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What is a Motor Boat?
A motor boat is a vessel that is powered by an engine. Unlike a sailboat, the only source of power comes from the engine. And unlike a motor yacht that is 79 feet and above, a motor boat is any boat up to 78ft in length. They come in a wide range of styles and designs, perfect for days out with family and friends, or cruising long distances. Depending on the type of boat you’re interested in, your yacht broker will be able to introduce you to a number of boat dealers to help you make a decision.
How Much is a Motor Boat?
A motor boat will vary in price based on a number of factors. Since a motor boat can be any vessel using traditional propulsion systems, your price tag will depend on the following when researching options from a boat dealer near you:
- Size – One of the greatest indicators of a motor boat price will be its length. A 20ft motor boat used for day cruising will cost significantly less than a 75ft luxury motor boat with a crew onboard.
- Propulsion System – Powerful engines come with powerful costs. Is it a large outboard engine? Inboard outboard motor? Inboard engine? Trolling motor? Or a newer electric model? Does it come equipped with twin engines or just the one? Depending on the power output, your price tag will increase or decrease in size along with these factors.
- Style – Not all motor boats are designed the same. Based on the boat type, hull designs, layout or even how many decks are available, can all affect the overall cost. Are you looking at a Sea Ray with a large outboard engine, or an easy to handle cabin cruiser for family and friends?
- Builder – Certain builders carry a higher price tag (as in all vessels). The type of boat you are interested in will help narrow down the builder in most cases.
- Age – Older models will usually cost less than newer motor boats; and brand new motor boats direct from the shipyard will almost certainly cost the most.
- Use – Do you want to cruise long distances solo? Or something smaller and easy to handle to entertain family and friends?
Are Motor Boats Expensive to Run?
The running cost of a motor boat will be similar to the above in that it isn’t a one size fits all answer. Smaller boats will usually cost less to run simply due to having less factors to maintain, while larger ones have more moving parts, added capabilities and potentially crew to pay as well. For larger boats, it’s recommended to set aside 10-20% of the purchase price of the boat to maintain it every year.
Faster speedboats will be more expensive to run compared to a cabin cruiser by a builder like Sea Ray or Jeanneau. If you’re using the boat a lot for extended trips with family and friends or are interested in specific hull designs or a technical inboard engine, etc. the costs to run will increase.
What is the Downside of Buying a Used Motor Boat?
As with buying anything used, the saying rings true for used motor boats as well, “buyer beware.” While you can’t know everything about the boat’s use before you buy it, most states and regions will require a survey before purchasing a used boat and most boat dealers will need to divulge any known issues. However, some things to be aware of are:
- No warranty – Unlike buying a new boat direct from the builder, a used motor boat will have no warranty and no recourse if anything breaks down.
- Old engines and technology – Depending on the age, the engines and technology available onboard may be outdated and need replacing. Regardless of the type of engine you have – inboard engine, inboard outboard engines, a trolling motor, or outboard motor – all of these powerful engines will eventually lose their strength and need replacing.
- Worn designs – From old wood and damaged hull designs to faded interior stylings, a used boat may not have the unique and personalized touch you’re looking for.
When buying a used motor boat, it’s highly recommended to work with a reputable broker who can help you find the right boat for you while helping to wade through the above factors.
What Age Motor Boat is Best to Buy?
While a brand new motor boat will come with a warranty, the latest technology and design details and even the possibility of personalizing the interior, you may not be the type of boat owner that needs a brand new motor boat. Some people enjoy the heritage and timelessness of a used motor boat, or maybe even one restored to its original glory that is decades old. The best aged motor boat for you will not be the same as it is for someone else.
Some things to consider when looking at the wide range of motor boats to purchase from your local boat dealers:
- Maneuverability – Is it easy to handle? Are you comfortable docking the boat and cruising long distances?
- Hull designs – Depending on the type of boat you want, most motor boats will be mono hulls but there are a few multihull motor boats on the market.
- Engines – If you’ve narrowed down your choice to motor boats, you know sailing yachts aren’t for you. However, motor boats come in a wide range of types of boats. Just a few of the powerful engines you might come across are:
- Electric (becoming more popular)
- Inboard engine
- Inboard outboard engines
- Outboard motor
- Trolling motor
- Range – Do you need a motor boat capable of traveling long distances? Or are you interested in something like a Sea Ray cabin cruiser that’s easy to handle for family and friends?
Do Motor Boats Last Long?
If properly maintained, a motor boat can last decades. On average, at 2,000 hours of use, a motor boat will need significant maintenance. If you want to extend the life of your motor boat as long as possible, be sure to carry out annual routine maintenance on your inboard engine, address problems and concerns as they arise, and fix parts that need replacing. A reputable boat dealer will advise you on the life cycle of the motor boat you’re looking to purchase.