Boat Budgeting 101
As a kid, my summers were spent lakeside, going on sunset cruises after dinner and holding on for dear life as my dad whipped me around water tubing. Most days, we’d take the boat out for a ride to the closest sandbar and have a picnic, listening to Sirius radio and tossing around the Frisbee. The best part of summer was going out on the lake, soaking up the sun, and spending time together!
With so many childhood memories attached to the lake, I’ve recently decided to buy a powerboat, just like the one I grew up with. It’ll be the perfect chance to bring my friends and family together to create new traditions.
THE REAL TICKET PRICE
With that said, I’m slowly realizing how much of a financial commitment purchasing a boat can be. Aside from buying the boat itself, there are many other accessories and supplies needed to provide a safe and fun boating experience. Naturally, all these options have me struggling to determine my “needs vs. wants” as I look through Overton’s Boating Catalogs. I’m like a kid in a candy shop.
First and foremost, I have to get my boating education certificate from the NH Department of Safety’s Division of State Police. In New Hampshire, motorboats over 25 horsepower require a special operating license. I also have to pay the Division of Motor Vehicles’ annual registration fee so I am permitted to drive my boat on the public waters of New Hampshire.
If you’re questioning whether your boat needs to be registered, click here to see the Exemptions from New Hampshire’s Boating Registration!
2. BOATING SUPPLIES
Before the boat is purchased, I will need to budget for the supplies needed to ensure that my boat is kept in good condition and my passengers are safe. These materials include:
Boat Functionality: Passenger Safety:
Boat covers & Bimini Shades Life Jackets & Vests (PFDs)
Anchor & Ladder Throw Cushions & Rings
Deck Brushes Horns & Whistles
Cleaners, Wax & Protectants First Aid Kits
Oil, Filters & Lubricants Paddles & Boat Hooks
3. SUMMER VS. WINTER STORAGE
As the seasons begin to change, I will also need to determine the best ways to store and transport my powerboat.
In the summer, I have the option to:
- For the lake, I can rent dock space on a waterfront landing strip or at a marina
- If you don’t have a waterfront property, apply for a mooring permit through a boating club
- For saltwater properties, construct and install a boat lift
- If you want to travel and explore different waterways, buy a trailer
In the winter, I have the option to:
- Cover my boat in a weather-resistant, fitted tarp and store it outside in a parking space
- Pay for a secure, indoor storage facility
- Hire a marina to service and repair my boat, ensuring it will survive the winter and function correctly the following summer
Check out Discover Boating’s “Towing & Trailering” to learn how to properly transport your boat!
4. WATER SPORTS
But grown-up responsibilities aside, this boat is my toy! Once I buy it, I want to fully explore and enjoy all of the fun perks of owning a boat. I plan on mastering, or at least attempting:
- Water Skiing
- Water Tubing
- Knee boarding
To enjoy these activities, I will need to buy the different watercraft boards and their associated tow ropes from stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods!
Although there are a lot of expenses to consider when buying a boat, I think the financial risk will be worth the reward of spending quality time with my friends and family. Besides, what better way to have fun in the sun this summer then by cruising around on a shiny, new powerboat? Living the dream.
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