It’s no secret boating costs money, but don’t fear, here are some tips straight from our expert marine underwriters to help boaters save money!
Do you long to sail towards new adventures? Do you want to feel the wind in your hair and the sea spray on your skin but worried you can’t afford it? Well, we are here to tell you that you can live out those water dreams without breaking the bank.
Budget boating is all about making smart choices. As experts in marine insurance we can help you make smart financial decisions to ensure you have a great boating experience.
These tips will help guide you in deciding how to best manage your boating expenses.
Run the boat at an efficient speed.
Every boat has “sweet spots,” where the hull design, power package, and engine work together to maximise efficiency. This sweet spot is often referred to by boatbuilders as a boat’s cruising speed, efficient-cruising speed, or even maximum fuel economy.
It doesn’t matter what boat you have, navigating at the recommended cruising speed will save you fuel and help you achieve your affordable boating goals.
Maintain the boat and power system in top condition.
Affordable boating doesn’t mean skimping. Spending wisely means you’ll spend less overtime. As the old saying goes, it is cheaper to fix things before they break.
Routine maintenance of a boat is like routine maintenance of a house or any other expensive item. It helps prevent minor issues from becoming expensive and complex.
The closer your boat is to being in new condition, the higher its value.
Tax deductions are available.
Depending on how the boat is used, there might be several tax breaks that boat owners could qualify for.
- You might be able to deduct some expenses if you use your boat for business purposes, some boats chartered for profit can be a legitimate consideration. These expenses could include fuel, food, or transient anchoring.
- A deduction could be granted if your boat is regularly used for business-related transportation. This would allow for deductions such as marine insurance, repairs or dock fees, crew salary, storage, fuel costs, and depreciation.
- It is possible for a boat to be used as a second residence for tax purposes. A boat that has a galley, head, berth, and berth could be considered a second home. In this case, interest payments may be eligible for relevant second-home deductions. (Note: Before you make any of these deductions, consult your accountant).
- You might be able to donate your existing boat when you are ready to buy a new one to get an additional tax break.
We highly recommend you get the assistance of a registered tax agent to ensure you are doing it correctly. You can find a certified practising accountant through the CPA Australia website.
Investigate boat storage options.
Boat ownership involves deciding where to store it when you’re not using it. There are two types of boat storage options: dry boat storage (outside the water) or marina boat storage (inside the water).
Because prices can vary depending on location and amenities, you may be able to save money if you shop around.
It may save you money in the long term if your boat is stored at home on a trailer. Also consider that in the off-season, you may find it cheaper to store your boat inland than to leave it at the boatyard.
Do some maintenance and repair work yourself.
We’re talking minor tasks like washing and waxing your boat, winterising it, and perhaps installing some new accessories.
It is possible to learn how to perform routine tasks by yourself, which will make boating more affordable. You may even enjoy the chore. Who knows?
Educate yourself with a boating course.
Let’s face the facts. It doesn’t matter how much you think you know about boating. There are always new things to learn. It is essential that boaters of any age have a basic understanding of the boat, its gear, and boating. Your chances of making costly mistakes when operating your vessel are lower if you are well-informed.
In some cases, being more educated may even get you boat insurance benefits. And since many boater education courses are free, this is a win-win situation.
Fill up your tank on land.
Boats hold a lot of fuel, and fuel prices are usually much higher at marinas. When filling up, make sure you check the pumps to ensure you are using the correct ones. E15 is now common in many land-based petrol stations, which can cause damage to marine engines.
Get the proper boat insurance.
Marine insurance can be a costly expense, but it’s the best way to avoid having to dip into your savings account to cover unexpected, large expenses.
It isn’t technically “boat insurance,” but you should also consider purchasing an on-water assistance and towing membership. Every mechanical item, even boats, can malfunction. If you do not have the right coverage, a tow may become an exceptionally large, unexpected expense.
Need cover for your boat?
Do you need boat insurance for your new boat, or maybe you need to review your existing cover? Getting the right cover is likely to save you more in the long term.