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Staying Afloat – How Can You Ensure You Can Afford The Ongoing Costs of Your Boat?

4 minutes read
25 Sep, 2020
Boat Maintenance
By Adam Cox

Budgeting for Buying a Boat

Owning your own boat is a big adventure and one which can be shared with the whole family – everyone is able to give a helping hand when taking out your boat, adults and children alike and boating is likely to be a passion your children will take with them into adulthood. The costs you are likely to entail when owning your own boat include: moorings, insurance, river licence, boat servicing and cleaning and maintenance – these are broken down into a little more detail below. Learn about the ongoing costs of your boat!


Mooring a boat is likely to be one of your main ongoing costs. Moorings fees vary according to where you moor the boat, it’s best to check your local marinas for the most accurate approximations on mooring cots. Or, if you’re looking to moor your boat further afield, to check what the costs would be in places you may already have in mind.

Most moorings include water as standard and electricity is charged dependent upon usage, but you will need to check this with the marina concerned.
  Staying Afloat - How Can You Ensure You Can Afford The Ongoing Costs of Your Boat?

Discover Burton Waters Moorings


Ongoing Costs of Your Boat: Insurance

It’s difficult to give an approximation on boating insurance as this will, again, vary dependent on the length of your boat and the company you eventually decide to use.

It’s advisable to do your research on this topic and make sure you’ve checked out the best places for you and your boat, carry out this research before making the purchase of your boat to ensure that you’re able to afford the ongoing costs of insurance.

River Licence

Not all waterways necessitate a river licence on your boat, so you will need to check the marina you will use as well as the waterways you are likely to navigate.

As a guideline, river licences for the waterways around Lincolnshire cost in the region of £350 per annum, however, it’s again best to do your research on this topic before committing to that purchase.

Ongoing Costs of Your Boat: Engine and Outdrive Service

Boatyards will vary, but as a rough guide, for the length of boat moored at Burton Waters Lincoln, you should look to allocate approximately £650 per unit per year for your engine and outdrive service and this should then cover the basics of each.
  Staying Afloat - How Can You Ensure You Can Afford The Ongoing Costs of Your Boat?

Replacing Anodes

Again, the costs will differ, we’ve found that anodes require replacing approximately every two years based on normal use.

This is by no means a guarantee of usage time as this will vary dependent upon usage and the waters where your boat is moored.

Ongoing Costs of Your Boat: Antifouling

You should look to antifoul your boat every two years to protect its hull from the elements as much as possible. Antifoul products are available to purchase from various places.

As a guideline, our Lincoln workshop would charge in the region of £300-£350 to antifoul a boat around 7.5m.

Boat Safety Certificate

Every boat has to have its own Boat Safety Certificate. A little like an MOT for a boat, it ensures that the boat is safe to run and has onboard all the necessary equipment should any problems occur, i.e., fire extinguishers. A BSS will last four years.

Ongoing Costs of Your Boat: Boating After Care & Maintenance

Once you’ve purchased your boat, that’s not the end of the transactions, after care services and maintenance are paramount to completing your boating journey.

The average boat maintenance costs are, of course, going to vary quite a bit depending on the type and size of the boat you buy and just how often and how hard and often you use it.

A lot of boat owners opt to carry out maintenance and repair work themselves, however, most will seek professional help in terms of repair work. While the process of opting for professional help is easier and more efficient (you’ll know the job will be done properly) it does come at a cost, again, varying depending on the kind and size of repair work to be undertaken.

As a boat owner, you may want to carry out the more simpler maintenance jobs on your boat such as cleaning and lubricating. The fiberglass gel coat, for example, will oxidize and turn chalky if you don’t wash and wax it regularly. So, a basic boat hull maintenance chore with any fiberglass boat is washing and waxing. Dirt that sits on canvass and upholstery allows mould and mildew to attach and grow, so again, regular cleanings are very important.

It’s obviously cheaper to do your own maintenance, but if you’ve decided to leave maintenance work to the pros, you may be wondering: “where can I get professional boat maintenance near me?” The good news is that most dealerships that sell boats also service them, and in areas where boating is popular, you should have no problem whatsoever finding a shop that can do the maintenance work on your boat and motor.

All in all, keeping a well looked after and maintained boat will further the life span of the vessel, leaving you to enjoy your boating adventure for even longer! Putting in the time, money and effort will leave you feeling happier in the knowledge that you can continue boating in a safe and secure manner.

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