As it begins to get warmer, you’ve probably got one thing on your mind – summer. Summer means barbecues, vacations, swimming, and plenty of other fun outdoor activities. One of the best summertime activities is sailing.
There’s nothing like rippling across the water as you hang out with friends and loved ones. Sailing also allows you to experience views of locations and marine life you may not normally get to see.
Before you go and buy a boat, there are some costs of owning a boat every prospective buyer should know. Here are some of the most common expenses to keep in mind.
Upfront Costs of Owning a Boat and Maintenance
One of the biggest expenses is buying a boat. The first thing you’ll need to do is figure out how you want to spend your time on the water. That will help determine what kind of boat is right for you.
Different styles of boats can start as low as $500 for Jon boats to yachts, which start at $300,000.
Like a car, you also need to maintain your boat. The propeller, oil, electrical system, and battery are a few of the things that keep your boat in top shape.
The U.S. Coast Guard, and each state, require a boat owner to keep safety equipment on board that meets their regulations.
Life jackets or personal flotation devices are necessary for each passenger. If you have children aboard, you’ll have to get kid-sized life jackets for them. Most states also require a throwable flotation ring in your safety kit.
The Coast Guard requires an approved distress signal. This can include a set of flares or an LED signal light.
Marine fire extinguishers are a necessity, and larger boats may require more than one.
VHF radios are not required but are good to have. They can provide backup if something happens to your phone. The radios will allow you to communicate with other boats, marinas, and law enforcement.
The anchor and rode chain help secure the boat. If you run out of fuel, the anchor can keep your boat stationary so you don’t drift out to sea or into danger.
Storing Your Boat
Boat storage is one of the highest expenses of boat ownership. Prices can vary depending on the type of storage facility and its amenities, however.
Trailer storage is the cheapest option, but if you own a large boat, this may not be an option for you. You’ll need to purchase and provide upkeep for the trailer. Trailers in saltwater usually require more upkeep.
Private slips at marinas are one of the most expensive options. Most marinas charge per foot to store boats. Some marinas even provide regular full-service upkeep.
If you live in a cold environment, dry storage allows you to store your boat on land. These facilities pull your boat out of the water, shrinkwrap it, and store it on blocks.
Mooring fields are privately-managed inshore locations that allow for storage for long periods. They are less expensive than full-service marinas. An added benefit is that you can call ahead to have the staff prep and launch your boat for you.
If you need a reliable way to store your boat, check out this storage facility.
You Ultimate Lifestyle Guide
If you’re serious about the boating lifestyle, the costs of owning a boat shouldn’t stand in the way of your aspirations. Be sure to factor in the cost of regular maintenance and boat storage before you buy. Before you set sail, make sure you check your state’s requirements for safety tools and you’ll be all set.
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