Things To Know Before You Buy: Boat Edition


3 min read

Many people after quarantine have had extra money lying around after receiving stimulus checks. With nothing to do, and especially with nowhere really to go this summer, people have turned to either investing some of that extra cash into buying pools or boats. Many people earlier this spring have tried to order a pool for installation to find out that some contractors are booked until next year because of the high demand. This high demand for pools has made many people turn their interest into buying a boat. Although summer has finally come to a close, some people may still be planning for the summer ahead. I am here to give you some information that you might want to consider before you spend your money on a boat.

1. You can’t buy just the boat.

 A big reason many people are interested boats is because they believe that it is a “one and done” kind of deal. When I say this I mean that consumers often think that they can buy a boat and then just plop it into the water and get to sailing, but this is not the case. When you own a boat you are required to have certain things on board, whether you are buying a yacht, a pontoon, or a speedboat. These things are made mandatory by the US Coast Guard. These items include: lifejackets (enough for as many people as the boat can hold), fire extinguisher (by the captain’s chair), flares, a whistle, first aid kit, legal documentation (valid registration and decals), anchor and rod line. When everything is said and done buying these items often end up making the boat at least $1,000 dollars more.

2. Upkeep! 

 Just like a car, boats need maintenance.  The oil must be checked and the boat must be inspected once a year. Bigger boats must get winterized, which is essentially just prepping the boat for winter. That can cost boat owners anywhere from $800-$1500, depending on the size of the boat. Gas for boats is also very expensive and currently runs for about $4.55 a gallon.

3. Docking and Launching, and Storage

 *The numbers provided are estimates from the cost to be a leaseholder at the Fox Chapel Marine Club in Pittsburgh, PA.

Now if you are buying a bigger boat or if you don’t have a truck to haul your boat back and forth to the water when you want to launch it, you’re going to have to take docking, launching and storage costs into consideration. Every time you launch your boat, meaning putting it in water, it will run you $15. If you want to be a leaseholder, the cost of holding a lease depends on the footage of your boat. The cost to be a leaseholder is around $87 dollars per foot. Additionally if you are buying a boat that requires electricity, electricity is about $85 a month while in the water. Then when you are done using the boat for the season and you want to dock it somewhere other than your garage, that will run you approximately anywhere from $500-$1500.

These extra costs may come as a surprise to some people in the future after they’ve purchased the boat which emphasizes why it’s important to consider everything that is associated with buying and owning a boat. When all is said and done you never really are just paying the sticker price for a boat … and as many boat owners like to say…. BOAT stands for….Break Out Another Thousand!

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