Affordable Boating: 7 Tips to Save Money on the Water


Affordable boating is a goal that everyone should want to thrive for, including us. The good news is that there are several ways to cheapen boating without compromising your fun day on the water!

Affordable boating is about making smart choices; whether you’re a boat owner or a boat renter, we’re here to help you make the right ones for the best boating experience. Here are seven tips on how to save money on the water and achieve your affordable boating goals:

  1. Offset Your Boat Ownership Costs
  2. Split Your Boat Rental Costs
  3. Run the Boat at Efficiency Speed
  4. Shed Weight to Save Fuel
  5. Seek Out Cheaper Fuel
  6. Invest in Routine Maintenance
  7. Learn to DIY

Looking for Boating Rentals near you? We’ve got you covered!

1.   Offset your boat ownership costs

Advertising your boat for rent when you aren’t using it is one way to make your boating more affordable because the rental income can pay for things like marina dockage. Some owners who list their boats with Boatsetter are earning as much $20,000 a year. That kind of cash can go a long way toward affordable boating for yourself, even offsetting routine maintenance and other typical expenses.

2.   Split your boat rental costs

Split Boat Rental Costs.

If you’re looking to achieve affordable boating by renting a boat instead of buying one, you can further reduce the cash crunch by splitting the rental fee with family or friends!

This kind of splitting the rate has a long history in the boating industry — even people who charter superyachts do it. Sharing the rental costs creates a more affordable boating experience for everyone.

3.   Run the boat at an efficient speed

All boats have “sweet spots” where the hull design and the power package work together to achieve maximum efficiency. Boatbuilders call this sweet spot a boat’s cruising speed or efficient-cruising speed; sometimes, the owner’s manual will refer to “maximum fuel economy” when describing this speed.

No matter what kind of boat you’re driving, operating at this recommended speed will help you save on fuel, thus contributing to your affordable boating goals.

4.   Shed weight to save fuel

Packing Light for Boating.

Much like running a boat at efficient speed can help you save fuel, so can reducing the total weight aboard the boat. All boats have capacity ratings that let you know the maximum number of people and pounds that the boat is designed to handle. Exceeding those limits makes the boat work harder to plow through the water, which burns more fuel (and more of your cash). Keep the weight on board down to maximize efficiency underway.

5.   Seek out cheaper fuel

For trailered boats, there’s always the option to refuel at a gas station on land — where prices are likely to be lower than what you’ll find at marinas with a captive audience.

Remember to use the kind of fuel that your boat’s engine manufacturer recommends! Fuel with ethanol additives, often found at land-based gas stations, can damage engines and require costly repairs or replacement. Pay close attention to which type of fuel you select at the pump to get this affordable boating benefit.

6.   Invest in routine maintenance

Boat Maintenance.

Affordable boating doesn’t mean skimping. It means spending money wisely so that you spend less overall! As the proverbial saying goes, “it’s a lot cheaper to fix things before they break.”

Investing in routine maintenance on a boat is like investing in routine maintenance on a house or any other big-ticket item. It keeps minor obstacles from becoming complicated (and expensive).

7.   Learn to DIY

Quite a few online programs cover the basics of DIY for boaters who are just starting out. Also, in the maintenance department, learn to do the basics yourself. If you’re paying a marine technician $60 to $90 an hour every time you need a fuel or oil filter changed, then you’re spending money you don’t necessarily need to pay.

Learning how to do routine tasks on yourself is a sure way to make boating affordable. Who knows, you may even like the chore!

Already Own a Boat? Earn an Average of $20K by Renting it Out on Boatsetter

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