How much does it cost to own a boat?
It’s important to remember that the purchase price of a boat is just the beginning of the cost commitment! Here are some annual costs to consider when thinking a buying a boat:
Boat Trailer Cost:
You’ll need a trailer to transport and store the boat (and be prepared for hurricanes!). A trailer can range in price from $1,500 to more than $5,000. A trailer will need basic upkeep as well; tires, brakes, and general maintenance, plus monthly storage fees if you can’t keep it on your property when your boat’s in the water.
Boat Insurance Average Cost:
You’ll need at least liability coverage, and likely damage coverage, especially for a new boat, in case of accident or theft. Boat insurance can range from $1,000 to $5,000 per year.
Florida Boating License:
Florida law requires anyone who was born on or after January 1, 1988, to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the Florida Wildlife Commission. Boating safety courses are not especially expensive, but anyone who might drive your boat will have to make the commitment of time for the class.
Boat Storage options:
You will need a cover, a top, or maybe inside storage if you can’t keep the boat at your home or on your property. For outside storage, boats are typically shrinkwrapped at a cost of roughly $10-15 per foot, so a 21-foot boat might cost $200-300 to cover. Inside rack storage costs more, as the boat is better protected from the elements. Figure on roughly $25-$30/foot for inside storage, so that 21-footer would cost about $600 per month.
Boat Safety Equipment and accessories:
You’ll not only need safety gear (life vests, horn, signal flares, etc.), but you’ll most likely want a stereo, lighting, watersports towing equipment, etc., to fully enjoy your boat. The South Florida sun is as strong as it gets and its effects are magnified when out on the water. You should thinking about wearing not only sunscreen but hats, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing.
Boat Maintenance Costs:
Much like a car, a boat requires a lot of regular maintenance. Like a car, you have cleaning, oil changes, and engine maintenance costs—but then add hull maintenance, storage, and haul-out (if not keeping in the water year-round). Costs for these services can vary widely, based on the boat size, fresh water or salt water, if the boat is new or used, etc.
If you keep the boat at a marina, you will incur monthly costs, and they’re high in South Florida. In-water dock space can range from $1,000 to more than $5,000 per season.
Saltwater wear and tear:
If you’re planning on taking your boat out for some deep-sea fishing, not just cruising the Intracoastal, keep in mind that salt water is definitely harsher on a boat and engine than freshwater.
Do you really need to own a boat?
Have you researched the cost of owning a boat yourself? When we explain the benefits of of Gulfstream Boat Club to a potential new member, they very often ask, “Why would anyone own a boat?” We at Gulfstream Boat Club agree! Many of our members are former powerboat or yacht owners who don’t want the expense and hassle of owning their own boat anymore. On the other hand, many of our members are interested in eventually owning a boat, or learning more about the boating lifestyle, and a boat club is a great way to try it out.
Image: Trees Full of Money
Why commit to one kind of boating experience when you can enjoy several?
When you purchase a boat, you have to decide on one kind of experience on the water. You might want a great fishing boat. Or maybe a cruiser for trips down the Intracoastal. Perhaps you are in the market for a pontoon boat for larger family parties and outings. But what if you want to experience all of these outings? The question is, Why choose just one kind of boat? At Gulfstream Boat Club, we have a wide variety of boats, which allows you as a member to go deep-sea fishing one weekend and take your kids tubing the next. Then, on Mother’s Day, you can take everyone on a cruise to a dockside lunch. You can’t beat the flexibility of having access to several kinds of boats!
Why settle for one boat when you can have a whole fleet?
As a Gulfstream Boat Club member, you’ll have access to more than twenty boats, in many sizes and models, seven days a week. That means that with one purchase you can have a variety of experiences. One of our experienced captains can take you and your friends on a fishing excursion. We supply the fishing gear if you need it. Or a captain can take you out on the Intracoastal for a cruise to brunch at a dockside restaurant—perfect for Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, or other holidays which require keeping lots of family members happy and busy! Ask yourself: What is the cost of owning a boat—plus another five or six?
Or, if you are comfortable at the helm, take out one of our center console, dual console, deck, or pontoon boats yourself. Gulfstream Boat Club can recommend outings both south and north of our Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and Hypoluxo locations. How about a trip to Peanut Island, where you can dock, tour the island, or just take a swim? Or motor south to Lake Boca, where there’s plenty to do and see. Each member of GBC receives their own custom-designed map of the area, which highlights boating and fishing sites you won’t want to miss.
Cost of owning a boat = commitment of time and money
Owning a boat is a huge commitment of time and money, especially for a busy family. Kids’ activities might make it difficult to use your own boat every weekend. Gulfstream Boat Club makes it easy to enjoy a boat when it’s convenient for you. All of our boats are expertly maintained, and have life jackets, stereos, depth finders, and up-to-date electronics. No need to stop for fuel—we’ll fill ‘er up. And we have an online reservation system that allows you to book boats anytime.
Share the decision to not own a boat—and share the fun!
And why not consider combining business with pleasure? GBC offers a corporate membership perfect for business partners to share. If you’re a real estate agent, take clients new to the area for a nice cruise on the Intracoastal, and get ready to sell that house. GBC’s larger boats could host a work event of up to ten or twelve people. Forget that boring business dinner and let us help you plan a memorable evening out on the water!
When you learn the cost of owning a boat, the idea becomes daunting and can be a deal-breaker for many people who would like to enjoy boating or fishing in South Florida. That’s why Gulfstream Boat Club is such a great concept. Being a boat club member is flexible, affordable, safe, and enjoyable. Leave the maintenance and other hassles of boating to us, and focus on the good parts!
Call GBC at 561.865.7797. Then you’re one step closer to having not just one boat to use on the weekend, but an entire fleet!