How much does a boat cost? – Cost of owning a boat!

You’re probably planning to purchase a boat, and now have the ever so popular question ‘How much does a boat cost?’ and ‘What is the cost of owning a boat?’. Lucky for you, I’ve got an extensive knowledge on this topic and will provide you with some accurate answers.

The answer to these questions can vary vastly depending on the type of boat which you plan to purchase. For example, you can purchase inflatable dinghy’s for as low as $40.

A few more examples:

  • A canoe can cost as little as $40.
  • A kayak will cost you around the price of $800.
  • A jet ski could set you back as much as $10,000.
  • A deck boat will cost you around $30,000.
  • A yacht will cost you a rough estimate of $1 Million.
  • A Superyacht can cost you as much as $155 Million.

As you can see, the prices differentiate depending on the type of boat. These prices are also just rough estimates, so the prices can vary vastly depending on the make, model, condition, and specifications of the boats.

Because of this, it’s impossible to provide a straightforward answer to the question. However, what I can do is, provide you with more information about the costs of owning these different types of boats. This also includes the costs which are associated with the ownership of a boat, such as the boat insurance, fuel costs and dock fees.

Some types of boats will not only cost more to purchase, but the cost of maintenance will also vary. For example, a large boat which uses more fuel will obviously have higher fuels costs. For example, a yacht will have higher fuel costs than a jet ski. And a superyacht will have higher fuel costs than a yacht.

It’s very important to understand how much boat ownership costs. You don’t want to invest into a boat and not be able to afford running it. This would be a waste of money and your boat will be depreciating in value whilst sitting idle. Boats can be can expensive in the short term and long term.

When you understand the true cost of owning a boat, you’ll then have to evaluate your financial situation to ensure that you can afford it. You never want to cut your finances to close – always leave wiggle room. You never know when you may lose your job or must pay out a load of money for some issue.

How much does a boat cost?

Woman calculating costs

In this section of the article, I’ll be going into more detail on the three most popular types of boats. These are the boats that you’re most likely interested in. These are Pontoon Boats, Deck Boats, and Motorboats.

I’ve got an article in which I talk about How much a pontoon boat costs of average. The average price of a new pontoon boat is between the price of $15,000 and $60,000. You should keep in mind that this price will vary vastly, depending on its size, type of engine and specifications. You could also find used pontoon boats for significantly cheaper, the average cost being around $20,000.

I’ve got an article in which I made a list of the best deck boats for their price. In the same article, I also talked about the pricing of deck boats and roughly how much they sell for. For a brand-new deck boat, you’re looking at about $15,000 to $60,000. If you’re looking to purchase a second-hand deck boat, then you’ll probably be paying-out on the lower end of that range. These figures are rough estimates as not all deck boats

There are two types of motorboats; outboard motor boats and inboard motorboats. The main difference between these two types of motorboats is the fact that the motor is either outside of the boat or inside. Outboard motor boats are often known as speedboats and made for fishing. For a used outboard motorboat, you’ll be looking to spending around the price of $20,000 however this is for a relatively basic motorboat. For larger, or newer model outboard motorboats you could be looking up to hundreds of thousands. Inboard motorboats tend to be larger and therefore cost slightly more.

Annual Mooring Fees

This is a cost which you cannot forget to take into consideration when purchasing any type of boat. When you’re not using your boat, you’ll need somewhere to keep it. If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to put it onto a trailer and have it parked on your property. However, many people are not so lucky and will have to pay mooring fees.

If you happen to be one of the unlucky people, then you can expect to pay around $2,500 to $15,000 annually. This price will vary depending on the rates of your local marina and the size of the boat which you’ll be keeping there.

Boat Trailer

If you’re going with the first option of parking your boat on your property, you’ll have to purchase a boat trailer. These aren’t cheap however they’re significantly cheaper than paying to keep your boat stored at a marina. Boat trailers linger around the price of $3,000, however this cost can vary depending on the type of trailer. Though this is the cheaper option, it does cost extra effort. If parking your boat on your property, you’ll also have to ensure its safety. It’s best to have it locked away in a garage.

Price of Boat Insurance

Just like you do with a car, you need to purchase insurance to cover your car in-case of an accident. The expenses of boating accidents can be devastating, since they’re very expensive vehicles. Boat insurance will cover you if your boat is ever damaged, therefore it’s an essential.

The price of boat insurance varies greatly, depending on multiple different factors.

  • State of residence
  • Your age
  • Age, size, and type of your boat
  • Size of your boats motor
  • Type of waters you’re on
  • Type of insurance you’re purchasing

Rest assured, boat insurance is often very cheap. For most people, boat insurance will only cost a couple hundred of dollars every year. Though, it can sometimes be over the $1,000, depending on the factors I’ve listed.

If you do your research and know how to bargain, you may be able to acquire boat insurance at discounted prices from insurance companies. For example, if you don’t intend to use your boat year-round, you may be able to reason for a cheaper quote on your boat insurance. There’s also many different websites from which you can compare boat insurance quotes, to ensure you get the best deal possible.

Average Annual Boat Fuel Costs

Boats consume a lot of gas, especially compared to the average car. Depending on the type of boat which you’re purchasing, you can expect fuel consumption to vary. As I stated earlier in the article; ‘A large boat which uses more fuel will obviously have higher fuels costs. For example, a yacht will have higher fuel costs than a jet ski. And a superyacht will have higher fuel costs than a yacht’.

The national average price per gallon in the U.S is $2.50, though this will vary depending on your state. For this example, we’ll be using this rate and a motorboat. Motorboats on average will use 25 gallons of fuel, every hour. If you’re using your boat for 4 hours, then you’ll be using about 100 gallons of fuel which equals to $250. This is the calculated price for the average boating trip with a motorboat.

This is an extremely rough estimate, and this price will vary greatly depending on the boat. For example, a pontoon boat will not use anywhere near as much fuel as a motorboat, consuming only 5 gallons per hour. This means that you’ll only use 20 gallons of fuel for a 4-hour trip which only calculates to $50.

Extra costs

On top of the costs of fuel, boat insurance, mooring fees and or a boat trailer, there are a few more added costs which you’ll have to pay to lawfully own your boat. These costs include registration and licensing. You’ll also have to pay your states local taxes, if any are present. I’d labeled them as extra costs as they’re not bank breaking, but they are smaller costs which you cannot forget.

Total costs of owning a boat

In this section I’ll be creating a scenario

In this scenario, you’re purchasing a used Pontoon Boat for $20,000. You will then pay an additional annual mooring fee of $5,000 so that you can dock your boat at your local marina. You intend on using your boat twice a week for 4 hours each time. This results in an annual fuel cost of $4,800 if you use your boat all year round (96 Trips). You’ll be looking to pay about $1,000 for your boat insurance each year. This totals $30,800 for your first year, and then a recurring $10,800 (Excluding the price of the boat) afterwards.

We can take this scenario a step further and add the costs of some Boat Accessories. Also, including repairs – this will cost you about $32,000 for your first year and then $12,800 a year after your first.

Keep in mind that these are all just estimates and based of a pontoon boat. Costs will vary vastly depending on all previously listed factors.

Video Explaining The Cost Of Boat Ownership


There are a ‘boat-load’ of different factors which could affect the total costs of owning a boat. It’s extremely important to ensure that you do your research before purchasing a boat. Firstly, you must make sure you’re getting the best deal possible – shop around!

Comments 1

  1. Holly crap, I had completely disregarded mooring fees. Those prices are very scary to think about. In which case, it’s more viable to purchase a trailer so I can store my boat at my property.

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