Top costs to consider before making your dream of owning a boat a reality

While many people share the dream of owning a boat, there are several things to consider before taking steps to make that dream a reality.

More people are pursuing that dream of owning a boat these days. But at what cost? With more boats on the water, the possibility of a boating accident also increases. There were about 280,000 powerboats sold in 2018, an increase of 4 percent over the prior year that added to the estimated 12 million boats documented in the U.S. that year.

But it’s not just buying the boat that you have to consider. There are other costs associated with owning a boat, and some of them may surprise you.

Where to store the boat?

For some boat owners, their yard or driveway may seem like an easy solution to storing their vessel on a trailer. But keep in mind, many neighborhood and community associations don’t allow the storage of boats on the property. And some homeowners don’t have room in their yard or driveway to store a boat. So that means the new boat owner might have to pay monthly and annual fees to store the vessel at a nearby marina.

Do boats require insurance?

While only three states currently have laws requiring some type of boat insurance (Alaska and Utah require insurance, and Arkansas requires in some cases), owners definitely should buy insurance for their boat. The policies are important because they can cover everything from vessel damage, injuries to passengers, unintended environmental claims, and salvage work. Don’t assume a homeowner’s policy will cover your boat. While many do, it’s usually only for limited issues and certain types of boats.

What kind of maintenance do boats require?

Depending on the type of boat purchased, maintenance could become a major expense. For new boats purchased by the dealer, typically warranties are provided much like those that cover a new automobile. But strict maintenance rules are required and that typically means a preferred marine mechanic must be used at a higher cost to the owner. There are also normal maintenance costs (filter replacement, engine fluids, and components) that are not covered by the warranty that owners must keep in mind. For older boats, maintenance costs are typically higher and include things like servicing the engine, hull, electrical, plumbing, and other parts like hitches and interior.

Does a boat cost money when not in the water?

Yes, the expenses don’t end when owners take their boats out of the water. The main expense for owners is the cost of winterizing their boat to ensure it remains in top shape when the weather won’t allow for taking it out on the water. You can save money by taking the steps yourself if you know what you’re doing. But if not, there will be greater costs involved in removing water from the vessel and its components, changing fuel filters and separators, tending to protections for the engine, and draining the boat’s plumbing systems.

Read Also: 4 Must-Have Items For Your New Boat

For some, owning a boat is living the dream they’ve had for decades as they anticipated making it a reality. For others, they’ve found the expense of owning a boat is just more than they can stomach, so better to find a friend who owns one instead.

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