Those who are genuinely interested in boating often struggle to find the right information and resources and can thus be easily misled into thinking that boat ownership is out of their reach. The reality is that far more people can actually afford to buy a boat and enjoy boating than most people think, and that’s just the start of the misinformation. Keep reading to learn the truth behind the biggest boat ownership myths and change the way you think about owning your own vessel.
Scout 530 LXF. Photo by Ryan McVinney.
Myth #1: Only Rich People Own Boats
There are a few issues with this myth, which by the way, is definitely false. While wealthy people certainly do enjoy their toys, they aren’t the only ones who are purchasing, or who can purchase boats. The reality of the matter is that virtually anyone can buy a boat, given the right financial circumstances. There are a number of boats that are affordably priced, with vessels available in all sizes and styles. You certainly can spend a small fortune on a high-end yacht if you want to make sure that you buy the best, but you don’t have to.
The other part of this, which a lot of people don’t realize at first, is that boats can often be financed like vehicles. Thus, even people who can’t afford to purchase a boat outright can still enjoy boat ownership. Since there are models in all price ranges, you will also be able to find payment plans that fit your budget. The fact of the matter is that anyone can afford to own a boat, thanks to the available resources today.
Myth #2: Only People Who Live Near Water Own Boats
A lot of landlocked water and boating enthusiasts get hung up on the fact that they don’t live anywhere close to the waters that they like to enjoy. Therefore, they assume that they can’t (or shouldn’t) buy a boat, since they won’t be using it as frequently and don’t have ready access to the water at all times. Sure, those who live right on the lake (or ocean or river) will probably have more time to spend on their boat without having to travel, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the only ones who should own them.
Boats come with trailers for a reason. Many vessels up to even 50 or 60 feet can be trailered, depending on where you live and if you have the available trailer and vehicle. The other option is to purchase a vessel and pay for it to be docked or stored near the water so that you don’t have to transport it when you want to enjoy the water. Either way, there are plenty of ways to get around the fact that you don’t live right on the water when you are interested in boat ownership and boating as a hobby.
Myth #3: Boat Maintenance and Upkeep is Expensive
Again, this is something that is often perpetuated without a frame of reference. While there are some costs involved in boat ownership, it doesn’t have to be exorbitant. In fact, since you have complete control over the choice of where and how you store your boat, how well it is cared for, and how you use it, you can make sure that you create a low-maintenance situation for yourself if you really want to reduce the expenses related to owning a boat.
A boat is an investment, and you have to think of it that way if you are ever going to justify owning one. There are expenses involved. However, if you take the time to learn about boat ownership and set yourself up well, you can minimize how much you have to spend on your hobby. There are even valuable tips and resources out there to help you use and store your boat in a way that requires less maintenance and upkeep over time, so you really can make it hassle-free and affordable to own a boat.
Myth #4: Old Boats are Money Pits
For those trying to afford a boat, older models might be the ideal solution. Like anything you buy used, you will want to do your research and make sure that you’re buying something that is still in decent condition. There are some older vessels that can become money pits very quickly, but it isn’t a guarantee based on age alone. A lot goes into this, including how well the boat was cared for by its previous owner and what type of condition the vessel is in when you purchase it.
Ultimately, as long as you’re smart about your purchase, you’re not going to buy a “money pit” just by choosing to invest in an older boat.
Myth #5: If I Can Drive a Car, I Can Drive a Boat
While having some driving experience definitely helps, driving a boat is absolutely nothing like driving a car. Aside from the similar steering wheel, cars and boats have very little in common when it comes to operation. Boats, for starters, have no brakes. There are also different rules on the water, including a lack of stop signs and designated driving spaces, so it’s important to take a class on boating before you go out on the water with your vessel.
Driving a boat isn’t difficult, of course. It does take some training and time to get a feel for how the vessel maneuvers in the water. However, as long as you are willing to practice and take advantage of driving courses and other resources to assist you, it will be quite easy to learn to drive a boat safely.
There you have it — five of the biggest boat ownership myths busted. Now that you have the right information, you might change your mind about buying a boat after all. There is a lot more to love about boating for a much wider audience than most people think. Take advantage of that for yourself and see how much fun you can have out on the water.