The vast majority of the population does not require a boat for work purposes; instead owns watercraft for pleasure. There is never-ending entertainment when it comes to owning a vessel. The activities include fishing, cruising, watersports, and more. It comes as no surprise why boat ownership is so widespread, but they come at a cost. Why is boating making so expensive?

The Expense Of A Lifestyle

It is essential to understand that a boat is a toy for most compared to a machine for those who rely on the watercraft to make money. 

A land-based vehicle is required to transport its owner to work, the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, family visits, and more. While luxury vehicles are available for purchase, automobiles come at a lower cost because they do not require advanced engineering to combat harsh environments. Additionally, cars are rolled off of an assembly line compared to a boat which is more limited in production speed. 

Like any item that is not a necessity, the product comes at a premium.

Add On Accessories

New boats are delivered bare-bones with minimal accessories however, the boat remains high in price. However, newly constructed watercraft are highly customizable. Each customization increases the price point. Here is a breakdown of specific add-ons that increase the overall price point of a vessel.

Marine Electronics

Watercraft can be fitted with many options when it comes to marine electronics packages. For example, a basic depth sounder will come at a much lower cost when compared to advanced sounding equipment, radar, and digital chart plotting. Before buying an upgraded package determine if you will need it.

Engine Horsepower

Despite being the same hull, price points will vary when it comes to choosing engine horsepower. Vessels are constructed with an allowable horsepower range therefore the builder can fit the boat with a lower or higher option including single or multiple motors. If your plan is to putter around a lake or inland coastal waterway, you may be able to avoid spending more on unnecessary power.

Other Addons

Other optional addons include paint color, seating, interior design, and sun protection overhead. Remember, consider not only how you plan to use the boat but also if the upgraded appearance impacts the way you feel about your new boat.

Adding the bells and whistles has a substantial impact on the out-the-door cost of the purchase of a new boat. Consider scaling back to reduce draining the bank account. 

Marine Engines

With today’s advanced technology, it is no wonder why marine engines come at a high cost. The engineering to reduce fuel burn and noise and be highly dependable all comes at a price. 

Inboard and outboard engines are designed to tolerate fresh and saltwater environments. The ability to withstand both environments is a result of today’s engineering. Additionally, marine motors crank out more power today than ever before power the boat to higher speeds while remaining efficient. 

Boats fitted with today’s marine engines increase the cost of the watercraft due to quality components, warranties, and top-notch engineering. 

The Expense Of Manufacturing

Labor costs are high as a result of a lack of assembly lines. In addition to high labor costs, the construction facilities must be massive to accommodate the size of the vessel. Boatbuilding is a long and labor-intensive process. 

Boats are intricate machines and contain specialized systems pipes for water flow and wires for electricity. Trained craftsman to run wires, connect fittings, cut holes for electronics, strong deck floors, weld T-Tops, apply Gelcoat and paint, and more.

In order for boat manufacturers to remain profitable, they must limit the number of hires of highly skilled builders to complete each vessel due to budgeting. Hiring additional staff to complete work faster puts the company at risk of becoming unprofitable and, most importantly, reduces the quality of the end product. The majority of purchasers are willing to wait for an end product that is high in quality. 

Boat manufacturers face stringent environmental regulations and safety standards. The boats must fall within specific parameters to meet guidelines. A series of checks are necessary along the way to ensure that the vessel will be seaworthy when first entering the water.

Lastly, consider the ingenuity of the designers. Technology is constantly emerging, and the demand for a more stable, faster, and economical boat never ceases. Competition is stiff between boat making companies. The companies which fall behind in advancements struggle to remain competitive. Research and design cost an immense amount of money. 

Now You Understand Why Boat Prices Are So High

Boat making is a long process and high in cost due to design, engineering, labor, and materials. Unfortunately, marine assembly lines do not exist to help lower the price of the end product. While buying new is always best because they come with the most extended warranty, used boats are also an option. Shop around to determine turnaround times and compare costs of similar hull designs for the best prices.