Owning a yacht is like owning a house or a car: you have insurance payments, maintenance fees, possible loan payments, and with boats, storage costs. You need to take all of these expenses into account before buying a boat. This is why we always recommend not pushing your budget because you don't want to pin yourself into a financial corner after spending too much money at the closing table.
- Loan Payments
Insurance rates will depend on a number of factors. If you have plenty of boating experience and are going to be living near the boat, you can have very low rates through providers like BoatUS. If you have never been cruising or boating, or have no record of any trips, and you are going to be storing the boat far away from your home (we have one client who lives in Montana but spends 6 weeks at the boat in Maryland and 6 weeks in Montana) you will be looking at higher insurance rates. We can help walk you through the insurance process to help you find a good provider with good rates.
This can be a big ticket item depending on where you keep your yacht. Annapolis is a great example. Marinas in Annapolis charge an average of about $15 a foot per month. Many full year contracts for slips in Annapolis range from $7,000 to $15,000 a year for a 40 ft. slip depending on where you go. Outside of Annapolis, there are marinas where the same size slip can cost $4,000 or less. There are also private residences along all of the local creeks and rivers on the bay that offer rental contracts for slips behind their private homes offering really good deals (these are often advertised on craigslist).
Storage is a very subjective cost depending on location. In popular ports in the heart of a cruising destination, prices will be higher than at a marina just outside of those popular cruising destinations. We have helped most of our clients find good marinas for their new yachts and can give some good advise to make sure you aren't overpaying. (Want some suggestions? Ask us!)
Boats need some TLC, but how much is that regular maintenance going to set you back? Over the years that you own your yacht, you need to haul it out every now and then to power wash it, repaint the bottom and if you are hauling out for the winter, pay for winter storage and winterization. There is much debate in the boating world over whether you should haul out your boat every year, every other year, or once every three years. We have done some spreadsheets and number analysis and have found that the most cost effective method is actually to haul out every two years. (Want to know more? Drop us a line!)
To avoid having major system failures, we also recommend keeping up with low-cost regular maintenance. For example, if you buy a sailboat, you should spend the $200 it costs for a sail loft to clean and re-stitch your sails in the off-season. This helps your sails stay healthy and helps you avoid nasty rips and tears while out on a cruising adventure. Both power and sail owners should also pay for an engine mechanic to come out and do a systems check of your engine to make sure everything is running smoothly every now and then. You can usually get a brand-specific mechanic to come out to your boat for about $100/hour. This can help you catch problems before they cause an engine blowout.
When you buy a boat with us, we can also help you do your own regular maintenance and even winterize your own boat so you can cut costs and become more familiar with your yacht.
If you are borrowing money to buy your new boat, you should look into how much your monthly payments will cost and make sure they do not pass your monthly spending threshold when you add in storage and insurance fees. Check out our loan calculator to figure out your monthly payments here.