Mechanic Advisor

5 Ways To Save Money On Your Boat

Posted August 21, 2014 by Ken Kupchik

Image from Flickr

There's an old expression about boat ownership; "The two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it, and the day you sell it." This is in reference to the tremendous costs that come with boat ownership, including government fees, marina costs, and rising gas prices. If you're a smart shopper, you're always looking for rational ways to save money. Here are some tips to help you cut costs on your boat.

1) Anchor out more - Marina fees are one of the most shocking costs of boat ownership. It's like having to pay to park your car every single night, except it's much more expensive than a parking garage. Instead of going to a marina as planned, try anchoring out on the water at least a few times a year. The savings will be huge, and it might be nice and somewhat more daring to spend the night out on the water.

2) Buy non-marine products when possible - Just because something is being sold at a marine store doesn't mean it's the only option for your boat. Very frequently, you can substitute non-marine product that will be significantly cheaper when bought at a non-marine store since you won't be paying the markup that typically accompanies specialty products. Things like solvents, cleaning products, greases, and even clothing can easily be substituted with non marine specific alternatives.

3) Evaluate your insurance options - Boat insurance isn't cheap, so this is an area where there's usually an opportunity to save a few bucks. Always shop around for insurance alternatives, reassess the boat's value annually and make sure to adjust deductibles and types of insurances accordingly. You may reach a point where it makes more sense to just carry liability insurance due to the decreased value of the boat, and analyze what type of coverage you really need during the off-season, when the boat is not in use. Completion of a safe boating course can also decrease premiums.

4) Buy aftermarket/used parts - Just like a car, aftermarket parts can save you money on your boat. Always make sure that the parts are from a reputable manufacturer, and that they're designed to your boat's specifications. Make sure to find out whether or not using such parts will void your warranty, as this can be a major consideration. Buying used is also a money-saver, as items such as tools, anchors, and covers aren't usually risky purchases.  

5) Winterize it yourself - This won't be something that everyone can do, but if you're a relatively handy person and have the time on a weekend, it can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and that's every season. The supplies are easy to find, and there are numerous articles available like this one explaining exactly what you need to do. is one of the largest online mechanic resources in the US. We are the premier website for consumers to research and connect with reputable local mechanics for routine and specialty automotive repair. Our website features instructional videos, articles about maintaining your car, and detailed profiles of over 500,000 mechanics across the country. If you're a shop owner, please claim your shop page for free here