Keeping And Maintaining A Boat
Owning a houseboat or yacht by using financing such as boat loans is a dream for many people, but there are some things to consider beforehand. Besides fuel costs and your repayments, there are running expenses such as mooring costs, winter storage, maintenance expenses, insurance etc. Purchasing membership in a yacht club is often a convenient way of keeping your boat, but there are other options as well.
Keeping Your Boat
Before buying a boat, it is important to decide where you will be keeping it. There are many options available to prospective boat owners, depending on where they live. You may have the option of hiring a mooring space in the middle of the river or by a canal, in the classic and traditional way, for a few hundred dollars. More well-equipped harbors may have docks and slips fitted with electric, water, WiFi and other services. Marina boat storage facilities can cost a few thousand dollars, since you are paying for full service. A third option is to keep your boat in a trailer, so that the boat doesn’t have to be in the water. This is common for smaller boats. It can be towed home and kept in the driveway, if the property size and planning allow.
Yacht Club Memberships
It is also common for many owners to depend on new boat loans, since many yacht clubs offer a fenced area for boat storage to protect them. These areas are usually near the water but don’t require the regular maintenance that continual water storage entails – cleaning bottom growth among other things. Yacht clubs that offer dry storage may offer ramp launching or a system to hoist the boat into water. Yacht club membership fees can vary, depending on where you are and the size of boat you want to store, among other factors. Yacht club memberships do give you the benefit of knowing that in winter, you will have a safe space to keep your boat – usually on slips or in the boatyard. Clubs come with other optional amenities like electricity, pressure wash, and easy launch and haul systems etc.
Routine Maintenance Duties for Boat Owners
Boat owners also need to carry out some routine maintenance on their boats, whether or not it is stored on dry land or in water. Washing should be regular. If the boat is kept in saltwater, it should be rinsed after every outing with fresh water, as salt tends to corrode metal, hardware and even the gelcoat. Quality soap like marine boatwash, carwash soap or even laundry soap can speed up the cleaning.
In addition, oils should be changed regularly (at least once a year or after 100 hours of use), especially for inboards, four-stroke outboards and stern drive boats. The oil change can be DIY or done professionally. Every pre-launch routine, especially for stern or outboard drive boats, should involve checking the propeller for signs of damage, and application of waterproof grease.
When kept in proper storage and maintained regularly, boats can last a very long time and help recoup your initial costs with the enjoyment they provide. Any boat purchase should be made keeping in mind the additional costs, maybe using a boat finance repayment calculator, to avoid surprise expenses and less-than-optimal storage and maintenance that can damage the boat.