5 hidden costs of owning a boat

If you’re reading this, it’s more than likely you’re considering buying a boat. So first off, congratulations! Owning a boat is one of the most amazing experiences on the planet. (And yes, as boat lovers we’re 100% biased.)

Of course, buying a boat is also a big decision, so it’s important to know all of the costs involved before taking the plunge. That way, you can budget accordingly and stay relaxed on the water too!


To give you a head start, we’ve blogged the top 5 hidden costs of owning a boat in Australia.


  1. The right gear

Equipping your boat with the right gear is just as important as the boat itself. After all, you can’t hit the water without a good GPS and proper safety equipment.

When you’re searching for a boat, check to see what accessories come along with it, as you will need to buy anything extra, especially those important safety and navigational items.

Luckily electronics these days are highly reliable and include features that simply didn’t exist 10 years ago. Oh, and they’re more affordable too.

Make a list of the accessories you’ll need and do a basic Google search to get rough pricing on each item. This will help you get a better idea of your overall budget.

Here’s a list* to help get you started:

  • GPS/ chart plotter – $449 to $2,200+
  • Life jackets – $30 to $150+
  • Boating flares – $160 to $250+
  • EPIRBs – $329
  • Fire extinguisher – $24 to $50+
  1. Fuel

Fuel is one ongoing expense you can’t get away from. The good news is you may not use a whole lot, especially if you’re harnessing the wind for energy.

Of course, you’ll still need fuel to motor in and out of marinas or when the wind decides to go offline. Either way, check fuel consumption on the boat you’re looking to buy. offers some good information on calculating fuel consumption on a boat. Check their tips out  here.

  1. Parking

It’s important to know how and where you’ll store your boat once you’ve purchased it. The costs involved will vary, depending on what storage solution you choose.

If you’re buying a small boat, it’s probably easier and cheaper to park it at your home. However, you will need to factor in the cost of a trailer, trailer registration and maintenance.

Many marinas offer dry stack and rack storage, however, if you’re planning to use your boat regularly, it’s probably easier to moor it on the water.

The cost of a mooring will depend on the size of the vessel and the location. Google ‘mooring costs’ and the name of your state to get a ball park on mooring costs in your area.

  1. Finance

If you’re looking to purchase a boat by securing finance from a broker or lender, we recommend asking around for recommendations before choosing someone to assist you.

You should also go online to see what other people have said about the broker or lender you are considering working with.

A good broker may be a better option than a bank or lender, as they can compare many different loan products, and then recommend one that fits you and your budget.

A bank or lending institution tends to have a more limited range of loan products, which means you may miss out on savings.

Of course, it’s vital you choose a loan that aligns with your lifestyle, goals and budget, so you don’t experience undue stress.

So, don’t be afraid to do your research before choosing a broker or lender that fits you.

  1. Marine cover

Once you have your boat, you will need to get it insured so you’re covered in the event of an accident or incident.

Boating without cover comes with a great risk, which is certainly not worth the stress, should the unexpected occur.

We offer comprehensive cover for boaties in Australia and overseas. Our goal is to ensure you are covered for the stuff that matters, so you have peace of mind on the water. Ask us for a free quote today.

For more information on buying a boat on a budget, head here.

* Head here for the source.