7 Factors That Can Raise Boating Costs

A Bargain Boat
Buying a boat that needs extensive repair and refurbishing may end up costing more than buying one in better condition. The cost of seemingly minor components often runs into the thousands. Engine overhaul or replacement may exceed the cost of the boat itself. On smaller boats, even such mundane items as life jackets, cushions, and dock lines add up quickly.

Not Learning the Basics of Boat Maintenance
A boat owner who does not know the basics is asking for hefty bills. A dead battery or a simple switch malfunction should not require a $90 an hour mechanic. Operator’s manuals have recommendations for operating speeds and routine maintenance. Ignoring the basics increases the possibility of costly problems. Learn more, and spend less.

Not Learning Your Limits
Hours and parts are wasted when the well intentioned owner takes on too large a task. Safety is a prime consideration and repairs, especially below the waterline, must be handled with care. Boating requires a mix of common sense and caution. There are times when it pays to call in a professional. Damage is expensive, and limits apply to boat handling capabilities as well.

Lack of Planning
Dockage and fuel costs vary widely. It takes research to utilize boating association discounts and marina specials. Anchoring out requires assuring there will be a safe and legal anchorage in the area you plan to stop. Transient dockage rates are the highest, and can break the budget for the cruise. A comprehensive plan when hauling for seasonal storage and/or maintenance may prevent a second haul-out for a forgotten item. Never assume the closest facility is the best deal. A run to a different locale may be the wise choice.
The little chores that save the big expenses are done quickly when items such as screws, sealants, and paint are aboard. Online shopping offers quick price comparisons. Keeping a good supply of spare parts is an integral part of a proper plan.

Seeking Perfection
You have the perfect boat except the paint is a tad dull and Fighting Lady Yellow would look so much better than boring blue. The yard quotes an acceptable price and you haul to paint. The job is beautiful, but now the canvas is the wrong color. A custom dive platform could be installed while waiting on the canvas work. The interior starts to look dated. Spending has replaced boating.

Ownership & Taxes
Pride of ownership is a part of having your own boat, but the cost may rule it out. Many boaters are finding bareboat charters, leasing options, and boat sharing plans work for them. Forbes magazine took a look at the rapid growth in the number of boaters turning to new services to escape the rising costs of ownership.

If you do purchase, do not ignore the savings of a possible sales tax deduction. An accountant can determine if you qualify for other boat related tax deductions such as the second home interest deduction or allowable business expenses.