What is the cost of Boat Ownership in South Carolina?

Owning a boat can be a love-hate relationship. While it provides nearly endless entertainment to both the owner and friends and family, they require money and time to maintain. South Carolina has an excellent coastline and large lakes for recreational boaters. Just how much does it cost to own a boat in SC.

The initial cost of purchasing a boat:

The purchase price of a boat will vary greatly, but you can find something to fit your budget for the most part.

New boats are a higher initial investment; however, they will come under warranty and require lower annual maintenance costs.

When selecting what boat to buy, consider the body of water you will primarily be boating—no need to jump into something bigger than what’s needed for the additional cost.

Take into account what you will be doing with the boat, such as fishing, cruising, or water sports, to the right boat the first time.

In general, quality boats can be purchased in a range from $10,000- $50,000.

Is boat insurance required in South Carolina?

No, boats in South Carolina do not require to be insured. 

Just because this is not a requirement it does not mean that you should go without insurance.

You will have to make this decision yourself as to which is the best choice.

What is the cost of boat insurance?

Most commonly sized boats between sixteen and twenty-eight feet boat insurance costs range from $300-$600 per year.

While you can elect not to insure the boat, should you be involved in an accident with not only damage but personal injuries, you will have wished you had insurance. The out of pocket expenses will be enormous. 

What other types of boat insurance add ons are there?

Towing insurance should you break down on the water ranges from $149-$179 per year.

Boat contents insurance. Cost is dependent on what and how many items you are insuring.

How Much Is Boat Registrations in SC

The newly purchased vessel must be registered in South Carolina at the cost of $40.00

Yearly renewal rates are lowered from $40.00 to $30.00.

Taxes are assessed at 5% with a maximum payout of $500.

Trailers must be registered if they are over 2,500 pounds or if they are under 2,500 pounds and will be traveling out of state. The cost is $75.00. 

What does it cost to maintain a boat in South Carolina?

The general rule of thumb is that the annual maintenance cost is around 10% of the purchase price. For example, a $30,000 vessel would require about $3,000 in yearly service.

Many factors go into how much maintenance will be involved and directly affect the cost. 

  1. Is the vessel adequately cared for after each use.
  2. Are the batteries being trickle charged when sitting for extended periods.
  3. Are you able to make repairs and service the boat yourself, or does it need to go to a mechanic?

How much does it cost to run a boat?

Each boat’s fuel burn can vary greatly depending on the engines, weight of the boat, length, and speed. In general, expect that fuel consumption will be between eight and thirty gallons per hour.

If you are using the boat once a week over one month, expect to have a monthly gas bill of at least $200 per month and likely more.

What storage options are available and the cost affiliated with each?

At home boat storage options are the best. The cost of storage will be eliminated. All that you can expect is a higher gas bill for the tow vehicle, which will be minimal compared to dockage. 

If you plan to keep a boat at the marina, but on a dry rack, the cost range is typically between $200-$300 per month but can often be even higher. If you have a trailer and no available space at the house, factor this in as another cost.

Another marina option is in water. At an average of $7.00 per foot, the cost will be less than a dry rack, but the boat will undergo more wear and tear and require bottom cleaning in saltwater. Again, take into account the trailer.

If you live in the northern areas of South Carolina and don’t plan to use the boat through the winter, you may need to find a warehouse. Generally, winter storage will be much less. 

When you add up the expenses, the decision can be nerve-racking. Be sure to budget all of the costs before diving in headfirst. The enjoyment will be well worth it, especially when you see coastal areas of South Carolina from a different perspective being that from the water.