How Much is that Boat Going to Cost?
There are a lot of factors for finding and purchasing the right boat for a family. While MarineMax tries to make everything easier, they can only do so much to make the boat perfect for you. While there are many elements the most important element is the price and this is not simply the price of the boat in the showroom. It has a lot to do with how the boat is going to be made, used, stored and maintained.
There are three basic materials used for boats: wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. Until the 60s virtually all boats were constructed from wood. After the discovery of light-weight materials like aluminum and fiberglass, primarily during World War II, construction of boats made from these materials became increasingly popular.
Wooden boats are still being handcrafted around the world. From DIY plans for boat tenders to large yachts built with cold-molded wood techniques. These boats are often prized for the traditional warmth of wood and their craftsmanship. Special wood and veneers are expensive, and the boat building process requires special skills and tools. The build requires many man-hours and upkeep. All this can make a wooden boat expensive to purchase and own. A 19-foot wooden boat can cost in the $100,000.00 range.
Aluminum boats have become much more sophisticated due to the ease of shaping aluminum. These boats, in general, are a lot less expensive than fiberglass or wood boats. Since aluminum boats are lighter, smaller engines can be added to get similar top speeds while saving on fuel consumption. The negatives for purchasing an aluminum boat is they tend to be noisier in the water, the fit and finish of the boat are not as nice and the corrosion of the aluminum. Luckily, corrosion is less a factor today due to newly advanced coatings. One of the largest manufacturers of aluminum fishing boat offers a well-equipped 19-foot dual console for $32,000.00 with a 150 horsepower outboard and trailer.
Fiberglass boats come in a multitude of shapes, sizes, and the techniques for manufacturing boats which continue to evolve. Vacuum bagging entire hulls and Resin Transfer Mold (RTM) have made fiberglass boats lighter and stronger, lowering material costs and improving operating efficiencies. Advanced gel coat materials and techniques have made fiberglass boat finishes to last decades and allowed for intricate color schemes. Most boat enthusiasts prefer the superior fit and finish of fiberglass boats as well as the easy cleaning and maintenance of the fiberglass components. Today a Boston Whaler Montauk, well equipped with 150 horsepower Mercury outboard can run for over $60,000.00 with a trailer.
Accessories and Systems
Depending on how the boat is used, some additions to the base model are necessary and some are “nice to have.” As an example, a Boston Whaler 345 Conquest that is used for fishing offshore would require, a VHF radio, depth-sounder, life vests and enough fuel to get there and back with at least 10-percent reserve. Air-conditioning, outriggers, radar, multifunction displays, and Joystick controls are all nice to have but add to the costs of the boat.
Many boats in showrooms are equipped the way the dealership thinks people will want their boat. Most dealerships, including MarineMax stores, can add accessories and systems at the dealership. They will also walk the customer through their needs and wants and can order a boat from the manufacturer configured just the way they want it.
Many accessories are relatively inexpensive. However, we are talking about marine accessories which are hardened to withstand the harsher environments of being used on the water so, components like marine stereos will seem expensive when compared to automotive stereos.
Boat costs depend a lot on how it is used. Fuel is a factor. Efficiency is important in most boats; however, efficiency is not as much a consideration when pondering what type of sport tow boat to choose. Those that like to wake surf want a boat that can create, shape and change the boats wake to produce a desirable wave. This usually is made from a boat that is highly inefficient. Offshore sport fishing enthusiasts must decide on whether it is more important to get to the bite fast or efficiently. This has a lot to do with where the fishing is done. In South Florida, the Gulf Stream is only a couple of miles from the coast. In New Jersey, many want to get to the canyons 100 or more miles offshore quickly to have more time to fish. Recreational lake boating has its own criteria. Pontoon boats have become increasingly popular because of their stability and flexibility. They often range in costs.
Storage is a big factor in the overall cost of a boat. Boats stored in the water are exposed and will need a great deal of care and maintenance. Boats stored in the water under cover will need less. Those that are stored indoors on a trailer require the least. Where the boat makes a difference as well. In the south, winterizing is not a factor. In the north, where freezes can ruin an engine, winterization is a “must” cost.
When considering the cost of boats, think about how often you will use your boat, how you will use it, where it will be used and stored as well as the “must have” and “nice to have” factors.