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How Much Do Houseboats Cost To Buy?

If you have a dream of owning a houseboat, one part of your plan has to include insurance cost and all the real amounts that ownership involves. Some of the areas of interest can be hidden, the other can be visible, maybe one-time or continual expenses.

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If you are a first-time buyer, you may forget to look into all aspects involved in owning and operating a houseboat. We have provided a simple and basic guide in order to help you understand the houseboat values and the extend of its hidden costs.

How much will it cost you to own, run and operate a houseboat?

The costs for owning a houseboat are a combination of different factors. That’s why we are going to explain how much is houseboat insurance, pre-purchase costs, marina and storage fees.

1. Costs for pre-purchase

Before you decide on buying a houseboat, you should know that one area that you should not forget is the cost of time and money involved in the search of the ideal houseboat. You can do this for car or flight expenses, travel or hotel room, but never for a houseboat.

2. Houseboat insurance cost

If you are looking to finance a boat purchase, there is always a cost involved in getting a bank loan, a line of credit, or even borrowing from the family which is actually an indirect cost. You should always take this into account, simply because it can be a long term or a short term obligation.

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When it comes to the insurance for owning a houseboat, if you ask how much it costs, the answer depends on the boat, the lake, the marina, etc.

The figure of houseboat insurance cost varies on the houseboat and you – the new owner. If you own a typical houseboat, meaning it is a late model with an Aluminum hull that costs not more than 250,000 EUR, the insurance cost for your houseboat will be approximately 1800 EUR a year.

3. What about Marina Fees?

Typically, the costs are divided into three types – low, medium and high-end marina. Prices for this vary depending on the location and the services. The fees for the marina are usually calculated according to the length of the houseboat. Now, depending on the size of your houseboat, you could spend from 1000 EUR a year for no-frills slip, to starting with 8 EUR – 10,000 EUR a year for a full-service high-end marina slip.

4. The fees for the storage

If you intend to boat in an area where the boat has to be stored in wintertime, you should remember to take into consideration winter storage fees. The boatyards usually charge assessments depending on boat length. Nevertheless, they also charge extra for winterizing, shrink wrapping and haul outs.

5. Boat Maintenance

Your boat needs maintenance as well as your car. The items that need attention are similar – oil changes, ignition, propellers, anodes, outdrives, anti-fouling paint, roof maintenance, etc. Of course, you can do a fair portion of it yourself, but that depends on your “mechanical” aptitude. Yet, at the end of the day, some things are better left off to professionals.

6. Repair and fuel costs

Sooner or later something on your boat is going to break, so when it comes to your houseboat, maybe you would like to put around 10% of your yearly budget for any potential repairs, just in case. Besides that, you would also like to calculate the fuel in your expences. Your boat needs fuel so it can run. Depending on the size of your vessel, fuel costs can go up exponentially. However, speaking of fuel and moving around, the beauty of houseboats is that you can enjoy yourself “whenever you go”, so it is definitely worth it.

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