Is A Boat Worth It? William Gholson Explains the Cost of Owning a Boat

Most people have at one point in time had that beautiful daydream of drifting on the water in the warm summer sun in a boat that is just their style. Whether it is a speedboat, pontoon, sailboat, or bass boat, nearly everyone has their idea of their perfect marine vehicle. Then there is the cost. Not just the initial purchase, but things like the general upkeep, imminent repairs, and insurance can add up fast. It is not surprising that many shy away from getting a boat because of the assumed added costs. So, why not ask boat supply salesman and enthusiast William Gholson what he thinks — is the dream worth it?

While some of these figures will vary by location and specific type of boat, a sound estimate for the first year of owning a boat is roughly $27,000, including purchase price, insurance, trailer, winter storage, and general maintenance. After the initial year, you’re looking at over $4,000 annually for upkeep, insurance, storage, and maintenance. You also have to add in taxes for your area, registration fees, and docking fees which can vary. Take into consideration that pre-owned boats typically require more maintenance.

Like any other vehicle, boats depreciate in value — up to 10% each year. Being on the water, especially saltwater, will cause wear and tear. So, according to William Gholson, it is important to realize that you are investing in entertainment, not assets. True, a boat can cost a good deal of money, and a lot of people would rather spend over $300 per month on something that isn’t going to require a lot of work. For others, though, it is a labor of deep, briny love.