How Much Does a Boat Cost – Types, Their Prices, and Additional Expenses

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Are you looking to up your fishing game to the next level? If so, purchasing a boat is an ideal first step. After all, a fishing boat will allow you to explore more areas and catch a greater variety of species, which are things that you can’t do with your feet set on land.

While boat-shopping can seem like an exciting prospect, many anglers fail to see the massive investments involved in being a boat owner.

When considering the question of how much does a boat cost, the price tag is not the only thing to look at. Additional expenses like maintenance, fuel, licensing, storage and accessories are all recurring expenses that add up to the cost of owning a boat.

In this article, we will be going through various factors that determine the true cost of owning a boat. We hope this article will help you determine the best boat for your budget.

Different Types Of Fishing Boats

There’s a boat for every angler. Depending on your needs, purpose and budget you will have a variety of boats to choose from. 

A fishing boat is key to your fishing ventures. Therefore, before making such a huge investment. you need to make sure you choose from the best, based on your requirements.

Here, we will look at the different types of fishing boats, their uses and the costs associated with each.

1. Saltwater Fishing Boats

These are some of the most expensive fishing boats that money can buy. They are made of fiberglass, which is highly durable, and can withstand high speeds and remain stable at the same time. They also come with an array of electronics and technologies that are suited for the harshest of saltwater environments.

These vessels can range anywhere from $30000 to well over $100,000. The price depends on the size of the vessel, craftsmanship and brand.

2. Bass Fishing Boats  

Bass fishing boats are the most popular fishing boats in the US. This popularity means that manufacturer competition is stiff, resulting in more choices for you at lower prices. Depending on the boat you choose, bass fishing boats can cost you anywhere between $20000 to $75000.

3. Pontoon Boats

These boats may not be speed demons but they’re definitely known for their adaptability. These boats are excellent for multi-species fishing in lakes. 

Pontoon boats are also available in a wide variety of models from budget friendly to high-end luxury boats. You can get one of these versatile water beasts from anywhere between $15000 to $40000.

4. Aluminum Fishing Boats

These boats are also known for their versatility due to their classic design. Though these boats are less durable and stable as compared to fiberglass boats, they are a good budget-friendly option.

These days, aluminum boats come equipped with advanced technologies and features that make for excellent fishing boats.

You can get a multi-species aluminum fishing boat anywhere between $15000 to $40000, depending on the size and features of the vessel.

5. Kayaks

Kayaks are the best budget friendly fishing boats out there. They are easy to store and maintain, and require minimal expenses. On top of that they are also highly portable and versatile.

All these qualities have led kayaks to become very popular amongst anglers in recent times. The prices can range anywhere between $400 to $900.

If small affordable fishing boats are what you are looking for, you should definitely consider Kayaks.

Additional Expenses To Take Into Consideration

Like we mentioned earlier in the article, owning a boat is a huge responsibility that comes with additional recurring expenses. How much does it cost to own a boat is determined by these additional expenses. 

When investing in a boat and planning your budget, it is important to take these factors into consideration.

1. Insurance

To protect yourself from potential damage you will need to get your boat insured. Not every boat will require an insurance, but if you’re going to spend $20000 on a boat and fishing set-up, you should get it insured. Some states mandate insurance on motor boats with 50 horse-power or more.

2. Fishing Accessories

After you get your fishing boat home. The next thing you will need to do is to dress it with the best fishing accessories. You will need to invest in fish finders, rod holders, a trolling motor, downriggers, etc. All of this can easily cost you $2000 or more.

3. Licensing 

If your motorboat has a 9.9 HP or larger motor you will need to get it registered and licensed, for use in public lakes, rivers or saltwater. In most states registration and licensing will need to be renewed every year. These costs will vary from state to state, but you can expect to pay around $50 per year.

4. Fuel

Gas will not be a major expense in your fishing adventures, but it is still something you have to consider. When moving at full throttle your boat can burn through several gallons of fuel in just an hour. During peak fishing season you can expect to pay around $50 every month for fuel.

5. Vehicle And Towing

The cost of towing your fishing boat is often overlooked by most people. Boats are much heavier than you think and having a vehicle that can safely tow it, is important. Therefore, before investing in a boat it is crucial to make sure that your vehicle can handle towing your boat.

6. Maintenance 

Like a car, a boat purchase will also carry yearly maintenance costs. The cost of maintenance is based on several factors including the type of boat, how often it is used, whether it is used in saltwater or freshwater, etc.

Boat maintenance will include several services such as engine maintenance, cleaning, hull maintenance, storage, winterizing, (this service is required if you don’t use your boat year-round) etc. 

Also, using the boat in freshwater will considerably reduce your maintenance and cleaning cost. Saltwater is definitely much harsher on your boat and its engine, than freshwater.

It is true that a fishing boat is a major investment and being a boat owner is a huge responsibility. However, with a bit of research you can find a boat that fulfils all your needs at a fair price. 

Remember that the biggest, flashiest and most expensive boat is not always the best, and it is not always what you need. Sometimes a simple kayak can help you form memories that you will  remember for the rest of your life. So choose wisely and most importantly have fun fishing!

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Donald Patt

Donald Platt, our founder, is a fishing enthusiast who has almost 10 years of experience in fly fishing. While Donald works hard to put up the most informative articles, he still keeps his Sundays free for a quick fishing trip.

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