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Cost Of Owning A Boat

Starting Up

Naturally, prices for new boats vary depending on size and make, but many boat manufacturers and dealers can put you in the captain's chair for considerably less than a monthly new-car payment. In fact, monthly payments for many entry-level boats can be less than $200. Compare boats and their prices to come up with the ideal choice for you.


You can finance a new boat just like a new car. As with car and home loans, boat loans have carried extremely appealing interest rates in recent years. Terms generally range from two to 20 years. Comparing rates on-line is a great starting point.


Similar to new cars, new boats are offered with different accessories and options. When you're pricing boats, factor in the cost of electronics, accessories and water toys and buy what's appropriate for your boat type and size and your home waters. Modern marine electronics are extremely reliable, are loaded with features unheard of just a decade ago and are more affordable than ever. Don't skimp on safety gear.

Today's marine accessories can increase boating safety and fun, and make it downright easier than it was just a few years ago

Operating Costs

Boating isn't an activity like driving where you are using gas all the time. In fact, when a person is boating, they may be fishing or swimming and not using the motor at all. If you own a sailboat the motor is used even less.

Most of the boats in use on the water today are less than 21' in length. These crafts do not require exorbitant amounts of gas, so any impact would be negligible. In fact, 64 percent of boaters say they purchase less than fifty gallons of gas per season" roughly two trips to the gas station to fill up your SUV or Minivan.

Boat Maintenance and Upkeep

Boat, trailer, and motor maintenance can be as simple as a freshwater wash down after each use and keeping them covered between adventures. This simple task will go a long way toward keeping your maintenance costs at bay. If you don't feel like you have the time and energy to do it yourself, hire a pro. It'll pay off in the long run. Costs for routine maintenance vary by region, but for more involved services, such as oil changes and winterizing, expect to pay what you would for your car on an hourly basis. Pre-owned boats can require significantly more maintenance.


When it comes to storing your boat, you have several options depending on the size of your boat. You won't find a less-expensive way to keep a boat than storing it on a trailer in your driveway or backyard. Another alternative for smaller boats is rack storage. A typical rack storage facility keeps your boat in a covered shed filled with trailer-like cradles. For owners of larger boats, and owners of small boats who crave convenience, a marina slip is the best way to go. Learn more about different types of storage.


TBoat insurance varies by boat length and type, by the cost of the boat and the level of coverage you want. Consult your insurance agent for quotes or compare rates online. Some smaller boats can be insured insured for a nominal sum as a rider on a homeowner's policy.

You can reduce the cost of marine insurance premiums by taking a boater's education course.