boat, there are several options. The most popular ways to finance your boat are through a boat loan, a personal loan or financing through the dealership.

Boat loan

A boat mortgage is a type of personal loan utilized to purchase a boat. Boat loans are fixed-rate installment loans, meaning that you will associated with same monthly payments throughout the particular life of your loan. You typically need the credit score of 680 or higher to qualify for a lender’s greatest rates. You may be required in order to pay a downpayment of 10 to 20 percent of the boat’s purchase price, but many lenders do not require you to do this.

There are secured and unsecured boat loans. If you take out a secured boat mortgage, the boat itself is used as collateral. You could lose your boat if you do not make your monthly payments. Unsecured boat loans do not require collateral, meaning you will not lose your boat if you default on your payments. Nevertheless , unsecured loans usually have higher interest rates than guaranteed loans, and getting behind on payments will cause damage to your credit score.

If you are considering a boat loan to finance your new vessel, you should compare lenders , get quotes from your top choices, and calculate your own monthly payments  before making a final decision.

Personal loan

Similar to a boat loan, personal loans are fixed-rate installment financial loans. A personal loan is a good financing option if a person have a high credit rating and a steady income stream. They can be used for virtually any purpose, and some have low interest rates for good to excellent credit borrowers.

Because personal loans tend to be unsecured, you do not have to worry about losing your boat if you don’t pay it off. However, you should calculate your monthly payments and make sure you can comfortably afford them before producing a final decision.

Dealership loan

Marine financing through a dealership is the most convenient boat financing option. Dealerships sometimes offer perks like manufacturer deals and rebates, and a person don’t have to search for loans from alternative lenders. However , this option tends to be the lot more expensive. Loans from dealerships have higher interest rates and longer repayment periods than other loans.

Boat maintenance 

When you buy a boat, you possess to consider maintenance costs, potential repair costs, and the cost of fueling plus operating a boat.

Maintenance and repair costs

Typically, annual motorboat maintenance costs about 10 percent of the cost of the particular boat itself. For example , a boat that cost $20, 000 to purchase would cost roughly $2, 500 a year to maintain. Some examples of typical boat maintenance include painting the hull, cleaning the deck, replacing broken or worn down parts plus winterizing the boat to protect it from the elements during the off-season. Like the car, boats require regular maintenance to reduce wear and tear.

Fuel and operating expenses

You must also consider fuel costs, especially if you have a larger ship. Smaller boats typically just take regular or premium gasoline, while larger vessels may require diesel, which is more expensive. A person can avoid fuel costs if you get a sailboat, which is entirely wind-powered, but most other boats require fuel. You need to research the fuel needs of the boat you want to buy before making a purchase.

Additional operating expenses for a boat include oil changes, batteries, a pump and lights. Just like a vehicle, these elements should be checked and replaced regularly.

Boat insurance, taxes, certifications and registrations

When you buy the boat, you also have got to get boat insurance, obtain your boat registered plus potentially get certified in order to drive it, based on the state you live in. Some states also charge boat taxes, so research your local requirements before buying a boat.

Here is a breakdown associated with these costs:

  • Boat insurance coverage costs between $200 and $500 a year upon average. Insurance for bigger boats typically costs around 1 to 5 % of the boat’s value. The cost of vessel insurance varies and may depend on several factors impacting how safe the particular boat is. These consist of the type of boat, the condition of the motor, whether the boat meets security standards, the age of the boat, your location, your driving record as well as the boat’s intended purpose. For instance , it would be a lot more expensive to insure the deep ocean fishing boat that is in poor situation than it would become to insure a brand new cabin cruiser that you intend to take away on the lake.
  • Boat fees are  required in some states. If your state charges a vessel tax, you will have to pay this tax once a year. There may also be an one-time sales tax at the point of purchase.
  • Certifications and registration. The precise cost of boat sign up varies by state and the type and size of your boat. There is furthermore typically a small yearly charge to renew your enrollment. Registering your boat allows you to drive this legally through public waterways. You must keep your own registration documents on the boat with you, and they should be placed according to the laws of the state. Some states need you to take a boater certification course to operate a boat. Nevertheless , each condition has its regulations, therefore whether you have to do this plus how much it will cost depends on the state a person live in.

Other price considerations 

Additional costs associated with boat ownership include the cost of storing your boat, the cost of the trailer, safety necessities and miscellaneous items such as water sports equipment.


An important but often overlooked element of owning a boat is properly keeping it. Most people do not really use their boat year-round, and you have to have somewhere to store your boat during the particular winter months.

There are a variety of motorboat storage options. Generally speaking, unless you choose home storage, a person will likely spend among $50 and $200 per foot for indoor storage and $20 to $50 per foot for outdoor storage. Indoor storage will be more expensive because it offers tighter security plus you do not have to worry regarding winterizing the boat in order to protect it from the elements.

Storing your boat in your garage or driveway is usually likely the cheapest choice. However, you will likely have to buy a trailer and winterize the ship. Note that Homeowners Associations sometimes have rules about parking boats in driveways, so make sure you are allowed to do so before settling on this option.

Here is definitely a breakdown of the particular most common boat storage space options:

Storage option Cost Pros Cons
Dry stack storage $150/ft/year Convenient
Protects boat from weather
Less expensive than a marina
You can’t get your boat whenever you want
More expensive than home storage
Marina storage $20-$50/ft/year You don’t have to rent a trailer
Ready to proceed when boating season starts
Socializing opportunities
Dock fees
Potential damage from being outside
Aquatic pests
Minimal security
Self storage facility $50-$400/month Easy to find one near you
Easy to pick up and drop away
Good security
More expensive compared to other options
Boat is vulnerable to the elements if you choose outdoor storage
At house storage space Vessel trailer cost: starts at $500 Cheapest option
Immediate access to your boat
Exposure to the components
Must winterize your own boat


In order to get your boat in order to the water, you need to have the boat trailer and a vehicle that can tow this, such as a truck. These costs can differ depending on the size of your boat. A boat trailer can range from $500 to over $10, 1000.

In addition to a trailer and a towing vehicle, you must invest in your boat’s required safety equipment. This includes a fire extinguisher, enough life jackets for every passenger, a flotation device, a visual signaling device and a sound signaling device. The exact protection equipment you need can vary by state, but these are the basics. Having the medical kit and flashlight is also a good idea. Depending on the size associated with your boat, having paddles on board in case of emergency could be beneficial.

Additional cost considerations

Once a person buy your boat, there will certainly inevitably be accessories you want to splurge on that aren’t strictly needed. Budgeting for these things ahead of time is a good idea to avoid overspending. You may want to invest in water sports equipment, dry bags to keep your valuables safe, waterproof electronics, fishing gear or other items that will make the boating experience more pleasurable. Before shopping for these items, create a budget to ensure a person get the most out of your own experience without going over spending budget.

The bottom line 

Buying a boat is an exciting adventure, but it is also costly plus time-consuming. There are so many extra costs outside the initial purchasing price, and you must stay on top of maintenance and repairs in order to keep your investment in good shape. Before buying a boat, consider all these costs and write a cost estimate/yearly budget. It is important to ensure you can handle almost all of the costs associated with having a motorboat before buying one.

Choosing a financing option like a boat loan, personal loan, or dealership financing could help you plan some of the particular costs. However, you can avoid taking out a loan by saving up instead, buying an used vessel for a lesser cost or splitting the price and sharing the motorboat with a trusted friend or even family member. Whichever choice you choose, make sure that you do your research and come up with a plan prior to making any decisions.

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