It’s a fallacy that only the rich own boats. Just like vehicles, boats are available at a wide variety of prices. You will need to think about what type of boat you need, the best fit for your purposes and how much you can afford. Answering questions like this before you buy will help you to budget for your boat and make the right decisions when you buy.

Find the best way to buy your boat

It is possible to save up enough cash to buy a boat. However, most people will need to arrange financing in order to buy a new or pre-owned boat. You can do this through a bank, marine dealer, or specialized marine lender. When you apply for finance, your income, credit rating and the value of the boat will all be considered.

Buying a used boat will help you to save money on the purchase price. If you buy a used boat, you will need to make sure it is still in good condition. You can get a marine surveyor to examine it before you buy it. If there’s a to-do list, you may be able to whittle down the price.

You can also bid on a boat at boat repo auctions. At, you can register on the site, carefully look over the item listings, view the photos and view boats in person prior to making a bid.

Buy only the size boat you need

A common mistake is for first-time boat owners to buy a bigger boat than they need. A small boat uses less fuel, costs less to insure and is easier to tow. The idea of a big boat may be appealing but you need to really consider the size boat that will best fit your personal needs.

Think about how many people will usually be in the boat and what type of conditions you will normally use it in. If you will usually only have two people on board and plan to boat on a lake rather than the ocean, your requirements will be very different than if you intend to take groups of people out on the ocean.

Get a bargain on the trailer

If you need a trailer to transport and store your boat, this will add to the purchase price. You may be able to drive a bargain whereby the trailer is included in the purchase price of the boat. A package deal is a common practice at dealerships and boat shows when including the trailer may mean making the sale for the dealer.

Plan to do basic maintenance yourself

You can learn how to do many boat maintenance tasks yourself if you’re handy with tools and have some mechanical aptitude. You don’t want to invalidate any warranties by doing shoddy work. By learning to do the basic tasks properly, you can reduce your maintenance costs as it is expensive to use the services of a professional marine technician.

Remember that maintenance costs for a boat used in freshwater are lower than for a boat used in seawater. A new boat also costs less to maintain than a used one, at least for a few years.

Taking out boat insurance can save money over the long term

You will need liability cover and damage cover, especially if it’s a new boat. Lenders usually require comprehensive insurance coverage on a purchase they finance. Having the right insurance cover for your boat is a smart move in the long run. An accident or a theft could cost you plenty if you don’t have insurance.