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Should I Buy A Boat Now Or Wait?

Nov 30, 2023 | Insights

If you’re thinking, “Is now a good time to buy a boat?” or “Should I buy a boat now or wait?” we’re here to help. In Australia, owning a boat opens the door to amazing adventures, cherished times spent with loved ones, and discovering secluded, breathtaking locations that are out of the reach of the typical car.

 We’ll guide you through some of the necessary expenses and considerations you should make before acquiring a boat.

The cost of buying a boat

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-time boat owner, understanding these financial considerations is key to ensuring smooth sailing.

  • Purchase price — The initial cost of buying a boat can vary greatly based on the size, type and condition of the boat you buy.
  • Insurance — Boat insurance is essential and can be a recurring expense. It covers damage, theft, liability and other potential risks associated with boating.
  • Maintenance and repairs — Regular maintenance is crucial to keep the boat in good condition. This includes engine servicing, hull cleaning and fixing wear and tear.
  • Fuel — Fuel costs can add up, especially for boats with larger engines. The distance you travel and the type of boating you do will impact fuel expenses for your boat and trailer.
  • Docking or storage fees — If you don’t keep your boat at home, you’ll likely need to pay for a slip at a marina or storage fees at a boatyard or storage facility.
  • Winterisation — In colder climates, winterising your boat is essential to protect it from freezing temperatures. This can involve fees for professional winterisation or the purchase of winterising materials.
  • Boating accessories — Life jackets, safety equipment, navigation tools, fishing gear and other accessories are necessary expenses for boat owners.
  • Taxes and registration — Boats are subject to registration and, in some cases, property taxes. These costs vary by location.
  • Trailer and towing — If you need a trailer to transport your boat or if you plan to tow it, you’ll need to consider the cost of purchasing and maintaining a trailer.
  • Depreciation — Like cars, boats depreciate in value over time. Consider the potential loss in resale value when budgeting for your boat.
  • Safety courses and licensing — Depending on your location, you may need to complete safety courses and obtain licences, which can come with associated fees.
  • Emergency fund — It’s wise to have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, like engine breakdowns or accidents.
  • Boat Loan interest — If you finance your boat with a loan, you’ll have interest payments in addition to the principal amount borrowed.
  • Towing and salvage — In case of an accident or breakdown, you may need to pay for towing and salvage services, which can be costly.

Considering the many financial aspects of boat ownership, it’s imperative to weigh your decisions carefully. Here are some questions that can help you answer the question, “Should I buy a boat now or wait?”

Can you comfortably reserve 10% of the new purchase price annually to cover maintenance costs?

Boats require yearly maintenance, new or old. An annual maintenance budget of approximately 10% of the boat’s purchase price is what you should aim for. Maintenance neglect frequently results in later, expensive repairs or replacements. It makes far more sense to invest in preventative maintenance rather than handle unforeseen repairs during the brief boating season.

Are you buying a boat for today’s needs or the future?

When choosing a boat, consider not only your current needs but also how those needs might evolve over the next few years. The perfect boat for today may not meet your family’s needs in a year or two, and trading up can incur additional expenses.

A boat is a depreciating asset, losing value from the moment you purchase it. Even if you sell it for the same price you paid, additional costs like broker fees, taxes and outfitting must be considered. Plan for at least five years of ownership to make the most of your investment.

Where will you store it yearly?

It is imperative that you have a place in which you store your boat during the off-season. Whether you choose to trailer it, keep it in a slip or leave it on a mooring, each option comes with its own considerations and costs. Slip fees can vary greatly, and marina availability often has long waiting lists. Trailer storage requires adequate space, tools and maintenance, while mooring spots can be limited and involve waiting for years.

Is now a good time to buy a boat in Australia?

With the recent economic challenges and fluctuations in boat prices, timing your boat purchase in Australia is crucial. Keep an eye on the used boat market, where economic hardships may lead to competitive pricing and increased availability.

For new boat seekers, manufacturers keen on making up for lost production time may offer value pricing packages and incentives to dealers, making it a fantastic time to buy a boat. Dealers, in turn, may pass on these savings to customers. Keep an eye out for special offers and advertisements, and establish a budget based on your financial situation.

So, should I buy a boat now or wait?

Buying a boat in Australia is a significant decision that requires careful consideration for your enjoyment and your finances. By addressing these critical questions and staying vigilant for deals, you can make a well-informed decision that leads to a satisfying and budget-friendly boat ownership experience.


Fund your boat purchase with a Personal Loan from Finance One

If you require financial assistance to buy a boat, consider taking out a Personal Loan with us at Finance One. Our Personal Loans can help turn your boating dreams into reality, ensuring that your adventures on the water are both enjoyable and affordable. Choose Finance One to finance your boat or jet ski through our flexible Personal Loan options, or explore our range of Vehicle Loans for your convenience.

Normal lending criteria apply. Fees and charges are payable. Terms and conditions apply.

Finance One means:
Fin One Pty Ltd – ABN: 80 139 719 903
Australian Credit Licence: 387528

Disclaimer: The information above is of a general nature only and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information relates to your particular circumstances. We do not accept responsibility for any loss arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information.

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