Buying a boat is a dream for many people. Having your very own vessel to explore the great Australian coastline and have adventures on the open ocean is an amazing way to spend your free time. Whether you venture out with the family to enjoy a relaxing day on deck, go fishing with your mates, take part in racing events or you simply want to spend more time out at sea honing your sailing skills, there’s no denying that having a boat opens up a whole new world of possibilities and novel experiences.
In many cases when someone starts thinking about buying a boat, they focus solely on the price tag of the boat itself and this is a big mistake. Being a boat owner comes with many more responsibilities as well as a host of hidden costs, or costs that most people aren’t aware of or even forget all about until after they have made their purchase. Knowing exactly what to expect when you buy a boat will ensure that you are fully prepared for all the unique challenges that lie ahead. With this knowledge, you can plan your time and your finances properly as a boat owner so you get the very most out of this big-ticket purchase, and the mountains of responsibilities turn into venerable molehills.
Let’s take a look at some of the hidden responsibilities that you need to be aware of as a new boat owner.
Operating Costs And Fuel
There are many different types of boats out there for you to choose from and each one of these vessels will have its own operating and fueling costs. However, regardless of what type of boat you are buying, it’s important that you are aware of what these costs will be before you finalise the sale. Fuel, batteries, pumps, oil and other expenses will need to be covered to keep your new vessel in ship-shape condition.
Storage And Mooring Fees
Some boat owners keep their vessel docked at their local marina, while others may choose to store their vessels privately in a boatshed or in a shipyard, and take it to the water on a trailer whenever they may want to set sail. While land storage is generally cheaper, both options will cost you money, so the costs of storage vs. mooring will absolutely need to be considered when you’re buying a boat. Be sure to research what options are available in your area so you know what to expect when it comes to storing your vessel.
Insurance For Your Boat
Just as you need to ensure your car or house, the same goes for your boat. Boat insurance runs the gauntlet when it comes to pricing, depending greatly on the style and size of the boat you own. Where you dock your boat and whether you are using your vessel for commercial or recreational purposes can also influence the costs of your insurance, or even dictate that you need additional insurance such as damage coverage or public liability insurance. Take the time to speak to a few brokers ahead of time to make sure you know all the variables involved.
Repairs And Maintenance
As any seasoned boat owner will tell you, boat ownership is more of a lifestyle than a hobby. Many boat owners spend a lot of their free time working on their vessel, completing maintenance work and repairs that are necessary to ensure the boat remains in the best condition possible. As a general rule of thumb, you should budget to spend about 10% of the boat’s value on maintenance and repairs each year. Looking after your boat can take a lot of time and it’s important that you consider both the cost and the time required to keep your vessel in tip-top condition.
Make Sure You Understand Your Responsibilities Before You Buy
If you want to get the most out of your new boat, it’s important that you understand exactly what is involved in owning a boat. As every vessel is completely different, it’s crucial that you do your research and find out what you will need to do to look after your new boat moving forward so you can plan your finances and your time accordingly.