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Cost of owning a boat

Cost of owning a boat


Is this the season that you will want a boat of your own.  What type of boat should you buy? What would you use it for? What’s a best fit for you and your family? Where would you store it when you’re not using it? 

And of course, what may be the toughest question: how much boat can you afford

Rest assured, these are many of the questions that we are answering on a regular basis. 

Getting organized and proactively answering these kinds of questions before you buy is the best way to limit uncertainty and successfully move forward in the boat buying process.

Upfront Costs & Annual Maintenance

Before you buy a boat of your own, you will want to consider the upfront purchase costs. The first step is figuring out how you want to spend your time on the water and what type of boat you want to buy. 

You might want a fishing boat, or a bowrider for family fun. Perhaps a cabin cruiser that could house your family overnight for extended trips, or a specialty craft like a pontoon boat for family parties or a ski/wake boat for watersports.

Here are some costs to consider when buying, besides the cost of the boat which varies widely based on make, model, and use.


If you need a trailer to transport and store your boat, you may want to have it included as part of the package deal. In terms of maintenance, 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

You will definitely need,  at least, some form of liability insurance, and ideally, damage insurance — especially if it’s a newer boat. If you finance your equipment, your lenders will most likely require comprehensive/all inclusive coverage. 

Storage Options, Winter Storage & Costs

You may want a cover, a top, or maybe even consider renting inside or outside storage if you can’t keep the boat at your home or on your property. Summer and winter storage are two very different necessities here in Quebec. Winter storage typically involves winterization preparation for engine and boat, as well as durable protection where snow, rain and winter winds have potential for damage. 

Marina Fees

If you keep the boat at a marina, you will incur monthly costs for those months of storage; fees will vary depending how often you use the boat, and whether or not the marina includes cleaning and maintenance charges.

Maintenance Costs

Like a car, a boat purchase also carries yearly maintenance costs, and these can vary based on the type of boat, how often it's used and whether it begins its life with you as new or used.

A new boat will cost less to maintain than a used one, at least for the first few years. Plan for some engine maintenance costs, and cleaning, but add hull maintenance, storage, winterizing (when you don’t use the boat year-round), haul-out (if not keeping in the water year-round), and spring make-ready and launch.

Equipment & Accessories

Safety gear (such as life jackets, paddles, horn, signal flares, etc.) should always be considered during any boat purchase. For additional accessories, no need to buy everything you can think of all at once; a good plan is to "treat your boat" every spring and fall to a new accessory or upgrade with accessories like stereos, lighting, watersports towing equipment and more. Spend wisely and you’ll enjoy your boat and all the summer fun it brings.

Education & Boating Licenses

Many provinces require some type of boaters’ safety course and operator’s license. 

Average budget scenario for a first time boat.

Average entry level boat, multipurpose, new condition, financed. 

Between 250$ and 500$ per month*

  • Running cost fuel and maintenance : 500$ per season
  • Insurance, comprehensive all risk:  500$-800$ per season
  • Winter storage and winterizing:  1200$
  • Accessories, fishing gear, vests, etc.  600$

* We based our costing on a fishing/multipurpose vessel, such as the Tracker PGV16.

Categories: Conseil du Jour