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What are the Costs Associated with Buying a Boat?

Buying a boat is a really exciting process, from choosing the type of craft that suits your needs to testing out different vessels on the water. However, it is important that you take into consideration the various costs of buying and owning a boat to ensure that you have a suitable budget.

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Cost of a boat survey

A pre-purchase survey may be well worth doing before you purchase, you want peace of mind that the vessel is seaworthy and working efficiently, just as you'd want that level of satisfaction when buying a car or a house. Surveys are typically priced per foot so the size of the vessel you are looking to buy will determine the cost of the survey.

Whether you are buying new or used it is important to ensure that the vessel is up to standard. If the survey comes back positive you will have peace of mind as well as a condition report, which can be useful if applying for finance to purchase the boat. If the survey uncovers any problems it enables you to either amend the price, have work done on the vessel before making the purchase or even just walk away from the sale.

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Boat mooring costs

When choosing to buy a boat you probably have a relatively clear idea where you want to keep your vessel, whether that's a plush marina right on the coast or a mid-river pontoon close to home. There are a number of considerations you need to make which can impact the cost of your boat mooring.

For example, if you are looking to keep your boat in a full-service marina with a walk-shore berth you are likely to be paying more than if you choose a pile mooring or mid-river pontoon which require a dingy to reach the shore. Some boat yards, sailing and fishing clubs around the UK have rights to moorings and this can be one of the cheapest options when it comes to mooring your boat, it is certainly an option worth looking into.

Wherever you choose to moor your boat it is worth getting your name onto a waiting list as early as possible as the lists can be long. In some locations this can even be done before you have purchased your boat.

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Upkeep costs of owning a boat

There are a number of costs to consider when it comes to the general maintenance costs of keeping a boat. However, these costs can be difficult to estimate and can vary a great deal from boat to boat. If you plan on taking on any work yourself this can reduce the costs significantly compared to if the work was undertaken at a boatyard.

Some costs cannot be avoided, such as re-applying the antifouling (the special paint on the hull of your vessel). Although the work itself can be done by you the cost of the paint, which will be dependent on the size of your vessel, needs to be factored in to your annual budget.

Ensuring that you carry out routine checks, including the engine, rigging and sails can help you to spot the first signs of damage and potentially prevent future expensive damage.

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Breakdown cover for boats

It is possible to get breakdown cover for your boat which is similar to the service provided by car breakdown cover companies meaning that should your boat breakdown at sea, or along a river or canal you are not left stranded. This safety net is important to have in place and can give you that extra peace of mind when you go out on adventures in your boat.

Boat breakdown cover is available with a range of different cover types depending on how comprehensive you want the cover to be and where you intend to use your vessel. It is worth shopping around to get the best price to suit your needs as there are many different types of cover available.

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Cost of boat insurance

Having boat insurance might not be a legal requirement in the UK but there may be times when you need to provide evidence of insurance when applying for finance or in order to keep your vessel in a marina. As well as this, it can provide you with greater peace of mind and may even save you money should something happen to your boat.

The cost of boat insurance can vary depending on your risk details and the type of craft you have. If you don’t want to get insurance, think about whether you have the financial resources available to replace your boat if it sank. Could you pay public liability costs to anyone injured or property damaged? Do you have enough money in the bank to recover & salvage your craft? There are many different types of policies available to cover all different types of craft for a range of different uses, so whether you simply want third party cover or cover for a racing boat you’ll be able to find the right cover for you.

For more information on boat insurance check out our dedicated boat insurance or call 0344 892 1987 to speak to a specialist adviser.

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About the author

Adam Summersby is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.