Are you among the 100 million Americans who enjoy boating each year? Are you wondering how to buy a boat for yourself and your family?
Perhaps you’ve heard stories about your friend’s exorbitant boat cost. Maybe you’ve researched different boat brands but you worry that boat ownership is beyond your budget.
The good news is that boating doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. Keep reading for four ways to reduce boat costs and realize your dream of owning a boat.
1. Understand the Costs of Boating
To be fair, boat cost goes far beyond the price tag for purchasing it. You also need to factor in the costs to maintain and operate the boat, which might include:
- Launch fees
- Dockage fees
- Marina fees
- Boat covers
- Cleaning & repair work
- Boat insurance
- State registration
- Safety equipment
- Fuel costs
- Recreational equipment
Generally speaking, you can expect to spend about 15%-20% of your boat’s value each year to maintain and operate it. However, there are ways to reduce some of these costs, such as storing your boat at home or learning to do basic maintenance work yourself.
2. Buy a Pre-Owned Boat
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a boat show. The newest models have some impressive bells and whistles — but they often come with an equally impressive price tag.
With some research, you can find some amazing pre-owned boats for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a new model. Freedom Boat Club offers expert insight into how to choose a high-quality, pre-owned boat.
3. Consider Fractional Ownership
Do you have friends or family members who also love spending time on the water? Why not see if they’re interested in going in on the purchase with you? Just be sure you agree on how to divide the bills and the usage so it’s fair for everyone.
There are also fractional boat ownership companies you might consider if you only plan to use your boat occasionally. This might be a more economical option and it may also allow you to invest in a larger or more luxurious model.
4. Improve Your DIY Skills
If you haven’t already, sign up for a boating education course so you can avoid making a costly mistake on the water. You may also enjoy a break on your boat insurance.
When it comes to routine maintenance, why not roll up your sleeves and do some of the work yourself? Watch some YouTube tutorials to learn how to clean your boat, winterize it, or install new accessories.
Of course, you’ll want to save any significant repair work or mechanical issues for professionals. But learning how to handle some basic tasks yourself can save you thousands during the course of the year.
Lower Boat Cost: Happy Boat Owner
Everyone loves boating, but many people worry that owning a boat is outside their budget.
As we discussed above, this simply isn’t true! Use these tips to enjoy a lower boat cost that will let you do what you love — without breaking the bank.
Now that you know how to buy a boat, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for other informative articles about lifestyle, finance, and much more.