How Much Does It Cost To Own A Boat
When buying a boat it’s easy to forget the ongoing costs such as maintenance and storage. True, the initial financial outlay of buying a boat is significant. However if you want to protect your pride and joy and get maximum re-sale value, maintenance and type of storage have a major influence. This article mainly focuses on the different storage methods and associated costs. We have included a summary table that give you an estimate of the annual cost of boat ownership. Including each boat storage option: dry stacking, wet storage and trailer storage all have different costs and benefits. Our aim is to outline the costs for you so you can make an informed decision as to choose the right boat storage option for your vessel, lifestyle and situation. We have based these costs on the ownership of a vessel between 23-28ft in length.
Marina, Yacht Club or Facilities Fees
Unless you’re storing your boat at home (which has its own costs incurred) you’re going to be up for some fees. For a dry stack facility such as Blue HQ you are likely to pay $5000-$8000 per year for a dry stack. This price includes regular fresh water hull rinsing, engine flushing, parking and unlimited launches. Boat maintenance costs are reduced as the environment is less harsh than wet storage, thus potential for damage to your vessel is greatly reduced. For a wet pen at a marina or yacht club you are looking at $5000 to $8000 for pen and club membership fees. This doesn’t include any maintenance, in this scenario you’re going to have to pay for an annual vessel lift and anti-foul to keep the hull clean at an additional cost. Storing your boat on a floating dock system will minimize these lifting costs. The biggest benefit for these two options is quick and easy access to the water, a safe place to store your boat away from your home and no need for a trailer and big tow vehicle.
What About Maintenance Costs?
The best storage option when it comes to keeping your boat maintenance costs down is to keep it dry. That can be either on a trailer, dry stacked or on a water docking system, such as an Air Berth or Fab Dock. If you own a power boat you are going to be up for annual engine(s) service. This can range from $500 – $1500 per engine for a service assuming no major repairs or part replacements. As with your car major services are required as per manufactures’ specs, so expect a larger bill every few years. Washing, detailing and polishing costs are determined by the user, however all good seaman will keep their boat in good condition. Blue HQ recommends to allow for $1000 to $2000 per year for general maintenance and up keep. This figure allows for regular washing, carpet replacement every 4-5 years when necessary. For vessels stored in the water there is the requirement for an annual haul out, pressure blast and hull antifoul. The average time out for this is 3-5 days and total costs are around the $1500 mark, depending on your vessel size and work carried out. Another big benefit of dry storage is the long term engine maintenance costs are greatly reduced. Being stored out of the salt water and harsh environment means big savings over time. Furthermore having the engine flushed after every use greatly extends the life of inboard exhaust systems.
Trailer and Home Storage Costs
At face value storing your boat at home seems the cheapest option. There are a few hidden costs that many don’t consider. Firstly you need a secure place to store your boat. Unfortunately as modern houses don’t have the yard space that they used to. Any boat over 4.5 metres is usually too big to store in the standard garage. Additionally storing your boat in the driveway can be a nuisance and leaves it vulnerable to thieves. If you do decide to store your boat at home in the driveway you probably want to up your insurance.
The other two costs when it comes to storing your boat on a trailer is trailer maintenance and your tow vehicle costs. The cost of maintaining, insuring and registering your trailer is usually works out to be between $300 and $500 a year. Also trailering your boat requires you have a big expensive and capable tow vehicle. Towing your boat is hard on all the mechanical parts of your car from the brakes, suspension and engine. This leads to increased vehicle maintenance costs. Furthermore petrol cost to drive to the boat ramp towing a heavy boat each time is significant. Taking the depreciation, wear and tear, fuel and parking tickets you can avoid around $1500 of vehicle costs per year if you store your boat in the dry stack or marina.
As the saying goes time is money nowadays and your time on the water is precious. Each different option has a different time cost. The easiest solution is wet storage or dry stacking storage. For wet it’s simply a matter of parking your boat, giving it a quick rinse and heading home. A boat stacking facility like Blue HQ can wash down your boat for you leaving you to relax. Storing your boat at home on the trailer takes the most time. You have to wash your boat each trip, plus manage your covers and spend time hooking and unhooking your vessel from the car. The lines at boat ramps can be very long nowadays. Using public ramps you run the risk of being stuck in the line to launch and retrieve your boat. Leaving your car for extended periods at boat ramps is also risky and costly. Parking at some Perth Metro ramps is up to $12 per trip. A trip a week that works out to over $600 per year. By dry stacking your boat we estimate you will be able to save yourself 1-1.5 hours every single trip. This can result in more time on the water or more time earning money
There you go. That’s a basic summary of boat costs. To help make a decision we made a table of the major boat storage options as well as standard costs that are applied to boat ownership regardless of your storage method. It really depends on what is available to you at home and what you require. To help you make a decision check out our boat storage options article. If you would like a quote on boat storage from Blue HQ inquire here.
|Estimated Number for a 25-27ft vessel|
|Blue HQ||Yacht Club||Marina||Marina / Club||Home|
|Annual Storage / Pen Fee||$7,200||$4,000||$7,000||$2,000||$0|
|Annual Boat Insurance||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000|
|Club Membership Fee||No Club Fees||$1,200||$0||$1,200||$0|
|Additional Club Levies||No Levies||$300||$300||$300||$0|
|Ramp Fee / Parking||NA||NA||NA||$300||$300|
|Secure Parking||Gated Parking||Not always off the street||Public Ramp|
|Engine Service Average||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000|
|Damage, Electrics, Covers etc||Easy Access / Lowest Cost||Higher Travel Cost / Difficult||Higher Travel Cost / Difficult|
|Lifting, Blast and Hardstanding,||$0||$600||$600||$0||$0|
|Trailer Rego & Insurance||$0||$0||$0||$200||$200|
|Cost of Large Towing Vehicle||$0||$0||$0||$1,500||$1,500|
|Time to Launch / Retrieve Boat||No Time||No Time||$500||$500|
|Could be a long walk||Traffic and Extra Time to Ramp|
|Time to Clean & Depart Boat||No Time||$400||$400||$400||$400|
|Stress||No Stress||Low Stress||High Stress|