How Much Does It Cost to Own & Maintain A Fishing Boat?

Written by: Quintin Bentley Crevling

Owning a fishing boat creates lifelong memories of reeling in big catches with your friends and family. These experiences come with a steep price for owning and maintaining the boat. If you want to own a boat, it’s important that you first learn how to perform regular maintenance and repair electrical parts that break easily, so you aren’t constantly calling marine services for assistance. The largest costs of owning a boat are fees and registration, necessities for operation, maintenance, and storage.

Before you take your boat on the water you must have the proper registration. These fees can reach several hundred dollars depending on the length of the vessel and your purpose of use. You will also need to obtain a fishing license which is a very easy process and only costs you $30. Most importantly, you will need to have your vessel inspected by a licensed surveyor to guarantee it’s safe for the water. This is an expensive endeavor as you will have to pay by the foot of the boat, and the employees by the hour, at over $100 an hour.

Before you take your boat on the water you must get insurance to cover your tail if anything goes wrong. This will cost you as little as $40 a month but will save you a gigantic headache if something goes wrong. The other large expense to operating a fishing boat is paying for the gas to drive long distances. Gas is very expensive and boats drink it like it’s going out of style. The good news is that your engines won’t be running all day, and you can drift for long distances. The average fishing boat will burn roughly 60 liters of fuel per hour.

Maintaining your boat is very expensive. You must pay workers expensive wages to perform constant upkeep so your boat will run properly when you want to take it out. You will have to change your oil regularly just like your car, except this will cost well over a hundred dollars. If your boat is stored in the water you will have to have it scrapped and painted every few years, so barnacles and weeds don’t grow and feed on your boat. Believe it or not, paint for the bottom of your boat can exceed $300 per gallon, so budget for this expense.

For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to store your boat at home, you will have to pay expensive storage fees to moor your boat. The moorage fees for a fishing boat is determined by length of the vessel. For an average size fishing boat, you could pay as much as $2,000 a year to tie your boat to a dock. This pales in comparisons to having your boat stored at a dry dock where prices can exceed $600 a month. This can be an annoying process as you will have to schedule when you are coming in to pick up your boat, and you can’t simply stop in and enjoy your dock on the water.

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