Why Are Boats So Expensive?

Last Updated on October 1, 2022

Buying a boat means spending more money. It’s not as cheap as when purchasing an everyday car. It’s not easy to ignore the fact that boats are expensive -both to buy and to maintain. But why are boats that expensive? Is the cost justifiable? Ever wondered if you’ll be getting the value for your money when you purchase a boat?

Several conditions affect the cost of owning a boat. It starts with the purchase cost, doesn’t matter if it’s old or new, and continues till upkeep. Here, you will have to include the maintenance, storage fees, gas for the boat, and even insurance. More costs are involved in keeping a boat, however, let us have a good look at what makes a boat expensive.

Demand And Supply

Comparing boats with cars is often easy when we think of the reasons boats are so expensive. Take, for example, a top-range expensive automobile is expensive but cheap when compared to a boat of the same range.

The difference is in the supply and the demand. While a car is a modern necessity for transportation, a boat is still considered a luxury. The problem is that boat builders do not often sell the same number of boats as car manufacturers do when compared to each other. They, therefore, need bigger profit margins to make their business profitable and increase its viability.

Also, a lot of people would often prefer to hire a boat for weekend getaways or holidays rather than own one. This could be as a result of the cost of purchasing the boat, maintenance and the likes, or because they don’t live near the sea. This too also has a huge impact on demand and supply of new boats.

Due to the inability of boat builders to lower their costs through high volume efficiency demand, the price of each boat sold goes higher.

Cost Of Building

Another major reason for the high price tags placed on boats is as a result of the cost of their manufacturing process. Boats have to be built manually unlike cars whose manufacturing processes are aided with machines. Despite the wide shipyards utilized as a workplace, only a few boats can be manufactured over a period of several months.

The big sizes of boats and complex manufacturing processes also require skilled labor and can therefore increase their costs. Heavy hulls cannot be moved around and so manufacturing them in countries where skilled labor is cheaper and shipping them over is not possible.

Massive facilities are obliged in the boat manufacturing process, all of which must meet strict safety environmental rules and regulations. The materials designed to resist the impact of the sea are costly by themselves. Also, research and design play a big role too. The marine industry is constantly evolving with innovative sea-worthy, bigger boats.

Building a boat requires various patented materials too, from gel coat, fiberglass, to resins. Holes need to be drilled in them by hand, coupled with their sanding and finishing.

Furthermore, flirting the boats with electricity and interior designs costs, depending on the specification and requirements of a client, and the safety regulations involved.


The cost of a boat’s engine is almost the same as the manufacturing cost. This also has a big effect on the end price of the boat. The latest modern boat engines which are less loud, more fuel-efficient with lower emissions, all come at a higher price due to their efficiency.

This can overall affect the price of a boat because the more costly an engine is, the more the price of the boat is bound to increase.

Research And Development

This factor is inevitable in the pricing costs of boats. In our modern world, computer simulations, 3D models, and software specialization all play a big role in the advanced manufacturing of modern boats. These researches help in boat precise and perfect boatbuilding with effective modern technology.

These new developments are what helps boat planes move faster and smoother than ever before. Also, a bowrider can skim the water surface very comfortably, runabout, and is now able to create a very comfortable water skiing wake, and big vessels are stable even in mighty seas.

These are a result of technology. There’s also the inside technology to consider too, advanced equipment for navigation, gyroscope systems that enhance stabilization, computerized ballast systems, etc are all factors that affect the end price tags of boats.

Boat Fittings

All boats are not the same. There are high-end and low-end boats whose finish, style, and size, affect the costs. When purchasing a new boat initially, the resale value would be calculated and taken into account.

A big yacht will cost more than a small boat. However, boats of the same model can still vary more in price depending on the design, finishings, upgrade, seating, and interior customization.  For example, the huge and popular brand new 10-metre Jeanneau Merry Fisher 1095 version sells for around £182,120 , while the Merry Fisher Fly 1095, with its added flybridge, sells for around £219,000.


We have observed the tangible figures and characters that are calculated into building an overall boat, but then the one intangible factor that is easily ignored is the indulgence and luxury attached to owning a boat. This in many ways affects the end price of a boat.

Boats are undeniably a sign of wealth and luxury, a major form of enjoyment and exploration. Either it’s a small Jon boat, a Superyacht, or any other kind of boat, a boat to its owner means a lifestyle of luxury and this feeling and lifestyle is as a result included in the cost price.

Most individuals want value for their money, and very little beats the luxury feeling. It is difficult to place a price tag on relaxation, but that’s what owning a boat ultimately does – gives the owner a feeling of superfluity.


Boats are very expensive, and most of the time, the question asked is why? A lot of factors influence the price of boats. These include the cost of materials, fittings, development and research, and so on.

The high cost involved in sustaining boats can also directly affect their maintenance and in return, their pricing.