Fishing boats a bit are expensive than other boats, and the depreciating nature of boats, in general, makes many people think more than twice before buying a boat (not only a fishing boat). So, investing huge chunks of money in fishing boats is a good investment or a waste of money?
Fishing boats are a good investment and worth the money than other boats because these specific boats hold their value well than other boats. However, if you overshoot your budget, exceeding your affordable limit can become a bad investment. Maintenance also plays a vital role in this whole process.
Both aluminum and fiberglass fishing boats hold their value well over the first five to seven years. If you buy one of these boats, you will get a good resale value at the end if you sell within the first 5-7 years or less. However, unless you maintain it well, you won’t get a good value.
From an investment and recreation point of view, fishing boats are worth the investment and hold their value well. If you are going to buy a used fishing boat, buy one at a ten-year mark at a substantial price reduction and buy a new engine, and you will be good to go.
NOTE – In this article, the fishing boats we referred are center console boats, dual console boats, bay boats, flats boats, etc., not the big ones like trawlers, etc.
However, if the boat is taken proper care of, even Bayliner’s will have a good resale value. Plus, the best-used boats are owned by those who care about their boats and have some knowledge of their boat and boating in general. If proper care is taken, you will get a good value in the end.
Are fishing boats worth it?
Godownsize website did a good job in differentiating the boat depreciation rates. Here are those values, and you can clearly see that the fishing boat’s depreciation rate is less compared to other boats.
|Boat Type||Value left at 3 years.||Value left at 5 years.||Value left at 10 years.|
|Fishing Boat – Aluminum||79%||65%||40%|
|Fishing Boat – Fiberglass||80%||70%||47%|
|Sail Boats & Yachts||91%||85%||73%|
Sailboats, Yachts, and Cabin Cruisers are exceptions because they are big liveaboard boats and have cabins inside, which cost twice or more than a fishing boat, and depreciation is also slow for bigger boats.
There will always be an initial loss in resale value when you buy a new car or a boat. If you get a bargain, you can reduce the amount of that loss. Factors like brand reputation and warranty can also affect this amount. Some boats (like fishing, pontoons, sailboats, etc.) hold their value better than others. The location of the boat is also a factor.
For example, it’s hard to sell a bass boat in the Bahamas and difficult to sell a flats boat in Montana. If deprecation is important to you, the used boat may work well for you because some people buy a boat and never use it. As long as it’s been well maintained and passes an expert’s inspection, you are good to go.
However, the biggest concern would be with the motor. Newer outboards are much more reliable than they used to be. Do your research if you are buying a used boat. Make sure there is someone local that can work on your boat. Buy one after a proper inspection.
Three Simple Ways To Reduce The Cost Of Owning A Fishing Boat
Those expenses should not hinder you from buying one, and there are some easy ways to reduce the cost of owning a boat. Without further talking, let’s dive into “How to reduce the cost of owning a fishing boat?”
Do Your Boat Maintenance (Reduces 20-30% Of Unnecessary Costs)
A boat requires a lot of maintenance, and it’s only the foremost expense of owning a boat, and maintenance is like a big hole in your boat; if you pour more money into it, it will take more money. You can cut down half of the costs by doing your own maintenance.
Many repairers will charge so much for a small fuel filter replacement. It is possible to change fuel filters, drain engine oil, battery, belts, and even winterize your boat without going near the mechanic. You can save a couple of hundred dollars or more on a winterization if you DIY.
However, you may have to call a professional for a broken piston or dinged propeller, but you can save hundreds of dollars in maintenance costs if you do it yourself, some of the easy ones. The good news is the internet has placed all the help you need at your fingertips (source).
Don’t Buy Unnecessary Devices For Your Boat (Reduces 10-20% cost)
For example, if you only go boating/fishing in small lakes and won’t touch the seas or oceans, you don’t need some of the expensive devices like Chart Plotter, Satellite Phones, and Radars, etc. You are most probably good to go with a VHF radio, and sometimes even a phone is enough.
All those radars, chart plotters, and satellite phones will cost you thousands of dollars, and their services will also cost you so much. Define the usage of your boat and buy the devices you need, and don’t go with any premium devices which you won’t use much.
Even the unnecessary replacements of fuel filters, batteries, propeller, impeller, etc., before the annual services, will save you some money. So, cut down all the unwanted things on your boat like advanced gadgetry and plush interiors. Preventing the flashy stuff can reduce the 10-20% cost in boat ownership.
Buy An Affordable Boat
As mentioned earlier, overshooting your budget will be a wrong move, and the bigger the boat, the bigger the boat maintenance costs, storage costs, insurance costs, and other expenses. On the other hand, if you buy a more affordable boat, you can drastically reduce extra expenses.
The storage could also become a problem if the boat size increases, forcing you to store it at the marina rather than at home. Marina storage is expensive. However, that doesn’t mean not to buy a big boat if you can afford it; make a move. If not, buy a boat you can afford.
Even buying an old boat can sometimes be a good move because some people buy a boat and never use it. As long as it’s been well maintained and passes an expert’s inspection, you are good to go. That way, you can cut down some of the unneeded costs on your purchase.
- Insurance costs – Insurance can easily make you spend money on unneeded coverages for your boat. On average, boat insurance can cost $350, but it can also take $1,000 if you add additional coverages.
- So, take the required coverages for your boat, and if you are not familiar with what boat insurance covers, check our article on that here.
If you follow those three rules properly, you can save some money on your boat ownership. If you look hard enough, there are many ways to cut the cost of owning a boat. You don’t have to buy a boat if you won’t be spending much time on it.
The downsides of having (buying) a fishing boat
First, we will start with the downsides of having (buying) a fishing boat and then seeing its upsides. By knowing the downsides of buying a boat before buying a boat, you can bypass a few of them, such as DIY maintenance or others.
Boats are expensive, it’s a fact, but you can get unimaginable discounts (deals) on almost every new vessel if you are smart. If you are passionate about spending time on the water, go for a deal that doesn’t hurt your wallet, cut costs in every way possible and take good care of your boat => FUN with the boat.
Boat Maintenance Is Complex & Requires More Money
This one of the regions on a boat you may spend most of your money on. At the same time, you can save a lot of money on doing it yourself or taking proper care of your boat. Being in a moist environment most of its time while fishing, these boats require a bit more maintenance than others.
Most fishing boats are made out of aluminum, and it can corrode if you miss any regular checks after every ride or regular maintenance. Boating in saltwater and hesitating to clean and flush the boat after every or two or more rides will leave salt and dirt inside the engine interiors, causing corrosion or any.
Similarly, regardless of the water (salt or fresh), you are boating in, a boat engine sucks raw water from the lake to cool the engine, and in that process, it can suck any dirt, weeds, mud, etc. To clean that, it requires you to flush the boat outboard or inboard or sterndrive after every ride.
Avoiding these types of cleanings after every ride, not changing the gear oil every season, not inspecting the hull after every ride, etc., will degrade the boat’s condition, depreciating its values quickly. So, do regular checks and maintenance for your boat to reduce the depreciation rate and to save money later on.
Boats Depreciate In Value
Boats depreciate in value over time, and every vehicle does depreciate over time. However, you can’t prevent depreciation entirely, but you can slow it down by buying a boat that is desired by others, maintaining it well, and even selling it when the demand is high will leave more cash.
Sometimes, you might not even get $10,000 on a $100,000 boat due to its low maintenance or low demand, or others. So, if you’ve bought a boat from an investment point of view, then you’ve probably made the wrong decision. It will not give you much profit at the time of resale.
But the fishing boat depreciation rate is slow, though. However, every vehicle does depreciate over time, and it’s hard to prevent that. It’s a matter of how much they decline rather than why. Focusing on why the boat depreciates will be the key, and you can slow down the boat’s depreciation rate.
Related post – Are boats money pits? Check this article to know more about the average annual costs of owning a boat in a detailed way.
The upsides of (having) buying a fishing boat
Now we will see the upsides of purchasing a fishing boat.
Fishing boats hold the value well. Unlike other boat models, most of the fishing boats hold their value well at the end. Unless you don’t take proper care of it, you can sell a fishing boat for a good value.
Most fishing boat’s construction is simple. The more complex it becomes, the harder it becomes to maintain. For example, if you have cabins in a boat, it becomes a lot harder to maintain one. On the other side, Jon boats are the simplest form of a boat and almost maintenance-free if there is no engine.
Boating is a fun recreational activity. Being in the water is fun, and everybody likes a little flash in their life after a hectic workweek. It offers plenty of possibilities to have fun and relax. Whether you love wakeboarding, waterskiing, snorkeling, or fishing, there is a limitless amount of recreational activities on the water.
Boating is stress-busting. According to Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist, “our brains are hardwired to react positively to water, and being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.” Owning a boat helps you slow down, get connected, and break the hold of life’s daily stressors.
If you buy a boat that you can afford without exceeding the budget, you can have a lot of fun with your purchase. The major problem is many people take out huge loans to buy big boats they don’t need and won’t be able to use. Avoid that and don’t go beyond your range.
Both aluminum and fiberglass fishing boats hold their value well over the first five to seven years. If you buy one of these boats, you will get a good value at the end if you sell within the first 5-7 years or less. However, unless you maintain it well, you won’t get a good value.
From an investment and recreation point of view, fishing boats hold their value well and worth the investment. If you are going to buy a “used” fishing boat, buy one at a ten-year mark at a substantial price reduction and buy a new engine, and you will be good to go.