(Additional) Costs of Buying a Boat

When buying a boat, you soon come to realize that the purchase price is only a portion of the actual cost. We also have to budget for the little additional expenses that add up quickly and are easy to forget when you start to get excited and emotionally invested in a particular boat.

Here is what we have been using as a rough breakdown of cost in addition to any potential purchase price:

  • Documentation – we are using a service that will de-flag the vessel from its current country of registration, re-flag it to Canada with Transport Canada’s Certificate of Registration process, tie the vessel to the financing we are using with our bank, audit the owner and vessel, and verify the purchase agreement details. Approx $3000CAN.
  • Survey/Sea Trial – a proper survey and sea trial is necessary for any vessel of this size and cost to ensure that newbies like us don’t get left with enormous repairs that we weren’t expecting. In order to survey the boat thoroughly it must be hauled out of the water. We budgeted $5000CAN for this, but it came in just under $2500 when we looked into it.
  • Insurance – this will vary greatly depending on a lot of factors. We budgeted on the high end for $6000CAN.
  • Flights – travelling to and from a vessel we are going to inspect ourselves before paying for a survey. $2000CAN
  • Delivery – in case we find a boat somewhere down in the Caribbean and want it moved to S. Florida to sort out any issues with it (or ourselves). $5000CAN.
  • Dinghy – Hopefully this one won’t be required, as most boats are listed with their dinghy included. One of the boats on our short list did not include this so we budgeted for it. $12,500CAN.

So the total could be well above $30,oooCAN for items not directly associated with the boat cost itself.

As soon as you start considering adding items to the boat, you can easily spend as much as the boat itself if you’re not careful. These costs will vary on what the boat has for options already, if it is relatively new or old, if the items are in good shape, what the survey found, etc? There are so many variables with this aspect, we’ll save it for a future post.


About 2 weeks after we posted this, a very helpful broker from Denison Yachts, Wiley Sharp, published this video on the same subject on YouTube.

We’d like to take credit for giving him the idea, but then again perhaps not 😉

Boat Purchase - Using A Broker
Boat Purchase - Offer Accepted!

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