Boat Ownership

How Much Does A Boat Cost?

In general, most used boats are around $10,000-20,000 and new boats are in excess of $50K. Top-end lake and ocean boats cost about the same for say a 20-footer. For example, a Ski Nautique is in excess of $150K-200K brand new, but you can pick up used ones for around $50k. Sounds similar to that of ocean boats. You can get new lower-end versions of all these styles of boats for around $75K new such as Bayliner, and Yamaha. Skiffs/Jon Boats are much smaller and cheaper, usually under 18 feet. 

How much should I pay for a boat?

Most important thing is realizing what you’re actually going to be using for the majority of the time. That will tell you what kind of boat you’re looking for. Then ask yourself how much you can afford and count on 10% of the overall price going towards yearly maintenance.

New VS Used On Average 

Used: $10,000-20,000 for used up to $50,000 USD.

New: $75-100K+ USD

Motors inboard, outboard, diesel.

Personally, I like outboards because they limit the potential for leaking into the hull. You’ll be paying about $100 per horsepower. So 250 will cost you $25k USD and will last for 1500 hours on average but I do know people that I’ve gotten 3000 hours out of their inboards with regular use and maintenance.

Diesels will last about three times to fives longer before needing an overhaul. They are more durable than an outboard but they do cost more and are heavier.

Regular inboards like Chevy 350 that you would find in your car also can be in your boat. These are easy to work on because if you know anything about cars it’s not much different. The difficult thing about them is that they require a outdrive stern which is another component that requires maintenance and has the potential to leak into the hull. [Source]

The type of drives. Stern inboard drive, stern inboard shaft drive, outboard, and pod drives. 

Is it expensive to have a boat?

It’s expensive to have a boat. If you own a trailer you have to maintain it, which includes the lights, bearings, and wheels – not to mention stuff is always breaking on them. 

The same goes for a boat and its accessories. Things are always breaking on the boat and sometimes routine maintenance just isn’t enough especially if you operate your boat in saltwater. you’re going to want to get a boat cover and sometimes they get torn and require replacement they cost a few hundred dollars. 

Another unseen expense is just all the cleaning supplies you need for your boat to ensure that it stays looking good as new.

Additionally, there are some things you want to buy for your boat in order to maintain it such as salt away and any additional fluids needed like girl oil motor oil.  

Every boater should have a good tool kit on board.

The Coast Guard required equipment can be expensive too when you consider life jackets first aid kits signal devices let alone just registering your boat. 

Another cost is just the fuel price. Depending on what you want to do with your boat it can be very expensive to run it for a full day out on the water. Boats get anywhere from 1 to 3 miles per gallon on average. [Source]

How much does it cost per month?

Besides the monthly boat payment, you’re gonna need to store your boat somewhere which can usually cost up to $1200 USD if you keep it in a slip or in a storage lot it can be over $200.

Add on gas and random things needing fixing and it can add up quick.

Where to buy boats

I’ll look online but if you go to any marina and walk around you’ll see boat postings everywhere. Another good place to look is to check with your friends.

If you have a friend that you know maintains his boat well, it might be a good idea to purchase his if he’s looking to upgrade or get out of boating altogether.

Popular Boat Types

Lake Boats

  • Pontoon boats
  • Ski
  • Wakeboard and wake surfing boats
  • Bass boats
  • Flat bottoms
  • Bowriders

Ocean Boats

  • Fishing
  • Yachts
  • High Bows
  • Center consoles
  • Cabins
  • Deep Vee Hull

Speed Boats

  • Jet Boats
  • Offshore Racing

Is buying a boat worth it?

In my opinion, buying a boat is only worth it if you plan to use it at least twice a month if not more. Boating is a lot of work and in order to make it worth it has to be a part of your life.

Love your taking the kids to the lake fishing or tubing or heading offshore for some big game fishing action it’s got to be something that you love to do because it is time-consuming and the costs can add up.

By Captain Jon

Jon has two boats in his little armada. A 16-foot Gregor Baja that he uses for inshore fishing and spearfishing and a 14-foot Takacat 420LX inflatable catamaran for Baja missions. Jon was fortunate enough to have boating mentors make his time on the water more efficient and wants to pass on the learnings to you.

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