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    Related Information

    • Compare the costs of boating to other leisure activities using the Budgeting Tool courtesy of DiscoverBoating.com.
    • Why Boating? Here are some of the best reasons... Top Ten Reasons To Go Boating courtesy of SF Boating Examiner.

    What Are the Costs of Boat Ownership?

    Courtesy of DiscoverBoating.com 

    Get the most boat for your buck. Use Boat Blue Books and Boat U.S. Guides, to help determine the value of a boat you want to buy or selling. Learn about how you may be eligible for tax breaks and about insuring your boat.

    Tips on Buying and Selling a Boat 

    1. Analyze the type of activity you want to pursue (go to Boating Experience Explorer).
Some boats are made for a specific purpose, like water skiing, while other boats serve multiple purposes. Decide what kinds of things you want to do, then find the boat that’s right for you.
    2. Will your boating activity include your spouse and children? Do you plan to include friends on boating trips?  Think about the people you want to boat with and consider the kind of space you’ll need to enjoy your activities and remain safe and comfortable.
    3. Where do you want to spend your time boating? On an inland lake? On the ocean? Consider the flexibility offered with a "trailerable" boat in terms of selecting different boating destinations versus keeping your boat in a wet slip at a specific location.
    4. Do your homework. Gain as much knowledge as possible from boating publications, other boaters, boat dealers and marinas. A boat show is an efficient way to learn about boats, pick up brochures and magazines, and talk to dealers and outfitters. And it’s great fun.
    5. Consider your budget. Before discussing finance options, make sure you have a clear understanding of the additional options you want to include on your boat. It’s a lot like buying a car. You can get a boat with just the very basic in equipment. Or you can load it up with extras. Understand all potential expenses. Consult with your boat dealer and marina operator to determine additional expenses you may incur.
    6. Operational costs may include fuel, maintenance, insurance and spare parts. Other expenses to consider include winter storage; winterizing engines, water systems, heads and holding tanks; and seasonal slip rental.
    7. Boats require maintenance. Maybe you like to sand and varnish. Or maybe you’d like to have someone else take care of the details. Whatever your preference, make sure you understand the details and costs associated with maintaining your boat.
    8. Should you have a vessel inspection? If you purchase a previously owned boat, bring along a friend who knows a lot about boats or hire a marine surveyor to inspect it. Don’t be afraid to tell a boat dealer or private seller that you’d like to do an inspection.
    9. Know about warranties, extended warranties and manufacturer/dealer support. Manufacturer's warranties on new boats are similar but vary in terms of length and inclusions. Also, extended warranties can be purchased from your dealer as part of a new or used-boat purchase. Talk with other boaters to determine the reputation of boat manufacturers and dealers.
    10. Be comfortable with your decision. How you feel about your purchase is driven by the value you receive from the experience of owning and operating your boat. If you discover you’re not using your boat as much as you thought you would or if boating is more expensive that you thought, you should consider selling your boat.