Owning a Boat on a Budget
Do you love the idea of owning a boat to share fun experiences and memories with your family and friends? Many people assume boat ownership is expensive and won’t fit their budget. But the truth is that there are affordable solutions to fit every budget.
Two cost factors must be considered when buying a boat: the initial purchase and the ongoing maintenance costs.
Costs of Owning a Boat: Sticking to Your Budget
Consider these tips if you want to own a boat and keep your costs low at the same time:
- Boat Purchase: The initial cost of buying a boat is obvious – the amount you will pay for the purchase. This price varies depending on the type of boat and other factors. New boats generally run between $40,000 – $75,000. On a budget, you can buy a used boat for as little as $10,000 – $20,000.
- Registration: Check your state and county requirements for boat registration. The cost of registration varies depending on the boat length and class. Typically, these registration fees need to be paid annually.
- Insurance: Various factors will affect your insurance premiums, such as the age of the boat, levels of coverage, and your location. Contact your insurance provider for a personalized quote.
- Fuel: Whenever you take the boat out on the water, you must stop at the gas station to fill the tank. Look online for fuel calculators that can help you estimate the fuel you will be using. The gas cost is increasing, which means fuel prices are increasing. But smaller boats are more affordable since the fuel consumption is lower.
- Storage: If you don’t have a storage location on your property, there might be associated costs for keeping your boat at another location. Look into marina storage as well as dry boat storage options, which typically charge on a monthly basis.
- Transport: When moving, even within the same region, it’s important to know shipping & transport options for your vessel. Different sizes and types of boats will need different types of equipment that not every transport service comes with. Do research your needs and keep these things in mind.
- Equipment and Accessories: Set a budget for boating accessories and equipment, such as life jackets, wakeboards, a marine radio, fishing rod holders, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, coolers, batteries, seat cushions, and more.
- Repairs and Maintenance: A general guideline is to expect to pay about 2% of the new boat purchase price (or 10% of the used boat price) in annual maintenance costs. Keeping up with boat maintenance is essential to help you avoid more expensive repairs in the future.
The simplest solution for owning a boat on a budget is to buy a smaller one since the initial purchase and ongoing costs will be lower than a larger one.