So you’ve bought your boat but now you’ve got to get her berthed. Nick Burnham explores the costs involved
Nick Burnham discovers the hidden costs to consider when buying a boat
The last feature I wrote in this series concerned itself with what it costs to run a boat like mine annually. Obviously fees for things like marina berthing will alter depending on location, but at least it offered one man’s figures on the money required to run a boat for a year.
Afterwards, it struck me that there’s another cost which is seldom talked about but worth exploring, and that is, what does it actually cost to buy a boat? And by that I don’t mean how much boats cost. I mean, aside from the price of the actual boat, what are the costs involved in going from ‘I’d like to buy a boat’ to having one bobbing up and down in your berth?
Obviously these figures will vary depending on a whole host of factors, from how big the boat you’re buying is to the level of risk you’re comfortable with and the location of your new purchase relative to where you wish to keep it. But this was the cost breakdown for me, and if you’re thinking of taking the plunge at least this will give you some idea of numbers, and maybe highlight a few you hadn’t considered.
The very first thing you’ll begin spending money on is looking at boats. Beyond hours spent on the Internet and browsing the brokerage and classified ads in MBY, I physically travelled to look at probably a dozen boats in total, none of which were local to me in South Devon. Trips to Poole and Southampton were a day’s drive away so maybe £50-£100 in mileage each time depending on whether you’re allowing for just costs of fuel or total car running costs. Boats further away included a trip to Ireland and a journey to Norfolk, the latter being the boat I bought (in fact I looked at two on the same trip). It’s hard to put an exact total on travel costs, but £500 in total is a fair estimate.
RUNNING TOTAL :£500
Having chosen the boat and agreed a figure with the owner via the broker, it was time to get the boat inspected. I am particularly risk averse, so although I felt pretty confident about the boat, I chose not only to have a survey, but also commission a separate engine and outdrive inspection by a Volvo Penta dealer, including a compression test and oil analysis. In fact, despite a hull survey being more common, I’d argue that the mechanical inspection is every bit as important – serious engine issues can prove even more costly than serious hull issues. Naturally, as the buyer these costs are down to me, as is the cost of the crane lift in order for the surveyor to check beneath the waterline and the engineers the outdrive. The survey cost was £405, the engine inspection £367 and the crane lift £146
RUNNING TOTAL :£1,418
With a few issues found and a slight renegotiation of the price taking place, the purchase was completed leaving me with the cost of getting the boat home.
Had it been on the South Coast I could have motored it home, but since it was on the East Coast, whilst still technically possible, it was time prohibitive so I opted to road transport the boat back.
My last boat was able to be trailered and it cost £280 to have it moved from Poole to Torquay. In this instance not only was the distance far greater, the boat was too big to trailer, meaning a specialised truck had to be used. Total cost (including another crane lift onto the truck) was a more serious £1,500.