Boat ownership can be a significant expense across the year, with plenty of factors to consider when calculating the total cost. There are also many variables that can have an impact; including the type of boat, leisure or residential usage, where it’s moored, how much you plan on using it - the list goes on.
We’ve put together some of the top things to think about when budgeting for your annual outgoings.
Where you choose to keep your boat is potentially one of the biggest cost factors. Mooring costs are easily quantifiable but there can be big differences depending on location and facilities of individual marinas.
For an average-sized 30ft boat it can cost anywhere from £500 to £6,000, based on whether you want a prime location berth or for how long you plan on keeping it in one location. Moorings in the middle of a river will be much cheaper than on a exclusive marina with servicing facilities.
It’s also worth bearing in mind seasonal storage costs if you’re not planning on using your boat over winter. This is another variable cost depending on boat size and additional fees for things like spring relaunch, painting and winterisation of the engine.
Insurance and documentation
Although a fairly low-cost expense, boat insurance is generally a requirement as the British Waterways and most marinas insist on it in the United Kingdom. For smaller boats, it’s possible to get third-party cover from under £100 per year, while fully-comprehensive cover of a £100,000 yacht can be as little as £500 annually. For a competitive quote, GJW are the largest direct boat insurer in the UK and offer some of the most comprehensive policies on the market.
If you use your boat on inland waterways, you’ll need a Boat Safety Certificate (BSC - essentially a boat MOT) every four years, which can cost around £150, as well as a CRT (Canal and River Trust) license that ranges from £80 to £600+ depending on size and usage.
Arguably the biggest cost of owning a boat is the maintenance, but every boat and boat owner is different. You could be very hands-on with it and carry out your own technical work, or pay a marine engineer or boatyard for any maintenance.
Routine checks and rigging inspections can help prevent major issues or impending problems, but there are things that have to be done regularly, like the replacement of sacrificial anodes or anti-fouling re-application. Again, you could do these things yourself for under £200, or engage a boatyard to do it with additional labour costs.
You also need to make sure your boating safety equipment is all up to regulation standard; for example, lifejackets need to be serviced in accordance with manufacturer guidelines, which can incur additional costs.
How to keep on top of all the different costs involved?
To help you calculate all of these factors when combined, MyBoat is a free digital organiser with a customisable tool that allows you to see the monthly and annual running costs. You can tailor it to suit your needs and create different profiles should you own more than one boat.
MyBoat also acts as a reminder service, sending alerts for whenever your insurance is up for renewal or when a piece of equipment needs servicing. If you’re a GJW Direct customer, you’ll also benefit from a range of exclusive discounts from some of the biggest companies in the marine industry.