Dreaming of the SEAnic route? Here’s How Much a Boat Will Cost You


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While boats can run from $200 for a small kayak to upwards of $15 million for a luxury yacht, the average cost of a new boat is $42,000. Used boats run about $10,000. But if you’re looking to buy a boat, you’ll shell out more than the sticker price. Insurance, fuel and docking fees can shave hundreds (or thousands) off your budget. We’ll cover how much you can expect to pay to buy and maintain your boat.

Boat prices depend on the type of vessel (e.g., small lake boat, sailboat or yacht) and its size, location and brand. You’ll also pay more for luxury features and any add-ons above and beyond the standard model.

We’ve broken down the average cost of the most popular boat types below. These figures are estimates for the cost of new boats. You can find lower prices for used boats. Keep in mind that it’s possible to spend more than the high end of each range if you want all the bells and whistles.

Type of vessel Average cost
Kayak $200 – $5,000
Canoe $1,000 – $1,500
Pontoon boat $15,000 – $40,000
Small fishing boat with trailer $18,000 – $45,000
Cabin cruiser $30,000 – $900,000+
Sailboat $100,000 – $500,000
Yacht $300,000 – $15,000,000+

Once you know what kind of vessel you want, you can research boat pricing for particular models on J.D. Power (formerly NADA).

Once you know the starting price for the kind of boat you want, use our boat loan calculator to see if you can afford a loan.

If a monthly payment is too high for your budget, try entering a larger down payment or longer loan term to lower your payments. Just remember that although long boat loan terms come with lower monthly payments, you’ll likely pay more in interest.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for a boat loan online, but it’s worth the time it takes to get several quotes to find the lowest rates. If you’re worried about whether or not you’ll qualify, consider boat loans for bad credit.

Even if you didn’t get sticker shock from the purchase prices, you’ll need to take a hard look at your budget when you factor in the ongoing costs of owning a boat.

Depending on where you live and what kind of boat you’re buying, you may be on the hook for several upfront costs, like sales tax, registration fees, a boat operator license and a trailer.

Also, consider the ongoing costs of keeping your boat afloat. You’ll have to set aside cash for insurance payments, registration renewal, maintenance costs, annual boat taxes, storage, safety equipment and fuel.

Ultimately, you’ll likely spend hundreds or thousands of dollars every year to keep your boat safe, clean, legal and insured. For more detailed estimates of specific costs of ownership, see our table below.

Expense What is it? Estimated cost
Down payment An upfront payment to your lender 10% – 20% of boat’s purchase price
Monthly payments Payments made to your lender for a specified term with interest Interest rates for secured boat loans start at around 6.5%
Sales tax Tax paid to the state where you purchase your boat Depends on your state — $0 in Rhode Island, up to $18,000 in Florida
Registration fees Fee paid to state allowing you to operate your boat; you’ll pay a one-time fee and a renewal fee every 2-3 years $25 – $250 depending on state
Boat operator license or safety course Some states require safety courses and/or boating licenses to operate a boat Depends on your state — Alaska doesn’t require licenses or courses; Alabama’s license application and certification fees cost just over $40
Trailer Used to move your boat from the dock or marina to your home or storage facility when the boat is not in use $700 – $8,000
Insurance Monthly payment to insurance company in case of damage to the boat Average of $300 – $600 per year
Maintenance Cleaning and servicing your boat every year maintains your investment and ensures your boat is safe to ride Up to 10% of the purchase price per year
Boat tax Property tax paid to state annually Varies by state; 0.5% of the boat’s value in Washington
Storage/mooring/marina fees Fees for docking your boat and storing it in the winter $50 – $400 per month for self-storage at storage facility; about $50 per foot of boat per year to dock at a marina
Safety equipment Depending on your state, your boat may be required to have life jackets, navigation lights, visual distress signals, sound signaling devices and fire extinguishers Starting at $200
Fuel Gas to power your boat Depends on boat size, location and use. Fuel prices updated daily on the Waterway Guide.


This article originally appeared on LendingTree and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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This article originally appeared on LendingTree and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

Like MediaFeed's content? Be sure to follow us.