Bookmark this page.
Make Finackle your homepage.
Finackle: Tackling Your Toughest Financial Questions
Student Loans Home Loans Personal Loans Auto Loans Consolidation Loans Business Loans Loan Basics

Boat Loan

The Costs Beyond the Boat Loan

    So you thought that owning a boat only cost the monthly boat loan payment and a little extra cash for fuel and small repairs? Think again. The boat loan is far from all you have to worry about. There are many other costs associated with owning a boat. You will have to pay for a place to store your boat, insurance, safety equipment, fuel, maintenance and your boat loan. And let me tell you, it all adds up. So if you think you know how big of a boat loan you can afford, think again. You will have to take account for all of the extra costs before deciding on the monthly boat loan payment you can afford.
    The best way to figure out how big of a boat loan you can afford is to first determine how much you can afford to spend each month. Once you have figured out what you can afford, you need to find out how much all of the extra things you have to pay for will cost per month. Then subtract the extra boating expenses from how much you can afford. The amount that is left is what you have to spend on the monthly payment for your boat loan. I know, the number may be depressing. You might not be able to afford as big of a boat loan as you would like. But I assure you, all of those extra boating expenses are a must.
    Here are some of the extra things you will need to pay for when you own a boat:

Moorage:  You don't just buy the boat. You have to buy a place to put it. Moorage costs will vary from place to place. So look around for the best rates, and don't be surprised when you see what they charge. It can be expensive to find good moorage. If you decide that you would rather keep the boat in your driveway, you may be surprised to find that many residential neighborhoods won't allow you to do so (Gould 46). Instead you will have to buy a trailer and rent a storage facility. There's just no way of getting around having to buy a place to put your boat.

Insurance:  In order to get a boat loan, you will probably have to prove that you have purchased insurance (Jessie 56). Insurance prices will vary. So make sure to shop around for the best deal. Typically, it costs much more to insure a boat in places where there are many hurricanes and tropical storms (Jessie 56).

Safety Equipment: Your insurance may make you purchase safety equipment, and if it doesn't, it's a good idea to get it anyways (Jessie 58). You should consider purchasing personal flotation devices, tool sets, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, flares, anchors and anchor lines (Jessie 58).

Maintenance: Just like with most things, boats must be maintained. They need to be cleaned, polished and repaired from time to time. Those repairs will cost you. You should set aside money for soaps, polishes, waxes, spare parts for routine repairs, lubricating oil and filters (Gould 46). And remember, the older the boat, the more money you should put aside for maintenance and repairs (Gould 46).

Fuel: Unless you plan on using paddles, you have to buy fuel. Depending on fuel prices, fuel can be expensive or incredibly expensive. You will definitely want to set aside enough money for fuel because if you don't, you may end up stuck out at sea. And the irony is that it will cost you money to get back to shore. That's because the U.S. Coast Guard no longer offers towing services (Jessie 58). Instead you will have to use a commercial operator (Jessie 58).

Winter Storage: Those who live in cold climates may have to find winter storage. If the water where you store your boat turns to ice in the winter, you may need to have it hauled, shored and stored during the winter, which will cost extra money (Pascoe 9). Even if you don't have to store your boat during the winter, you may need to have your engines and plumbing systems prepared for the winter (Pascoe 9).


Gould, Chuck. How to Choose Your First Powerboat. Dobbs Ferry, New York: Sheridan House Inc., 1999.

Jessie, Diana B. Your New Sailboat. New York: Hearst Books, 2002.

Pascoe, David H. Mid Size Power Boats. Tallahassee: D. H. Pascoe & Company, Inc., 2003.