I like to think of the purchase price of the boat as an investment. I know it probably won’t increase in value, but for me it is an investment. Whether it was a “Venti Carmel macchiato with two pumps and whipped” or a new issue of Go Boating, I would be spending the money on something. I figure the money I spent on the boat and the hours of pleasure I get from it are a lot cheaper than hours I could be spending on a psychiatrist couch. Come to think of it, it’s not just an investment but a health benefit.
So let’s be real. The boat is using money that could be gaining interest (small as that might be) in an investment account. It’s always good to remind yourself where the money is going and how much. Not that you’ll care, but at least you won’t be surprised.
Fixed costs are just that, fixed, no matter how much I use the boat. This can include slips, insurance, license etc. I still have to pay the fixed costs even if I leave the boat in my yard on the trailer. And don’t forget to throw in a few extra costs like GPS, charts, skis etc…..
Insurance is not only a fixed cost it is a major cost on some boats. Make sure you check buying the insurance before you buy the boat. Don’t commit to the deal and find out you can’t buy the insurance because the boat is too big or too fast. I own a specialty insurance agency, take my word on this.
Last and probably more important than any other factor is your personal preferences. What do I really want in a boat? This can actually override all the common sense factors; it’s the wild card in the “selection deck”. It is very important, but don’t let it get in the way of buying a good boat.
Make sure the boat you buy is something you can handle and afford. Choose something that fits the way you live and where you live. Remember, if you can’t afford the boat or can’t handle the boat, it will sit in the driveway and never see the pounding waves. And if you just have to get it, buy it. But if you are not sure, keep looking, there’s always another boat coming into the used boat marina.
Want to figure how much your boat cost? Send me a note and I’ll email you a cost analysis spread sheet. You can plug in the numbers and see what your boat is costing you. Or what that new boat you are thinking about buying, might cost.