Boating is affordable and there’s a boat for every age, lifestyle and budget.
• Most people don’t realize how affordable boating is: in some instances, you can buy a brand new boat financed for around $250.00 a month, like a car.
• Boats provide tax deductible and cost effective second homes. Interest on a boat loan can be deducted if the boat has a galley, berth and head.
• Visit a boat show to see what boating products are available and line up the best deals.
Take a look at our interactive "Budget Planner" to compare the costs of boating to other family activities and see for yourself how affordable boating can be.
• The typical boater only operates his or her vessel about 75 hours a season.
• Nearly 95 percent of boats on the water today are under 26’ in length. These crafts do not require exorbitant amounts of gas, so any impact would be negligible.
• In fact, 64 percent of boaters say they purchase less than fifty gallons of gas per season—roughly two trips to the gas station to fill up your SUV or Minivan. (NMMA/RMRC, July 2005)
• Boating isn’t an activity like driving where you are using gas all the time. In fact, when a person is boating, they may be fishing or swimming and not using the motor at all. If you own a sailboat the motor is used even less.
• Higher fuel prices present a marginal increase in the operating cost of your boat. For owners of $500,000 boats that use 100 gallons in a weekend, a 50 cent increase in gasoline means that a weekend of fun on the water will cost $50 more, while owners of smaller boats that use 20 gallons of gas will end up spending $10 more on gas. The small increase in operating cost isn’t expected to limit boaters’ time on the water.
• Boat insurance costs vary by boat length and type, cost of the boat and level of coverage.
• Consult your insurance agent for quotes or compare rates online. Some smaller boats can be insured for a nominal sum as a rider on a homeowner’s policy.
• You can reduce the cost of marine insurance premiums by taking a boater’s education course.
• Boat, trailer, and motor maintenance can be as simple as a freshwater wash down after each use and keeping them covered between adventures, helping to keep maintenance costs at bay.
• Costs for routine maintenance vary by region, but for more involved services, such as oil changes and winterizing, expect to pay what you would for your car on an hourly basis. Pre-owned boats can require significantly more maintenance.
• You have several options depending on the size of your boat. You won’t find a less-expensive way to keep a boat than storing it on a trailer in your driveway or backyard. Another alternative for smaller boats is rack storage. A typical rack storage facility keeps your boat in a covered shed with trailer-like cradles.
• For owners of larger boats, and owners of small boats who crave convenience, a marina slip is the best way to go. Costs vary by state/region as well as by the size of your boat.