Picture this: You’re captain of your own boat, the sun on your face and wind in your hair, today’s possibilities as endless as the water stretched around you.
But is buying a boat really for you? What is thrilling and fulfilling for some might be a hassle for others, so there are some things you’ll want to take into consideration before buying a boat.
You’ll relax and destress. Being outside is good for your health, and we have the study by Harvard Medical School to prove it. Owning a boat opens up a wide range of activities you can enjoy outdoors, including fishing, waterskiing, sunbathing, sailing, and spending time with family and friends.
It can be affordable — if you make smart choices. You don’t need to empty your bank account or max out your credit cards to enjoy some time out on the open water. Boat loans with reasonable interest rates aren’t too hard to find, and you can use a boat loan calculator before talking to a lender to see what a payment plan might look like for you.
You could also consider splitting costs with family and/or friends and take turns using the boat. Unless you plan to be on the lake every single weekend (in which case, all the more reason to buy!), chances are you can easily work out a schedule with some friends and cut your costs in half or even in thirds.
You’ll have more ways to exercise. Hate the gym? Despise the treadmill? Owning a boat gives you more than just a handful of summer hobbies and activities that you can take up that also double as intense forms of exercise. Get into water-skiing, bodyboarding, wakeboarding, tubing, or knee-boarding, and feel the burn. You won’t even notice that you’re working out.
You’ll spend quality time on the water. When all is said and done, time spent on a boat is quality time spent with the people you love most, away from the distractions of regular life. For many, that makes all boat-related work and costs more than worth it.
You need to maintain it. You can see the dollar signs add up quick when keeping up with repairs and maintenance on your boat. Take into consideration annual insurance renewal, paint retouching, electric fixes, HVAC repairs, and so on. Make sure that you’d use the boat enough for the benefits to outweigh the costs.
You must store it when not in use. How will you store your boat? Depending on your boat’s size, you have a couple different options at varying prices. If you’re keeping your boat at your house, you’ll need garage or driveway space and a trailer to store it on. Bigger boats will need to be docked at a marina, where you’ll usually be charged storage fees according to the length of your boat.
Depreciation. Boats usually depreciate in value fairly quickly. This isn’t a problem for everyone: If you’re thinking about holding on to your boat for years to come — or passing it on to future generations to enjoy — then your boat’s monetary value becomes less of an issue. But if there’s a chance you may sell it in the future, know that you may get back quite a bit less than you paid originally.
Having a boat can add a lot of enjoyment—and some hassle—to your life, so consider what you value and what’s important to you and you might soon find yourself out on that open water.