Buying a Boat

Cost of Ownership For Used Boat Owners

Whether you are living alone or have a family, owning a boat is considered a significant investment. Along with other considerations, aspiring boat owners are faced with the decision of whether it is better to buy a vessel mint from the builder or one that has already been owned by someone else.

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to whether new or used boats is better than the other as everyone has their own preferences. Either way, one of the biggest factors you need to consider before taking the leap is the cost of ownership.

New vs. Used: How Much Will Owning a Boat Cost?


A car’s value often depreciates every year from the date of the purchase, so it is often cheaper when sold as a secondhand property. The same is true for boats. In fact, the selling price of a pre-loved watercraft loses up to 20 percent of its value during its first year of purchase.

Of course, it is worth noting that the first year of a boat’s life in the water knocks of the biggest chunk of the vessel’s worth, so you won’t have to worry a similar depreciation from its value in the years to come.

One disadvantage to choosing brokerage boats over new ones is the lack of warranty. Since it is already used by someone else, a pre-loved vessel may have issues with the hull, engine, and other onboard equipment. While there are dealers who offer a minimal warranty, used boats rarely come with such a guarantee. This means that you’ll have to size up the risk before taking up a brokerage boat.

Possible Extra Costs For Used Boats

Source: Boat US

1. Inspection – If you’re new to the boating industry, it is best to hire a trained eye to determine whether you are getting your money’s worth when buying a pre-loved vessel. A qualified marine surveyor charges about $20 per foot but they are thorough in conducting inspections. If you’re eyeing a smaller boat, you can opt to hire a marine mechanic instead. They charge between $75 and $125 an hour.

Source: Ace Boater

2. Registration – Boat registration can cost about $150 in Canada, but documentation of vessels depends on various factors, including the country or state you live in. While it is not required in some places, it is still best to check what is for your country or state. Learn more about boat registration policies for USA, Canada, and Australia here.

Source: 123RF

3. Insurance – Insurances for watercraft varies depending on the coverage which may include theft, collision, and storm, among others. It is best to do some research and sign up for boating safety courses to get discounted rates.

4. Storage – Storing your boat in marinas, “High-and-dry” facilities, or your own garage costs differently, so you would want to find which one suits you and your vessel best.

5. Fuel – Most boats that are 26 feet or less are trailered in the water. However, you may opt to get fuel from the local gas station as it is significantly lower than those in the water. It is also wise to search for ways to save on fuel like running on lower speeds or “coving” with the engine switched off.


6. Maintenance – It is expected that a considerable amount of money and time will be spent in maintenance if you opt to buy a used boat. Routine maintenance from dealer’s service centers can cost around $100 to $300 annually, but you can try to do it yourself if you’re up for it.

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