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How to Budget for the Hidden Costs of Buying a Boat

Posted by Jane Clothier on 20 May, 2016

Hidden Costs Buying BoatAre you dreaming of a new boat? Have you visited the boat shows and decided on the type of boat you’re going to be sailing in next summer? If you’ve decided to buy a boat, now is the time you need to start hunting in earnest. This month, we have talked about buying a boat on a budget and the checks to make when buying a boatWhether you’re buying a new or simply new-to-you boat, it’s important to budget for all the hidden costs before buying that boat. Here are some pointers to help you get going.

  • The Purchase Cost

No surprises for including this in your budget, but you may need to adjust the figure once you consider all the other costs. If you find the total takes you over budget, then you may need to buy a cheaper boat, or consider another form of boat finance.

  • Equipping Your Boat

Depending on your set-up, you’ll need access to a boat trailer to transport your boat. Purchasing one can be quite costly, so research trailers thoroughly. Hiring or borrowing one is an option to keep initial costs down, although you’ll always need a powerful enough vehicle to tow it. The boat itself may come with accessories and options already fitted. These add to the cost, whether fitted pre- or post-sale. You need to budget for marine electronics, particularly those associated with safety, cabin and deck accessories and anything that you might wish to use during your chosen boating activity.

  • Running the Boat

It’s hard to predict how much oil and fuel you’re going to use, unless you have a very clear idea of how frequently you’ll use the boat and for how long each time. You may already have worked this out when deciding what type and size of boat to buy. In time it will become clearer, but it is worth including the first few weeks into the initial budget.

  • Storing Your Boat

If you have a shed, driveway or yard where you can store your covered boat, that’s fantastic. If not, then you’re looking at the cost of mooring or paid storage. These costs will depend on your region and the exact spot you wish to sail from. The length of your boat will clearly affect costs too. For instance, small boats can be stored in dry stack or rack storage. On the other hand, larger boats may need an expensive marina berth. This means that investing in a trailer and storing your boat away from the shore is usually more economically viable.

  • Boat Maintenance

There are many ins and outs to maintaining your boat, enough to fill several articles. Maintenance scales from washing the boat down after use, to oil changes and antifouling, and the regular servicing every 12 months or 100 hours. How much is involved will depend on the size as well as the age of your boat. It may be more practical and economical to hire a professional service to do this for you.

  • Insurance for your Boat

The type and length of your boat will determine the cost of insurance, which varies from one state to another. As with vehicle insurance, you can compare quotes online. These are provided by general insurers, specialist marine insurers and by finance companies such as 1800Approved.

  • The Finance Solution

With so many costs, your budget can exceed your expectations.  By using finance to buy your new boat, you can accommodate the additional costs without compromising extensively on the type of boat you buy. Talk to 1800Approved to learn what your options are and how costs can be managed through a tailored finance solution.


Are you looking for competitive boat finance solutions?


1800Approved is one of Australia’s fastest growing boat, jetski and marine equipment finance brokers. We specialise in boat and equipment finance, plus insurance and warranty services, and have previously arranged deals from AU$10k to AU$5m. 1800Approved services clients across Australia, working with over 30 independent lenders to find the best deal.


We can also help with sourcing your new and used boat warranty, and by sourcing vehicles and equipment through our wholesale arm.


To learn more about how we can help you, call us today on 1800 277 768.


Topics: Insider, Marine