Buying a boat

Buying a Boat? Here’s Our Advice

Written by Mariah Hoefle
September 10, 2019

Last Updated on May 20, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

When You Should And When You Shouldn’t Buy a Boat

If you are an avid boat enthusiast who likes and wants to sail or cruise frequently, you might be considering buying your own boat. It is not a small investment to buy a yacht and you should tread lightly, making the informed decision. Buying a boat can be a return on investment on a bigger scale, but it can also be a trap and ongoing budget drainage if you don’t set your priorities straight. It is never a good idea to invest in something on a whim, and there are plenty of good reasons to buy a boat, but also it’s good to know that you can also offset the costs of owning a boat. To make this brainstorming a little bit easier, here are some pros and cons.

Top Reasons Why You Should Buy a Boat

If you plan on using a boat frequently, for all sorts of activities, it is a sound investment to buy one. You can always charter a boat, but that can easily add up to a costly hobby if you are doing it too often.  You also have to take into consideration where you live, which pretty much directly affects the frequency of using a boat. If you live nearby a lake or the sea, it is certain you will use a boat more often, otherwise, you will have to either store it in a marina or drive it on a boat trailer.

If you like to go angling on weekends, there is no doubt that you should own your boat. Pretty much all the situations that require you to use a boat more than a few times a year are a good indicator that you should buy one. If, on the other hand, you don’t dock out more than a few times a year, the only sensible thing you can do with your boat is to share it. This will greatly offset the costs of maintenance. Owning a boat is not a cheap endeavor.

You have seasonal and monthly expenses for the maintenance, insurance and dock fees, and it can easily become a financial burden if you are not careful. Calculate very carefully if it would be more effective for you, money-wise to rent a boat a few times a year. Boatsetter company has very attractive rates, arrangements and different types of boats at your disposal. It is a headache-free way to satisfy your sea wanderlust.

Most Important Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Boat

The answer is pretty obvious. If you don’t plan on using your boat very often, if you are inexperienced and not interested in learning about boating, especially if you don’t live near any larger body of water, it is better to rent a boat than to buy it. If you don’t use your boat at least twice a month it is literally an endless money pit, and buying a boat is a bad decision. Boat maintenance depends on the size of your boat, but it is very expensive, so much so, that you might even have to sell it to get yourself out of the piled up bills. Usually, if you sell your boat, it can never be a full return of your investment. Don’t forget about obligatory (and in worst scenarios very welcome) boat insurance. For better or for worse you have to pay the insurance in case of any kind of damages and security issues. Docking fees vary from place to place but they are never negligible. When you put all that into perspective, you have an expensive pet to maintain. There is an option to share your boat with a boat rental company, but that comes with its own set of risks if you are not insured properly. Boatsetter insurance covers all the possible mishaps, so you can be sure that your investment is safe.

Choose Your Boat Wisely

If you went through all the pros and cons of buying a boat rather then renting it, and you are still in favor of buying one, you should carefully choose your vessel. There are many factors that can determine what kind of boat is the best one for you.

If you are a fishing enthusiast there are a few types of boats that will work for you:

  • Bass boats that are from 16 to 26 feet with a V-shape haul which is important for navigating shallow waters, while carrying up to three people.
  • Center console boats can be anywhere from 18 to 48 feet and can carry plenty of people depending on its size. It is a single deck boat for both fresh and saltwater activities.
  • Sport Fishing boats are ranging in size from 38-100 feet and can support a few days of fishing expeditions for multiple passengers. They are used mainly for big game fishing.

Water Sports Activity Boats

If you are choosing a boat for water sports activity, you should have a few things in mind. Your boat should have built-in support for wake tabs, towers, and wake accessories. You don’t have to add all of that from the start, but you have to have the possibility to add it later on.  Also, your boat should fulfill the main requirements for the water sport of your choosing, such as speed and size. And lastly, it should be versatile, so that you can repurpose it when you are not taking it out for the water sports

Boats for Cruising

If cruising around the world is your jam you should choose a bit bigger and a sturdier boat that can overcome many unexpected weather and distance events. Your boat is for the most part, your home in that setting. Your boat has to have living facilities as well as a bit larger storage space and bigger fuel and water tanks. Cruising can be dangerous if you are not prepared and stacked up with supplies for sailing days on end.

The next decision that you will have to make is choosing a new or second-hand boat. This depends on your budget the most, but you can find real jewels among well maintained second-hand boats. However, it is for the best to buy a brand new boat with no hidden traps if you can afford it.

The Simple Numbers

Buying a boat is not a small investment. For example, to buy a boat of 26-feet in size, you are going to have to pay around 80,000 USD for a new one or 20,000 USD for a used one. If you plan on buying an even bigger boat for the longer trips, let’s say around 36-feet, it can cost you up to 150,000 USD for the new boat or about 40,000 USD for the second-hand boat of that size. Yearly maintenance for a boat is between 3,000 and 7,000 USD, depending on the size, the state of your boat and the unexpected breaks and damages.

When you consider all of the above, buying a boat is a serious life choice. Besides the money, you have to invest in a certain lifestyle that comes with it. There is a way to make it into a profitable side job and rent it with other captains. But if you don’t have time to do it, it can cost you a lot. Yes, you can save with boat sharing, but if it is more costly than it is worth, you always have a better solution to just rent a boat a few times a year.

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