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The real cost of owning and operating a family boat

Written by Fiona

October 05 2021

Boat sales have been increasing since the Covid pandemic began and experts predict the trend won’t slow in 2022. If you and your family members love the great outdoors, investing in a boat might be a lifelong goal. Unfortunately, most people will never be in the financial position to purchase such a luxury item, but even if you are, there are a lot of costs that you should consider before investing in a new or used boat.  

It’s no secret, the cost of owning and operating a boat is going to burn a large hole in your wallet. Before you spend your hard earned money on a watercraft, you should prepare a budget from your Bitcoin wallet for the initial cost of the boat, and a financial plan for the range of expenses every boat owner is faced with while operating the boat. 

Purchasing a boat

Before entering the market for a boat, you should have a good idea of the type of boat you want to buy for your family. If you try to purchase a used boat without knowing what you are looking for, or the average price of the boat, you might end up with a grossly overpriced vessel that requires plenty of maintenance. So, to avoid investing in a money pit, do your homework. 

Most brand new boats available don’t come with an engine, so you will be forced to buy one separately. The internet has changed the way lots of people purchase boat equipment, as there are several sites like Outboard Occasions selling a wide range of new and used engines.

If you are thinking about buying a second-hand engine, make sure you hire an expert to examine it first. The initial cost of the engine is one thing you should look at, but consider finding out how much the engine parts cost too.

It is inevitable that you will have to maintain your engine now and again, so it is vital that you put aside some money to make sure the cost of fixing the engine is covered. 

Even if you buy a brand-new boat, you might come across problems. However, most new boats come with a warranty, so don’t forget to read all the details before investing. Although used boats are often a lot cheaper than new models, you can expect to pay a small fortune on maintenance costs. Also, no matter whether you’re purchasing flats boats for sale Fort Myers or another model in a different location, It’s vital you complete the sales through a trusted seller to ensure you’re getting the highest quality boat possible.

Boat insurance

Although boat accidents are not as common as car accidents, you should consider investing in boat insurance. If you are on the fence about buying boat insurance, here are a few reasons why you should take out a policy. 

  • Coverage is not as expensive as you might think: Boat insurers are known for giving their clients discounts. Claims-free credit, navigation system credit, and having a coast guard approved fire extinguisher onboard can help you reduce the cost of your insurance. 
  • If you or any of your passengers sustain an injury while on the boat during an accident, the insurance company will cover all of the medical expenses. 
  • Protect your boat against natural disasters: A freak storm can cause serious damage to your boat’s structure, which can cost a lot of cash to fix. Taking out a policy that protects your boat against natural disasters is highly recommended. You won’t have to worry about finding the money to repair the vessel because the insurance company will cover it. 

Keep in mind that not all boat insurers charge the same rates, so it might be worth your while asking for separate quotes from different insurance brokers. If you are investing in a new boat, some dealerships will pay their new customers insurance for the first year.

During the negotiation stage, consider asking the sales representative to add in an insurance policy with the new boat to sweeten the deal. 

Storing the boat

Where are you are going to store the boat? This is another thing that you should give some serious consideration to before buying a watercraft. If you don’t live beside the water, or you don’t have a lot of land on your property, you’re going to have to find a safe place for your boat to live. 

The cost of storing a boat is not cheap, and with more people investing in boats these days, prices are increasing. Most people have two options, one is to store the boat out of the water which is known as dry boat storage, and the other is on the water, known as marina boat storage. 

If there are lots of boats in your area, then there should be at least one warehouse where boat owners can store their vessels. These warehouses are designed to store multiple boats at once. Each boat is covered to keep the boat secure at all times. You won’t have to worry about rain, wind, or UV damage to your beloved boat. If you are looking to invest in a smaller boat, these storage facilities are ideal.

You might also have the option of storing your boat on the marina slip. This is probably the most convenient storage option available, but you will have to invest in a marina slip. The price of marina slips varies, depending on where you live. Because marina slips can cost a lot of cash, you might want to ask about the price of the dock fees before buying your boat. 

Boat maintenance

Even if you respect your boat and take extra care of it, you might still find yourself spending money on maintenance. From engine tune-ups to wax jobs, it seems like maintaining a boat is never-ending. Even if you were to invest in a new boat, you can expect to have to pay for maintenance. 

Before you become a boat owner, it might be a good idea to learn a little about maintaining the boat yourself. Not only can maintaining the vessel yourself save you plenty of cash, but it can also be a lot of fun too.

For example, if you were to invest in an outboard Yamaha engine, instead of employing a professional to work on it you can do it yourself. Nowadays, sourcing parts for boat engines is easy thanks to the internet.

By cutting out the middleman you should be able to find inexpensive engine parts and carry out the tune-up yourself. There are plenty of engine fixing tutorials uploaded to streaming services like YouTube that are worth checking out. 

Boat buying conclusion

Owning a family boat will allow you and your loved ones to explore wide and open spaces. It gives you a sense of freedom, but that doesn’t mean you should rush out to your local dealership without giving the idea of owning a boat some serious thought. You have to be financially prepared for owning a watercraft.

If you run into financial difficulty, you might be forced to sell the boat, which isn’t always easy, especially if the boat isn’t in immaculate condition. You might find the cost of the annual maintenance shocking, so knowing what to expect will help with your financial planning. The last thing you want is for your dream of owning a boat to turn into a nightmare. 

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