Florida, also known as the Sunshine State, is a paradise for boating enthusiasts. With over 1300 miles of coastline, it offers a variety of locations for boating, from the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast to the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast and the Panhandle. However, owning a boat in Florida comes with its own set of costs and requirements. This guide will help you understand what to expect.
The Price of a Boat: What Can You Expect?
The cost of a boat varies greatly depending on its style, size, and type. From modest aluminum Jon boats to luxurious 45-foot cabin cruisers, the price range can stretch from around $5,000 to well over $400,000.
Here are some common types of boats and their average prices:
Ideal for: Angling and certain water sports
Size: 10 to 20 feet
Price: $2500 to $6000
Example: Crestliner 1860 Retriever
Ideal for: Cruising, angling, and water sports like skiing
Size: Under 20 feet
Price: $15 – $30,000
Example: Boston Whaler Montauk
Ideal for: Angling, parties, and relaxation
Size: 18 to 25 feet
Price: $20 – $65,000
Example: DLX Sun Tracker
Ideal for: Angling and leisure
Size: 18 to 30 feet
Price: $30 – $75,000
Example: Grady White Express 330
Ideal for: Cruising, relaxing, and angling
Size: 25 – 45 feet
Example: Jeanneau NC1095 Fly
Ideal for: High-speed water activities, water sports like wakeboarding
Size: 20 to 40 feet
Price: $30 – $100,000
Example: Yamaha 275 SE
Ideal for: Parties, cruising, relaxation, and overnight trips
Size: 30 to 100 feet
Example: Pearl 62
Ideal for: Sailing, leisure, and relaxation
Size: 30 to 60 feet
Price: $80,000 – $300,000
Example: Bermuda 50
The Cost of Boat Maintenance and Marina Docking
The upkeep of a boat, like its initial cost, varies with the size and type of the boat. Generally, larger boats cost more to maintain. For instance, maintaining a 10-foot Jon boat may cost a few hundred dollars a year, while maintaining a 50-foot yacht could cost between $4,000 and $10,000 per year.
Marina docking costs are another significant expense, especially for larger boats. The price varies with the size of the boat and the amenities offered by the marina. A marina with restaurants, nightclubs, bait & tackle shops, and cleaning services will cost more than a basic marina with fewer amenities. The average price to dock a boat in Florida can range between $1,000 and $10,000 per year.
Boat Insurance: Do You Need It and How Much Does it Cost?
While boat insurance is not legally required in Florida, it is strongly recommended. Accidents can happen, and insurance can protect you from substantial financial loss. The average cost to insure a boat is between $500 and $1,000 per year, although this can increase significantly for high-end boats.
The Cost of Boat Storage
If your boat can be trailered and launched each time you go out on the water, you can save on marina docking fees. However, you will need somewhere to store your boat, which will add to your costs. Here are some common storage options and their typical costs:
Home storage: Free, but may not be allowed due to Homeowners Association (HOA) rules
Marina storage: $15 to $50 per foot per month
Indoor boat storage: $15 to $40 per foot per month
Outdoor boat storage: $5 to $30 per foot per month
Dry stack storage: $10 to $45 per foot per month
Self-storage center: $100 to $200 per month
Boat Licensing Requirements in Florida
You do not technically need a boat license to operate a boat in Florida waters. However, if you wish to operate a boat with a motor of 10 hp or more, you must pass a Florida-approved boating safety course, provided you were born on or after January 1, 1988. Upon passing the course, you will receive a Boating Safety Education ID Card.
The Final Tally: Calculating the Cost of Boat Ownership
Purchasing and owning a boat is a significant investment, with many associated costs. However, the joy, family time, and memories that come with boat ownership often outweigh the financial aspect.
At Hide-Away Storage, we offer a safe and secure place to store your boat. With 24/7 video cameras and on-site managers, you can trust that your boat will be well looked after.
If you have any questions about boat storage in Florida or wish to find out more about our services, feel free to chat with us online or visit your nearest Hideaway Self Storage location. We look forward to helping you make the most of your boating experience in Florida’s beautiful water