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The Costs of Boat Ownership

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man-with-fish.jpgToday's post is from SF Boater, a friend of mine who chronicles his voyages. I have very little experience with boats and the associated financials so I suggested that he share that aspect with Lazy Man and Money readers.

Boats are a part of my life... they always have been. Growing up in FL on the inter-coastal waterway I loved fishing and boating and sometimes even boating and fishing. Even now that I am in the bay area I have fond memories of those days.

When I graduated college and moved to the Bay area the one thing I missed more than anything else was actually being on the water... Not being a sailor, boats that can safely go out on the bay regularly are pricey. (The wind usually picks up something fierce in the summer afternoons as the fog rolls in.)

I took the plunge last summer, in Tahoe. I am now a proud boat owner... and have had a few adventures in the first year (President's Day on the Bay, at Lake Sonoma, Barry Bonds last home game as a Giant, and, of course, the 45 hours I put on the boat when I bought it in Tahoe.)

att-ballpark.jpgWhich brings me to the point of this post... Saturday Lazy Man, Energi Gal, and my grand in-laws went to McCovey Cove to listen to and enjoy the Giants play against the St Louis Cardinals. It was an incredible day -- 85 degrees, 5 mph winds, and not a cloud in the sky.
At some point during the day I got roped into writing the guest post on the costs of boat ownership. :)

So with all the fun reasons why one would like to own a boat laid out... Here are some of the reasons to remain boat free...

1. The 2 happiest days in a boat owner's like are the day he/she buys the boat and the day the boat is sold.
2. I bought a new boat that came with a 6 year warranty, but if you are buying a used boat to save money, then you are inheriting someone else's problems
3. My new boat, with the 6 year warranty, made it very easy to buy -- 15 years 7.15% interest. What credit crunch?
4. Maintenance is expensive... While any problems will be fixed under warranty, I am still responsible for maintenance.
5. Fuel prices are only going up... Have you every tried to buy gas on the water? (Take you local land prices and multiple by 40-100%.)
6. You need to register your boat.
7. You need to store your boat.

I decline to state what my monthly costs are, but suffice it is to say that I am not a frugal warrior when it comes to the boat. But for me it is entirely worth it...

Lazy Man and Energi Gal seemed to agree if only because the only thing better than owning a boat, is a friend that owns a boat.

Last updated on August 1, 2011.

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12 Responses to “The Costs of Boat Ownership”

  1. SFBoater says:

    Thanks for allowing me to write a guest post… One other thing I would…
    What is a boat?
    Common answer from former and current boat owners
    A Hole in the water where you throw money.

  2. I’ve been told of this Rule of Thumb: If you sail less than 4 to 6 weekends of the year, you can usually charter a bigger boat for much less cost than owning.

    I think that the same can be said for vacation homes, and a lot of other quasi-lifestyle-investments …


  3. Michele says:

    Actually, owning a sailboat has been one of my dreams. It almost came true a couple of years ago. I had secured a loan to buy a used sailboat, and 3 days later lost my job. For nine months I lived off my boat loan and unemployment.

    I still would love to own one, but with slip fees, and drydock charges, its just out of my league at the moment, but it will be the second thing I save money for once I do all my baby steps.

    I have also heard about sailboat timeshares, which seem to be affordable for the hobby sailor. But still the cost starts around $5000 a year.

    #1 item is a 1962 Cadillac series 62 convertible. A girl can dream. If I continue to do the right things I can make it real.

  4. Danny Tsang says:

    I’ve always thought that while frugality is important, there are certain passions in life that you shouldn’t ignore. It’s all about balance. I’ve thought about owning a boat once. The idea was to set up a boat share among several of my friends and family members and we’d split all the costs. We were going to store it at my uncle’s place. He lives in Alameda and has a dock in his backyard and hes been boat-less for a few years. But long story short it was still pretty expensive and we’re all young guys who have other expenses, so it never happened.

    I still want to own a boat one day, along with a Ferrari lol. I guess I’ll be frugal until the time is right.

    Have fun in your boat! I wish I could be out i McCovey Cove in my own boat.

  5. SF Boater says:

    I had thought about doing an informal boat share with some friends before I bought my boat…

    The problem as I saw it is that if something were to really go wrong… (Someone runs the boat into a dock or breaks the propeller off by grounding the boat.) Then unless a formal policy (and maybe even a legal entity such as an LLC) existed the costs from that one even might break the entire group monetarily and ruin friendships…

    When I own the boat everything is my responsibility and I can take that responsibility seriously while still have a great time. My friends just get enjoy themselves, bring the beer, and help clean the boat afterwards. :)

  6. Kevin says:

    You “decline to state” your monthly costs in a post about the cost of boat ownership? Lame.

    This writeup was actually completely without value. I want my five minutes back.

  7. ronald says:

    im looking for a indoor storage unit to store my 27 foot boat on a trailer- if anyone has any information please let me know im looking for a unit in sanleandro or oakland or alameda area any information would be appreciated- thanks ronald bay area boater

  8. Raoul says:

    I agree with Kevin – not stating the cost makes this post a waste of time.

  9. You may be interested in checking out how much boats cost at my ebay auctions page cheap used boats for sale.

    Ebay might not be the first place you think of when it comes to used boats but there a some great deals…

    As for costs…
    $500 a month for the loan
    $100 per typical day of boating
    My storage costs are $0, bu this can run from $100-$500 per month in this area. For a slip it is ~$20 per foot of boat length.
    $50 a month for insurance.

    $1000 annually for the yearly maintenance of boat and trailer. Another $500 if you winterize.

    Boat owners did I leave anything out?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Another common repair and maintenance procedure is sandblasting, which involves shaping and smoothing a solid surface by forcing tiny particles at great speeds. Yacht repairs often require sandblasting to even the edges of a repaired portion or patch before galvanizing, painting, and applying gel coat. Sandblasting is also done to remove algae, barnacles, and mineral deposits on the hull. Inhalation of silica dust produced by sandblasting can cause silicosis, so it is necessary that you work in a well-ventilated area, wear protective gear, and breathe using an air supply.

  11. Jackson C says:

    Yeah boats are EXTREMELY expensive. I lived in FL for a while and some of those 50 foot fishing boats(the sweet ones with the tinted windows and tuna towers), well, I think you would need to have AT LEAST 20 mill in the bank to be able to safely afford one of those.

  12. Fisherman says:

    Owning a boat ain’t cheap! I’m with SFBoater above if I am to share a boat with someone it’s laid out in writing and every I is dotted and T crossed. also if I like the person I won’t go into a partnership with them. No way. Been down that road and now hate the guy.

    Overall I choose to own MY boat by MYSELF

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