While boats are fun, and we recommend that everyone should get one, there’s a few things to consider before taking the plunge. A boat is a significant upfront investment, and there are some ongoing costs involved as well, so this should be factored in to your shopping experience.
As far as hobbies go, boating doesn’t need to be super expensive. In Australia, the average sized boat is under 7.5meters and running costs are rather comparable to that of running a car. Of course, these ongoing expenses will vary depending on how frequently you use it, what activities you use the boat for, how harsh the waters are, and your available storage options.
To help you gather the facts, we’ve compiled a short list of things to consider, and costs to factor in, when preparing to become a boat owner:
- Rego and License fees
In NSW, you will require a license to operate your boat or personal watercraft. The cost of the knowledge test you are required to sit is $34 for general boat and $52 for PWC. The cost of your license once successful, will range from $60-$451 for boats and $182-$903 for PWC, depending on the length of time you’d like your license valid for (1-10 year options).
You will also need to register your boat with NSW Roads and Maritime Services, you can review the costs associated here.
Just as your car requires insurance, so will your boat. Size and make of the vessel will determine the level of coverage required, and the cost of your premium. You will want to embark on each expedition knowing your boat is protected against collision, accidental damage, vandalism, fire and extreme weather events.
For more information on insurance costs and to start the process of getting a quote, click here.
- Boating Essentials
If you’re a first time owner, chances are you won’t own any of the basics you’re going to want on board before the first voyage on the water. Some of the essentials and their approximate costings (According to the NRMA Hub) are as below:
- Life jackets – average cost $75
- An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon – average cost $300
- Marine flares – average cost $200
- Fire extinguisher – average cost $35
- A GPS – average cost $1200
- Boat oars – average cost $80
- Ropes – average cost $100
- If you’re planning to go more than five nautical miles off the coast you’ll also need a marine radio – average cost $250
- A boat trailer – between $1500 and $6000 and may be much more.
For more information on the kind of equipment you may need, you can download a copy of the Maritime Handbook (NSW), or stop by and see us at Terrace Boating and we can talk you through it.
- Fuel and Maintenance Costs
Sail boats and vessels 7.5m or less don’t require massive amounts of fuel. Other factors that influence fuel consumption include; engine size, weather conditions, distance and speed. The bigger the horsepower, the higher the fuel consumption. Boats can use significant amounts of fuels, but unlike cars, you don’t always have them running when you’re on the water. If you’re out fishing or swimming, you’ll likely use a lot less petrol than those out tubing and water-skiing.
Boat maintenance costs vary depending on the age and size of the boat and engine. Servicing is best done annually (or every 1000 nautical miles). Oil changes and anti-fouling will increase these costs. For more information on professional servicing, you can call Terrace Boating on 02 4983 5600 or visit our services page.
Your boat will last longer, and stay in great condition, if you ensure it’s always covered and that you wash it regularly, or after every trip out in salt water.
- Storage and Berthing
The size and type of your boat will determine your storage options. If you have the space at home, the driveway or garage are your cheapest options. This will save you plenty as paid storage can definitely add up. Most marinas will have stack and rack options with annual costings of as little as $100 for a remote location or in the thousands for a popular one (this is also dependent on your boat size) per year.
Most hobbies have significant financial costs involved, and boating is no exception. The advantage to owning a boat, is that this hobby can include every member of the family, and you can make priceless memories on the water with those you love most, whenever you want. Having said that, we do believe in sticking to your budget, so make sure you do the sums and know what’s involved with the upkeep. If you would like to know more about the costs involved, or would like to start the journey to finding the right boat for you and your family, come in and see us at Terrace Boating for some helpful, friendly advice and the easiest finance on the planet.