Ownership Costs

Affordability Myths & Tips

Boat Buying

The best two days of your life is the day you buy a boat and the day you sell it.

The best two days of your life come every weekend when you take the boat out with family and friends!

Admit it—you’ve watched people in boats enjoying themselves out on the water and thought "I wish I was out there." Well, it’s time to stop wishing and start boating, because NOW is a great time to buy a boat! Why, you ask?

Incredible deals. Dealers want to sell boats, and they’ll be happy to work with you with special offers and the best deals to get you the boat of your dreams. There’s no time like the present. Boating is the perfect way to spend quality time with family and friends—and that’s an investment that never loses its value.

I can’t afford a boat.

You can finance a boat, just like a car— in fact, you can own a new boat for as little as $200 month! * In 2007, the average retail price of an outboard boat was $15,474. The average retail price of an outboard boast package (boat, engine and trailer) was $28,388.

*Loans between $15,000 and $40,000 are based on 7.5% for 15 years.

Boat insurance is too expensive.

Boat insurance costs vary by boat length and type, cost of the boat and level of coverage. Consult your insurance agent for quotes. Some smaller boats can be insured for a nominal sum as a rider on a homeowner’s policy, but it’s recommended that you consider a separate marine insurance policy.

You can also likely reduce the cost of marine insurance premiums by taking a boater’s education course.

See also: Insurance Tips.

I can’t afford to store my boat.

Storage options vary depending on the size of your boat. You won’t find a less-expensive way to keep a boat than storing it on a trailer in your driveway or backyard. Another alternative for smaller boats is rack storage. A typical rack storage facility keeps your boat in a covered shed with trailer-like cradles. For owners of larger boats, and owners of small boats who crave convenience, a marina slip is likely the best way to go. Costs vary by region as well as by the size of your boat.

See also: Boat Storage Tips

Maintenance & upkeep is expensive.

Boat, trailer, and motor maintenance can be as simple as a freshwater wash down after each use. Keeping everything covered between adventures will also help keep maintenance costs at bay.

Costs for routine maintenance vary by region, but for more involved services, such as oil changes and winterizing, expect to pay what you would for your car on an hourly basis.

See also: Maintenance Tips and Checklist.

Boats use too much fuel.

Most boats on the water today are less than 8 metres (26'3") in length. These crafts do not use exorbitant amounts of gas.

64 percent of boaters say they use the equivalent of roughly two to three trips to the gas station to fill up their SUV to enjoy an entire boating season.

You’re not likely to use gas the entire time you’re out on the water—Boating activities such as fishing or swimming do not use the motor at all. If you own a sailboat the motor is used even less.

Boating is hard to learn.

Boating is not difficult, but driving a boat, like anything else, is a skill. All boaters are required to have their Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) in order to operate their boat. Think of a PCOC as a driver’s licence for boaters. You can get yours from a Transport Canada approved course provider.

Some dealers also offer on-the-water training to help your learn how to use your boat. Most marinas and dealerships have a network of captains or experienced boaters you can hire to show you the ropes on your own boat. The skills you’ll most likely need to practice will be docking, launching and retrieving your boat.


I don’t have access to water.

Did you know that nearly eighty percent of Canadians live less than an hour from a navigable body of water? This means that water access is a lot closer and more convenient than you might think. To find place to boat near you, please visit our boat marinas and ramps page.


Tips for Buying on a Budget

Have a Plan

Know what you want and what you can afford. Do your financial homework and run a budget --- before you buy a boat. It’s the smart thing to do and will save you a lot of time. Be sure to allow for general maintenance, storage, insurance and other important add-on products you may require such as extended warranties.

Shop New First

It might sound counter-intuitive, but as with a car, there are pros and cons to both new and pre-owned boats. When buying boats, we recommend shopping new first even if you’re on a tight budget, for a number of reasons:

  • You’ll see the most current technology, latest design and naval architecture
  • Electronics will be state of the art with the newest software
  • New mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems(MEP)

The benefits of buying pre-owed might also influence your decision:

  • Pre-owned boats cost less than new
  • Monthly payment will be less
  • Cost of insurance will be less
  • The depreciation curve has flattened out

Visit a Boat Show

Visit a local boat show. Take a look at all available options and board as many boats as you can. Discuss your wants and needs with dealers and experts at the boat show; they will answer any questions you may have about specific boat types and help you choose the one that will fit your needs and desires. For a list of boat and sport shows in your area, please visit our Boat Show Calendar.

Financing Your Boat

Boat buyers have many choices when it comes to paying for their purchase. Here are a few of the advantages of financing your purchase through your dealer with a marine lending specialist:

  • Faster credit decisions—because you are working with lenders in the marine industry who lenders understand boats and their buyers. You can apply for a loan this morning and be boating this afternoon.
  • More electronics and extras—marine lending specialists will allow you to finance optional equipment, electronics, extended service plans and life/disability insurance coverage with your purchase.
  • Lower monthly payments - because marine lenders extend longer terms on boat loans than local banks and credit unions, your monthly payments are likely to be much lower than you would have expected.