Boat Loans
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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Much Does a Boat Cost?

Updated on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.

While boats can run from $200 for a small kayak to upwards of $15 million for a luxury yacht, the average cost of a new boat is $42,000. Used boats run about $10,000. But if you’re looking to buy a boat, you’ll shell out more than the sticker price. Insurance, fuel and docking fees can shave hundreds (or thousands) off your budget. We’ll cover how much you can expect to pay to buy and maintain your boat.

Boat prices depend on the type of vessel (e.g., small lake boat, sailboat or yacht) and its size, location and brand. You’ll also pay more for luxury features and any add-ons above and beyond the standard model.

We’ve broken down the average cost of the most popular boat types below. These figures are estimates for the cost of new boats. You can find lower prices for used boats. Keep in mind that it’s possible to spend more than the high end of each range if you want all the bells and whistles.

Type of vesselAverage cost
Kayak$200 - $5,000
Canoe$1,000 - $1,500
Pontoon boat$15,000 - $40,000
Small fishing boat with trailer$18,000 - $45,000
Cabin cruiser$30,000 - $900,000+
Sailboat$100,000 - $500,000
Yacht$300,000 - $15,000,000+

Once you know what kind of vessel you want, you can research boat pricing for particular models on J.D. Power (formerly NADA).

Once you know the starting price for the kind of boat you want, use our boat loan calculator to see if you can afford a loan.

If a monthly payment is too high for your budget, try entering a larger down payment or longer loan term to lower your payments. Just remember that although long boat loan terms come with lower monthly payments, you’ll likely pay more in interest.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for a boat loan online, but it’s worth the time it takes to get several quotes to find the lowest rates. If you’re worried about whether or not you’ll qualify, consider boat loans for bad credit.


Rate shopping tips

Rate shopping is the best way to save money on your boat loan, but make sure to get your quotes within two weeks. Credit agencies count all requests in this time frame as a single hard credit inquiry, minimizing the damage to your credit.

Even if you didn’t get sticker shock from the purchase prices, you’ll need to take a hard look at your budget when you factor in the ongoing costs of owning a boat.

Depending on where you live and what kind of boat you’re buying, you may be on the hook for several upfront costs, like sales tax, registration fees, a boat operator license and a trailer.

Also, consider the ongoing costs of keeping your boat afloat. You’ll have to set aside cash for insurance payments, registration renewal, maintenance costs, annual boat taxes, storage, safety equipment and fuel.

Ultimately, you’ll likely spend hundreds or thousands of dollars every year to keep your boat safe, clean, legal and insured. For more detailed estimates of specific costs of ownership, see our table below.

ExpenseWhat is it?Estimated cost
Down paymentAn upfront payment to your lender10% - 20% of boat’s purchase price
Monthly paymentsPayments made to your lender for a specified term with interestInterest rates for secured boat loans start at around 6.5%
Sales taxTax paid to the state where you purchase your boatDepends on your state — $0 in Rhode Island, up to $18,000 in Florida
Registration feesFee paid to state allowing you to operate your boat; you’ll pay a one-time fee and a renewal fee every 2-3 years$25 - $250 depending on state
Boat operator license or safety courseSome states require safety courses and/or boating licenses to operate a boatDepends on your state — Alaska doesn’t require licenses or courses; Alabama’s license application and certification fees cost just over $40
TrailerUsed to move your boat from the dock or marina to your home or storage facility when the boat is not in use$700 - $8,000
InsuranceMonthly payment to insurance company in case of damage to the boatAverage of $300 - $600 per year
MaintenanceCleaning and servicing your boat every year maintains your investment and ensures your boat is safe to rideUp to 10% of the purchase price per year
Boat taxProperty tax paid to state annuallyVaries by state; 0.5% of the boat’s value in Washington
Storage/mooring/marina feesFees for docking your boat and storing it in the winter$50 - $400 per month for self-storage at storage facility; about $50 per foot of boat per year to dock at a marina
Safety equipmentDepending on your state, your boat may be required to have life jackets, navigation lights, visual distress signals, sound signaling devices and fire extinguishersStarting at $200
FuelGas to power your boatDepends on boat size, location and use. Fuel prices updated daily on the Waterway Guide.

New yachts start at $300,000, and luxury superyachts can come with price tags in the hundreds of millions. The price of your yacht will depend on its size, features, brand and location.

The average cost of boat insurance is $300 to $600 annually. As with maintenance and fuel, the larger (and more expensive) your boat, the more you’ll pay to insure it. If you own a superyacht, you may have to pay thousands a month on insurance.

In general, no. Boats are a depreciating asset, meaning that they lose value over time. And like cars, their value depreciates quickly. Your boat will be worth up to 20% less than you paid for it after one year. If you want to sell, you’ll almost certainly get less than what you paid for it.

You’ll also need to continue to invest money in ongoing costs like fuel, docking and insurance. You won’t see any financial returns on this investment, but you may decide these costs are worth the benefits of boat ownership.