Owning a boat is an incredible experience, allowing you the freedom to enjoy fishing, cruising, watersports, and create fun memories with family and friends. It’s a vacation you can enjoy anytime you’d like.

     Often boating is more affordable than many people think, but it does cost money. And beyond the price of buying your boat, there are other expenses you should consider. The more you know about all the costs involved in boat ownership, the better you can plan for them. Then you can spend less time worrying about the costs of owning your boat, and more time having fun onboard with friends and family. Here are some costs to consider when thinking of buying a boat.

  • Price of the boat. The most obvious cost involved is your boat’s price tag when you buy it. Prices will vary depending on the type, size, new vs. pre-owned, age, condition, options, etc.  The first step is figuring out what activities you want to enjoy and how much time you want to spend on the water. That will determine what type boat you should consider.  Many financing options can help make boat ownership surprisingly affordable. New boat interest rates are typically less than pre-owned. the more cash you’re able to put down, the less you’ll spend on interest.  We stock a great variety of boats ideally suited for boating here in Central Florida. See all our in stock inventory here:
  • Boat Insurance. If you own a boat, you’ll want to have boat insurance to protect your investment in case of any accidents, damage or theft. Again, the cost of your boat insurance will depend on many factors, including the type of boat you have, its value, and your accident history.  As far as cost, rates average about 1.5% of the boat’s insured value annually. A $40,000.00 boat will about $600.00 per year.
  • Boat Trailer. Depending on the size of your boat, you may need a boat trailer to transport it from your home to the water and back. Using a boat trailer is cheaper than keeping your boat in the water at a marina or a harbor mooring.  Often the price of the trailer is included with the boat. If not perhaps that’s an item to negotiate into your sale. In terms of maintenance, a trailer will need basic upkeep as well; tires, brakes, and general maintenance, plus monthly storage fees if you can’t keep it on your property when your boat’s in the water.  It also requires more work on your part. Find out more in our Towing & Trailering guide
  • Storage. If you decide to keep your boat on a mooring or at a slip in a marina, that will be a regular expense. The cost for that will depend on several factors, including the type of facility and its location. In many places, you’ll also need to store your boat over the winter. That could be shrink wrapped at your home or at a professional facility. Some places even offer indoor, heated winter storage.  In Florida winter storage is not a concern. Here at Mount Dora, we offer both wet slips and Hy-Dry storage, which keeps your boat cleaner. Find out more about our Storage Solutions. 

Maintenance. Just like your car, a boat will have maintenance issues, ranging from the corrosive effects of saltwater on your hull to engine problems. The more you can handle boat maintenance yourself, the cheaper it will be. Of course, there’s no substitute for the quality work of a professional. Here at Mount Dora, we offer services such as routine boat maintenance, mechanical service, cleaning and detail work, gel coat and fiberglass repair, and much more.

  • Taxes, title and registration.  Vary greatly from state to state. Here in Florida the purchase is subject to the state sales tax of 6% plus any county discretionary sales surtax.  Title and registration fees vary depending on the size of the vessel. With the exception of registration renewals, these are one time costs normally be factored into the purchase price and loan.  Annual registration renews average $50 to $75.00
  • Fuel. Gas prices can vary widely, but the cost of fuel on the water is often more expensive then you’ll find at the local roadside gas station. The reason is the regulatory costs of providing fuel on the water, higher octane and most is ethanol free fuel. Additionally, boats are notorious for using a lot of gas, although some new models are increasingly fuel efficient. Something to consider as you’re contemplating a new vs. pre-owned boat.  The cost of fuel and how much your boat goes through is often a surprise to new boat owners. Plan ahead and factor that cost in before you buy your boat.

    Mount Dora Boating Center has been helping new boaters get on the water for over 30 years.  “Boating Made Easy” is not just a tag line, it’s the way we do business. We take the extra time to learn what experience you want to enjoy on the water than put our expertise to work making your buying and ownership experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.  Other sources you might want to research to learn more:

https://www.discoverboating.com/buying/costs-of-boat-ownership

https://www.boats.com/boat-buyers-guide/how-to-buy-a-boat-tips-for-a-first-time-buyer/

https://www.boattrader.com/resources/plan-annual-boat-budget-plus-money-saving-tips/