How much does it cost per year to own a boat in Florida?

The feeling you get when you complete the purchase of a boat is pretty special. Not only do you have a new (or new to you) boat to make your own, but you also get to move past the financial stress that the purchasing process may cause. Whether you’re financing your boat or paying out of pocket, you’ll likely be making a financial commitment up front. While the heavy financial lifting will be out of the way, there are regular costs that come with owning and maintaining a boat.

Of course, those costs fluctuate based on a number of factors — where you live, where your boat is stored, what type of boat you own, how new it is, and how well you plan to maintain it, among others. In addition to maintenance costs, there are taxes, insurance, registration, and dock fees. Let’s take a closer look at some of these expenses.

Insurance is certainly one of the expenses you can’t avoid. According to Progressive Insurance, the average insurance policy in Florida between 2019 and 2020 was $603. Because Florida is on a coastline and boating is a year-round activity, boat insurance tends to be much more expensive here than in other parts of the country.

In terms of boat maintenance, you can expect to pay about 10 percent of the cost of the boat annually. That will vary by year, but it’s a good target to set aside for your boat fund.

While Florida boat owners may not necessarily need winter storage because of the warm climate, you may want to factor in storage costs of approximately $1,500-$2,000 annually if you do plan to store your boat.

Next comes the cost associated with registering your boat in Florida. That annual registration fee is going to depend on your boat’s classification and can range from $5.50 to $189.75 for larger boats.

If we take a look at these average costs, not accounting for any equipment you may need to purchase to trailer your boat or keep your passengers safe or fill your boat with gas, you can expect to spend somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500 per year to own a boat in Florida. Of course, that cost can vary greatly based on your situation, boat type, and an assortment of other factors.

If you’re buying a pre-owned boat, you can ask the dealer or the previous owner for the expected annual costs to help you budget.