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How Much Does Boat Maintenance Cost

Investing in a boat, especially if you live in an area where there is beautiful weather, can be a sound investment if you use the boat often. In addition to the initial purchase price of the ship, there are a few other costs associated with the ship you will need to take into consideration.

Of those costs, the most significant is the cost of maintaining the vessel. If you want to learn more about the overall boat maintenance cost, you will want to keep reading this article. This boat maintenance guide will cover the expenses associated with maintaining a boat and who you can reach out to for more questions!

Initial Purchase Price

When trying to figure out the total amount for your boat maintenance cost, you will need to figure out the overall cost of owning a boat. This cost includes the initial purchase price. The kind of boat and the ship's condition determine what costs you will incur while you are the owner.

Newer boats will require minimal maintenance, whereas used boats will cost you a bit more in maintenance. Although newer boats will cost you less maintenance, they are more expensive on the initial investment. Project boats or boats that need work done will most likely cost you the most in this situation.

Boat Maintenance Cost

As mentioned above, the cost of maintaining your boat depends on a few different factors, such as the age of the ship. You will need to consider the price of oil changes, batteries, specialized equipment, fuel, boat engine tune up, painting the boat, and more.

Unfortunately, there is no exact number can provide you with because there are many different factors taken into consideration when determining the overall cost. For the most part, boat maintenance costs around 5% to 10% of the boat's value each year.

Storage and Moorage Costs

Mooring a boat at a marina comes with a cost. That number depends on the size and the type of marina. For example, you can expect to pay more money at an exclusive yacht club than at a municipal marina. The cost of mooring can range between hundreds of dollars to a couple thousand per month.

If you choose to store your boat on land in a storage unit, you may have to pay hundreds of dollars. Keeping your boat in a storage unit on land is significantly cheaper than stationing your ship at a marina.

The size of your boat is one of the defining factors for how much you need to pay. Most fees are typically calculated per foot of your ship, and you can pay your fee monthly or annually. In addition to paying for the storage or mooring fees, you may also need to pay for live aboard fees or utility fees for electrical power.

Trailer Purchase

With a smaller boat comes a trailer you need to purchase. A trailer is essential for maintaining your boat because you will need it to haul your boat in and out of the water.

For the most part, you will need to purchase a trailer separately from your boat, but there are a few instances when the boat's trailer is included in the purchase. It is important to note that buying the trailer is not the only cost associated with it.

You will have to factor in replacing the tires when they become worn or if they become damaged. Trailers also have brakes that will need regular servicing. Not many people think about this part of owning a trailer, but there is also insurance coverage you will need to purchase to protect the trailer.

If you don't keep your trailer at your home, you will most likely have to store it elsewhere. That is another storage fee you will need to consider when purchasing a boat.

Boat Insurance

The cost to insure your boat depends on the size and age of the boat, types of activities the ship is used for, where you will store the vessel, and other vital factors. Like your car insurance, the boat insurer will also consider your age and boat operating history when underwriting your boat insurance.

Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability coverage for your boat covers you in the event that your ship collides into something and damages it. This coverage will help cover the repair cost for that property damage.

For example, say that you were pulling into a dock and accidentally back into another boat, causing damage. In this case, your property damage liability coverage will reimburse the cost of repairing that boat. You won't have to pay anything out of pocket for that other boat's damage; the insurance company will pay for that damage out of your policy limits.

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability coverage will pay for any injuries sustained due to your negligence. For example, suppose you are out in a lake, and you accidentally hit another boat, causing injuries to those passengers.

In that case, your insurance company will pay for those passengers' medical bills if you are found to be responsible. This coverage also protects you from any lawsuits if injured passengers sue you for their injuries.

Just like your property damage liability coverage, you do not need to pay out of pocket for the injured party's medical bills. Your insurance company will pay for those injuries on your behalf.

Medical Payment Coverage

You may be wondering, "if I have coverage if I hurt someone else with my boat, what about my passengers and me?". The answer to that question is medical payment coverage. This coverage will take care of you and your passengers' minor injuries if they are hurt while on your ship.

If you have a collision with another boat or object and your passengers have serious injuries, they can use your bodily injury liability coverage. They will only be able to use the bodily injury liability coverage if the insurance company finds you liable for the accident.

Collision Coverage

In the event that your boat collides with another ship or another object, you can use your collision coverage to take care of your boat's damages. As mentioned earlier, property damage liability takes care of other people's property.

Collision coverage is specifically meant for you and your vessel. Collision coverage comes with a deductible that you will pay, and your insurer will pay the rest. For example, if you have $1,000 worth of damage and a $250 deductible, you will only pay $250.

Your insurer will take care of the $750. If you only have about $100 worth of damage, you will need to pay for those damages out of pocket.

Alternatives to Boat Maintenance

If you still want to have the luxury of using a boat without the maintenance costs associated with owning a boat, you have the option to go through a boat club. Boat clubs are organizations with a fleet of ships available for you to use throughout the year across several different locations.

These clubs handle the boat's maintenance on your behalf, so you won't ever have to worry about repairing anything ever again. When you use the club's boats, all you have to worry about is reserving the boat and taking it out on the open water when your time comes.

When you finish using the boat, you won't have to worry about cleaning it either. The staff at the club will handle that for you. 

Do I Pay for Insurance?

With most boat clubs, you don't need to pay for insurance as a separate expense. Your monthly membership fee covers the expense for insurance at a fraction of the cost of having your own policy.

If you do get into an accident while renting a boat at the club, you will need to let the organization know, and they will handle that for you. They will most likely refer you to their insurance company to speak with and go through the claims process.

What Boats Can I Use?

Depending on the location of the boat club, you will have a large variety of boats available to use at your leisure. If you partner with a boat club with locations near the ocean, you will most likely have a larger selection than a club serving a lakeside community. The type of membership you pick also determines the kind of boats you can use.

Ensure that you review the types of boats available before committing to a boat club. If you do partner with a club with several different locations, you will have the opportunity to use different types of vessels across the United States.

How Does a Boat Club Work?

Joining a boat club is very easy to do. Once you locate a club you want to partner with, you will need to submit your information to them. They will reach out to you and go over their membership options. Once you pick out your membership, you can start reserving your boat!

Boat Training

Most boat clubs have mandatory training that you must go through before you can use their boats. You will complete this training with one of the trainers who have proper licenses.

This class ensures that you are more than comfortable enough to navigate the waters independently. Even if you have experience driving boats, the boat club will want to ensure that you are comfortable with their vessels. If there are any boats that you are unsure how to drive and want to learn how the trainers will be more than happy to help you.

Other Boat Club Amenities

In addition to being able to rent whatever boat you want whenever you want, you also have the option to join in the festivities. Most boat clubs have fun events and activities that you and your family can take part in throughout the year.

These events allow you to network with other like-minded boaters. There are a few boat clubs that take their members out on excursions to places like the Bahamas. 

Reserving a Boat

When you go to reserve a boat on your boat club's reservation system, make sure that you try to book ahead of time. You have the option to reserve a boat at any time, even last minute, but the ship you want may not be available for that time.

Bookings over the weekend or holidays are usually booked months in advance. Ensure that you review your boat club's reservation rules to properly reserve the boat you want.

Boat Club Costs

The cost of your membership depends on the location of the club and the types of boat you want to use. Every club has different membership fees, so make sure that you do your research before you decide on a club.

For the most part, if you want to use a smaller fleet of boats, depending on the location, you may pay less than someone who wishes to use larger vessels. Again, make sure that you check out your boat club's different levels of memberships. Overall, partnering with a boat club is significantly cheaper than owning a boat on your own.

Join Our Boat Club Today!

Boat maintenance costs can quickly add up, making you possibly regret purchasing the vessel in the first place. Luckily for you, there are ways for you to enjoy boat ownership without the ownership part.

Boat clubs aren't just marinas stocked full of boats for you to use; they are a community. With fun events happening often and the opportunity to take out whatever vessel you want, who wouldn't want to be a part of a fast growing community of boaters? If you are ready to learn more about the cost of a boat club membership in an area near you, contact us now!