Questions you should ask yourself before buying a boat

Questions you should ask yourself before buying a boat

Buying a boat can be an expensive exercise, but it is often worth the expense for boat owners. There are many reasons why boat ownership may seem attractive to you; perhaps you love boating, or maybe you boat in order to have fun with friends and family. No matter the motive, boat ownership offers many benefits to boat owners.

However, if you’re thinking about buying a boat, there are some things you need to ask yourself first. First, how often do you plan to use it? What kind of boating do you want to do? What’s your budget? Where will I store the boat when not in use? These are all essential factors to consider before making your purchase.

It’s important that you understand what boat ownership entails – in terms of both the responsibilities involved and the associated costs.

While our business evolves around pontoons and jetties for docking, we’re also very experienced in boats and have a wealth of information to help you buy a boat. So if you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a boat, here are some questions to help get you started.

How often do I plan to use the boat?

Is boat ownership the right choice for you if you only want to boat a few times a year? This is an important question to ask yourself.

Many boat owners use their boat every weekend or every other weekend. If boat usage isn’t frequent, boat ownership may not be the right choice for you because it can be costly to own a boat – even if you don’t use it! You have to consider things like registration, insurance and maintenance, which are necessary whether you boat weekly or only occasionally.

If you plan to boat more than just a few times a year, then boat ownership may be the best option for you. However, if you intend only to take it out a handful of times per year, something more versatile such as chartering may be a better option. Chartering a boat can be a great way to get out on the water with the added bonus of not having boat maintenance responsibilities.

What kind of boating do I want to do?

Another important question to ask yourself is what kind of boating activities you want to do? If you boat for fun or recreation, then boat ownership could be the right choice.

While boat ownership does come with a lot of responsibility and costs, it can also be rewarding. For example, owning your own boat gives you more say in how you boat and what type of boat you captain. Boat ownership gives you freedom and makes boat activities more personal than chartering or renting, which can be limiting.

For example, some boaters enjoy fishing while others boat to relax with friends or family on weekends away. If your boat usage is mainly for pleasure purposes, boat ownership may be the most suitable option. However, if your boat usage is for business purposes or commuting, boat ownership may not be the right choice because boat usage will likely be more frequent and less flexible.

What type of boat do I want?

The kind of boating you want to do will influence the type of boat you should choose. For example, if your primary motivation for buying a boat is to fish, you’ll need a boat with storage space for your fishing equipment. If boat usage is mainly for fun or leisure, you’ll need a boat with comfortable seating and good sun protection – especially if boat usage happens at the weekend.

What size of boat do you need (e.g., small fishing boats vs large yachts)?

Boat size should also be considered. If boat usage is mainly overnight boat trips, then you may require something larger than a small runabout boat.

It’s important to also consider how the boat size may impact your storage and docking options. For example, a boat with a large cockpit may require a dock with a boat lift because it’ll be difficult to manoeuvre the boat into small spaces.

However, boat size isn’t the only factor to consider. The number of passengers and crew may also be important considerations if boat usage is mainly weekends away or for chartering purposes.

What’s my boat budget?

This question can seem simple but it’s important that you consider boat prices accurately so you buy the right boat. The price of a boat depends on many factors, which include boat size, boat age and boat quality.

Boat age can be important in terms of boat quality because older boats tend to have more wear and tear than newer ones. Boat quality is subjective but if you buy a boat from a reputable boat dealer, the boat should last you for years.

New boat owners should budget for registration and insurance costs in addition to boat maintenance fees. Boat maintenance is also a vital consideration when thinking about boat ownership because boat repairs can add up quickly hence the saying “BOAT stands for Bring Out Another Thousand”.

For example, boat owners should budget around $1,500 – $2,000 per year for boat maintenance on small boats.

New boat owners should also consider boat storage fees when budgeting because boat owners generally need to store their boats at a marina when it’s not in use. See ‘Will I wet dock or dry-dock the boat’ for more information regarding these costs.

Will I wet dock or dry-dock the boat?

The difference between choosing to wet dock or dry-dock your boat can significantly impact not only your budget but also the convenience of accessing your boat.

Dry-docking refers to boat storage at a boatyard where boat owners keep their boat on land. Dry-docking is similar to car storage because boat owners need to store their boat out of the water and often face additional fees for boat maintenance and boat equipment while it remains in the yard.

Wet docking refers to boat storage at either the boat owner’s home where it is moored to a pontoon or jetty or wet-docked at a marina.

If your boat is stored at a marina, either wet-docked or dry-docked, boat storage fees can really rack up quickly. However, boat storage fees vary depending on where you live and boat size. For example, according to our friends at, boat owners can expect to pay around $350 for boat storage per month (for a 16ft boat) and about $500 – $700 for boat storage per month (for a 30ft boat).

On the other hand, you will have no monthly storage fees if you moor your boat at home on a pontoon.

If I wet dock the boat, will it reside at a marina or do I need a pontoon?

As mentioned above, there are two options when it comes to wet-docking; mooring the boat at a marina or mooring the boat at your home on a pontoon.

Mooring the boat at a marina usually means you are up for substantial fees and fighting for car park spaces at the marina every time you want to hit the water. However, if you choose to moor your boat at home on a Micks Marine Maintenance pontoon, you have no ongoing storage fees and have the convenience of hitting the water without even leaving your home.

If you don’t yet have a pontoon and docking your boat at home sounds enticing, be sure to contact us for a no-obligation chat. By simply knowing the width of your block and the estimated size boat you’re looking to get, we can deduce a pontoon dock quote to meet your needs.


We hope our article has helped you answer some of the questions you might have had about boats and boat ownership.

Boat ownership is an expensive endeavour, and boat owners should expect boat maintenance fees, boat storage fees and boat equipment to add up quickly.

A boat’s age and quality will also play a significant role in the price of the boat, so it’s important to do your research before making a purchase

Aside from considering boating costs, boat buyers should also consider boat mooring options and their associated fees. And, if you would like to dock your boat on a pontoon, please get in touch with Micks Marine Maintenance.

As the Gold Coast’s leading pontoon manufacturers, we offer boat owners bespoke pontoons to meet their mooring needs.

You may find out more about our pontoons by calling us on 0431 778 468 or emailing

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