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How to Budget for Your Boat

How to Budget for Your Boat

So, you’re ready to buy your first boat or upgrade to a bigger boat. Congratulations! Before you start planning out your gorgeous summer excursions, what you need to figure out first is the kind of budget you’re setting for your new vessel. A budget is everything. Depending on what amenities you want in a boat, it’s important to search for those things.

On top of that, safety should come first. But many buy boats for recreation, racing, and sports. And then some just want to cruise and enjoy the scenery. If you’re not sure where to start, it’s time to really draw out an outline for your next investment.

Just like a home, a boat is something that you can pass down to your next of kin. It’s an investment that not only brings solace and peace, but it gives us a chance to enjoy the beautiful water that we have left. 

There’s a boat for everybody, but here’s how to break down your budget to find your ideal boat.

Think About Boat Maintenance First

Whether it’s a new or old boat, it’s always going to need upkeep, not unlike your car.  So this is something that you absolutely have to factor in. The bigger, more expensive and technical the boat, the more likely it is that it’ll need regular maintenance. If you’re just looking for a fishing boat that can weather some wear and tear, it’s going to require different upkeep. These are the things you’ll need to factor in as a new boat owner, courtesy of

  • Expenses for operating over time, seasonal or not
  • Overall maintenance and repairs over the years
  • Mooring, storage, or both (boats aren’t always in season)
  • The cost of boat insurance
  • Upgrades and replacements if you happen to get an older boat, or your boat becomes outdated
  • Depreciation over time (and any renovation or remodeling to fix it)

What Can Be Cheap and What Can Be Expensive

Once you’ve decided on a boat and the budget you’re leaning more towards, it’s time to think about fuel expenses. A small boat needs a gallon or two to go. A huge boat is going to need hundreds of gallons. When you have the means for a big boat, the expense is worth it. Just like buying a new car: expect fewer problems, more comfort and a longer use of time out of it. There are also electric boats to consider but leaving them plugged in all day can also end up being quite costly.

Regular upkeep on your boat means that when something really breaks down, it’s not going to totally ruin your whole boat. Never let your boat go without being in the best shape, even if it’s something simple like an oil change. Considering the type of investment a boat is, it’s critical to care about the overall health of it. If you can do small maintenance yourself, it’ll also save on costs heavily.

Finally, expect to pay for storage when you’re not using the boat. And then finally, the cost of boat insurance. Which is a small price to pay to keep such a large investment working for years to come.

Don’t forget that upgrades happen too. If you want a full list of upgrades you’ll have to consider in your boat budget, visit for more.


About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.