Boating is prevalent in the United States, with more than 20 million recreational boats operating.
Boating is also a great hobby and can be an exciting way to spend time with family and friends.
But before you decide to buy a boat or rent one, there are certain things you should consider before making your purchase.
There is more to owning a boat than just obtaining and taking it out on the water.
Like any other major purchase, you will spend a reasonable amount of time thinking about how to finance it, such as the maintenance costs and taxes that might be involved and how much it will cost to insure.
Especially if you’re considering purchasing an expensive boat, you should know how much it will cost to own one.
Ownership can be relatively cheap if you’re prepared to do some maintenance and keep a close eye on local sales and auctions in your area.
But you should also consider all the fees that you must pay. Again, this is separate from what you pay each month or year for insurance.
Don’t forget any federal or state law-mandated dock fees you’ll have to pay when keeping your boat at your home marina.
One of the most significant considerations when buying a boat is whether it fits into your lifestyle.
If you don’t plan on using your boat often, owning one may not be worth the cost.
You can rent boats from marinas instead of buying one, saving you money on maintenance, repairs, and insurance costs.
Buying one might be a good investment if you plan on using your boat regularly.
According to the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the average annual boat ownership cost is $1,955 for powerboats and $2,495 for sailboats.
Here’s a breakdown of all the costs you need to cover as a boat owner. If you want to know more, you can check out this website.
Boat owners often have to perform regular maintenance on their vessels if they want them to last and perform well daily. As a result, most boats require routine maintenance every few months or so to keep them running smoothly.
The cost of a boat varies by size, type, and condition. For example, a small runabout will cost less to maintain than a larger cabin cruiser.
A newer boat will cost less than an older model. And a vessel that’s been well maintained will cost less than one that’s not been appropriately cared for.
The annual cost is around $800-$1,200, including engine maintenance and cleaning, hull waxing, winterizing, cleaning and polishing the interior, changing all fluids and filters, etc.
Annual Maintenance costs can vary depending on how often you use your boat in the off-season or if you keep it stored indoors over the winter months.
If you only use your boat for a few months per year, then annual costs will be lower than someone who uses their boat all summer long (or even year-round).
The insurance costs associated with boating are usually higher than those for other vehicles because boats are more likely to suffer damage and accidents.
Insurance premiums average about $1,250 annually for a recreational boat with no personal watercraft (jet ski) or trailer included.
The cost can be higher if the boat is rented out, used commercially, or has a high value (over $50,000).
If you don’t have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle policy, you may need to add personal liability coverage for injuries or property damage caused by your boat.
In addition, some states require owners to carry liability insurance for registered vessels over a specific size or horsepower level (or both).
Taxes and Fees
Boat tax rules are complicated because there are so many different types, but some general principles apply.
First, all boats over 24 feet long are considered personal property; those under 24 feet are regarded as real property.
Personal property is taxed at a higher rate than real property. For example, if your boat is over five years old, it will be classified as used and taxed at the highest possible.
Also, if you have owned your boat for less than six months before applying for a title in your name, that will affect how the state taxes it.
Suppose you own a recreational vessel such as an inflatable kayak or paddleboard. In that case, these items are also considered personal property and would be subject to higher taxes than real estate or vehicles like cars or trucks.
In general, the amount varies by state. But it can range from $100 to more than $1,000 depending on the size of your boat and its value.
In addition, fees vary from state to state, but they typically include a registration fee and sales tax.
Boat Storage Fees
Boat owners have the option to keep their boats in a marina. However, if you do this, you’ll have to pay monthly marina fees and your annual insurance premium.
These fees vary depending on where you live and what type of boat you own.
Boat storage fees are based on the size of your vessel, ranging from small runabouts to yachts measuring 100 feet or more.
You’ll also need to factor in whether or not you want indoor or outdoor storage for your boat. The cost for either option is usually around $1 per foot per month, with outdoor storage costing less than indoor storage.
Boat storage fees can add up quickly depending on where you live. However, if you don’t have room in your yard for storage, there are many options available that could be less expensive than keeping it in your driveway or garage all winter.
Boat ownership is a rewarding experience. There are so many things to do and see that it’s impossible to get bored on the water. But before you take the plunge, there are some things you need to know.
It can also be expensive and time-consuming. So, before buying a boat, ensure you have enough funds for maintenance and repairs. You may also consider joining a yacht club or marina to access maintenance services and other amenities.