Skip to main content

We get a lot of questions about the actual cost of owning a boat. Depending on the make, model, and vintage, things can vary quite a bit.

In this article, we’re going to look at your boat’s purchase price vs. the actual cost to own your boat over a period of time.

Taking into consideration, depreciation, maintenance, and your relationship with your dealer.

“From the time you buy it, to the time you sell it—what did that boat really cost you?”


Purchase Price vs. Cost of Ownership

While some people look primarily at the price of a boat, we challenge you to lean in a little closer. Calculate what the boat will actually cost you over 5 years of ownership.

On average, new boat owners only realize a depreciation of 25% to 35% within that period. In contrast to your average new car, which sees a depreciation average of 60% within the same time period.

The depreciation sweet-spot for most new boats is between 4-6 years. When our buyers trade-in within that timeframe, they maximize their return toward their next boat. Especially with premium brands like MasterCraft, Cobalt, Barletta, and Crest, which all hold their value exceptionally well.

“On average, we recommend that you allocate between $5k to $8k per year to own your new boat.”


Disneyland vs. Keys-in-Hand

For a modest family of three to five people, it’s easy to spend thousands on vacations each year.

What if you were to trade a weeklong spring break vacation for a whole season of boating fun with your family? We’re talking about an entire season on the water instead of just 5 days at a theme park.

“Our goal at the dealership is to help you maximize your time on the water each and every season.”


Your Dealer Relationship

We understand that your time is extremely valuable to you. Our goal at the dealership is to help you maximize your time on the water each and every season. One of the best ways we can help our boating families enjoy their time together is through preventative maintenance on their boat.

Aside from price and terms, you need to be aware that boats require special attention to stay in tip-top shape. More so than your average car or truck. Please remember that your new boat is a highly sophisticated craft full of motors, valves, pumps, and electronics. Many of which get exposed to the elements at length over the course of a season. Moisture, corrosion, and UV exposure are just a few to mention.

When it comes to boat upkeep, there seems to be two schools of thought. You have the “break-fix” maintenance plan and preventative maintenance plan. In the first scenario, a customer brings their boat in for service after they’ve encountered a problem. The other knows that their boat performs at its absolute best with a scheduled maintenance plan.

One is reactive and the other is proactive.

Both options are certainly doable. However, those who plan ahead with routine maintenance will typically experience much more uninterrupted time on the water when it matters most to them.


Sharing a boat with your family is a lifelong pursuit of happiness on the water.

We hope you’ve found this information useful and encourage you to reach out to us with any questions you should have.

We’re always here to help.