Why are boats more expensive to run than cars?

If you’re thinking of buying a boat, one thing you’ve probably been told is how expensive it is to buy and maintain one. You might be able to take care of the buying part with the right financing option. The more critical issue is the cost of owning one. Unlike other vehicles such as cars and motorbikes, boats are more expensive to maintain, and you should consider how you will maintain it before you go ahead to buy. Here, we examine the various reasons why a boat’s operating costs exceed that of a car.


When it comes to horsepower and rpm, a boat engine is far ahead of a car’s. The engine operates under at least 3000rpm, compared to a car engine that runs between 1000rpm and 2000rpm, the boat engine is a heavy-duty

Frequency of Use

The way a boat is used also affects the operating cost. Most times, boat owners use their boats sparingly, for vacations and occasional cruises, and in one year, a boat might average only a few thousand kilometres at most. This affects the durability of the boat battery, engine, and other features. On the other hand, a car average over ten thousand kilometres annually, which means the downtime is minimal enough not to affect its core parts.


A boat is exposed to very harsh conditions of saltwater and extreme heat sometimes. All these have adverse effects on its components, which is why most parts of the boat are built to be anti-corrosive and resist wear and tear. The same cannot be said of cars where there are usually no harsh conditions that will cause severe wear and tear in parts.

Maintenance and Servicing

Most boat manufacturers give guidelines on servicing and other maintenance that a boat needs to be fully functional. For you to enjoy your boat and avoid spending thousands on repairs when it eventually breakdown, you must follow it strictly. For instance, antifouling has to be done annually for boats. The peculiar nature of boats means the servicing and maintenance are more technical, and those who do it are more scarce. For a car, you can easily call a roadside assist and go into any automobile shop to service and maintain your car. In fact, you can easily do some of the maintenance yourself if you’re handy. The same is not true when it comes to the boat. The labour costs of servicing are way higher as it requires more mechanical expertise and training to service. And it is not advisable to try it yourself, as this might be disastrous.

Repair Costs

Boats are expensive to buy because of manufacturing costs, it is also why repairs are costly. Each spare parts are specially designed for different types of boats, and getting the wrong replacement for a spoilt part is the same as not buying at all.

However, don’t let all these costs discourage you. With proper planning and preparation, you can own a boat and cover the considerable operating expenses.

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