Boats represent a very special way of life. In order to explore local waters or to enjoy a fresh sea breeze on vacation, water lovers can buy a motorboat. However, details must be considered before purchasing. Thus, for certain boat types, a driver’s license is necessary, for example when purchasing a 60-hp houseboat. In addition, a motorboat needs a mooring, insurance coverage and regular maintenance, which causes high additional costs. Financing this prestigious hobby is no longer a millionaire affair. Those who do not have the full amount to buy a motorboat can rely on loans and installment finance.

Buying a Motorboat: Seven Tips for Preparing to Buy

Buying a Motorboat: Seven Tips for Preparing to Buy

Relevant facts for the purchase decision

With the will to buy a motorboat, it is not done. So that the decision is not regretted, a few things have to be considered in advance of the purchase.

1. Personal life situation
A boat has to fit the life situation. If you want to buy a motorboat, you must be aware that maintenance, care and repairs take time . With such a time-consuming hobby, it’s nice to be a partner and a family member. But if the environment reacts annoyed to the boat, the captain loses sooner or later the desire for it. After all, such unequal interests have a heightened potential for conflict.

Details must be noted before purchasing. For example, a license is required for certain boat types.

2. Intensity of use
Of course it is wonderful to have a boat near a lake nearby and to cruise to your heart’s content. It is possible, however, that after the first euphoria, the enthusiasm is not so great and the weekends are better planned differently. Instead of buying a motorboat, a rental boat could be worthwhile in these cases. Before deciding to buy a motorboat, consider the intensity of use and, if necessary, offset the cost of a boat with the expenses of renting it.

3. Berth
If the property is big enough, some will park their boat there or in a shed. Most boat owners who buy a motorboat prefer a mooring . The cost of this depends on the length of the boat and the location on a river or lake, or by the sea, if it is not too far to the coast. In the season, a mooring can cost between 300 and 700 euros on average. In addition there are fees for the crane of the boat as well as the additional costs around the berth . It is recommended to enter a boat club after buying a motorboat. On the one hand, the berth becomes cheaper and, on the other hand, boat owners can benefit from club activities and community with like-minded people.

4. Motorboat insurance
As with a car, a sufficient insurance coverage is necessary . It is irrelevant whether the boat only runs on the reservoir in the neighborhood or is used for ocean cruising. A water sports liability insurance covers all damage to property and personal injury, the water sports hull all damage to your own motorboat. Depending on how big the boat is and where it is used, a policy for the crew must also be considered. Since the fares differ greatly, boat owners should conduct an insurance comparison before concluding the contract.

5. Boat license
If you want to buy a motorboat, but do not want to press the driving school, you must look for a model up to 15 hp . These are for a dinghy with engine, but also smaller Rigid boats. Even overnight trips in the class are still possible without a license if a cabin cruiser with a correspondingly low performance is chosen. With the boat license See you can sail all the seas of the world, for inland waters there is a separate license class. An exception applies to Lake Constance. Anyone who wants to sail there after the motorboat needs the Bodenseeschifferpatent. Holiday guests have the opportunity to purchase a license for four weeks upon presentation of the boat license. The total cost per boat license vary greatly and are between 250 and 800 euros , added to the time required for the course.

6. The equipment
Wooden boats are nice to look at, but care-intensive. Therefore, it should be considered before buying, from what material the boat should be. Depending on the age and type of boat many maintenance work . Those who repair and restore themselves, saves money, but has a lot of time to spend. If the work is carried out by a specialist, it can put a strain on the budget.

7. Rider
The size of the boat depends on the riders. While a small cabin cruiser or even a dinghy is sufficient for fishing trips, the boat should be more generous if the whole family is there regularly.

Models and pricing

Which significant model and price differences exist?

Motorboats are basically divided into three classes:

  • Displacer: These boats push the water aside. They are seaworthy but not very fast.
  • Glider : In these boats, the hull lifts out of the water and slides over the surface, allowing for neat speed.
  • Semi-glider : Characteristic for large motor yachts. As the speed increases, the hull lifts out of the water.

The different hull types have produced different models . If you want to buy a motorboat, you must familiarize yourself with this matter in order to find the right watercraft for your purposes.

Sport boat with inboard or outboard engine
A pleasure boat is used for recreational activities on the water. These include, for example, sailing yachts with engines. According to international guidelines, a pleasure boat has a hull length of 2.5 to 24 m . The inland driving license is valid only up to 20 m hull length, on the Rhine it is 15 m. On the other hand, there are no length limits at sea.

Car boats are mostly made of wood, have a windshield , which also gave them the name. Although the care-intensive mahogany wood is still used, but to buy this motorboat is now also possible from modern plastics. Depending on their size, car boats can accommodate two to six people.

Day cruiser
When buying a motorboat, most rely on the day cruiser. These fast-running, sporty designed boats are designed for the requirements of a successful day trip on the water. Most day cruisers have an open cockpit and a small cabin in the bow .

Cabin Cruisers
The sleeping cabin or cabin is applied to the motorboat type of half-cabin on the ship. Inside the cabin is the navigation. There are models with permanently installed cabin roof and those in which the roof can be removed. Other types have integrated the cabin below deck. On such boats can spend a whole vacation. Larger models have kitchen and bath integrated.

When fishing for the nearest lake or small boat trips, inflatable boats with motor are ideal. With such a model even beginners can approach the matter of their own boat , since this is a cost-effective variant. Inflatable boats may normally be driven without a boat driver’s license.

This is the premier class of motor boats . Basically, anything longer than 24 meters is no longer a motorboat, but a yacht.

The former transport boats are something for lovers . Sometimes they are called barge. The small excursion boats are suitable for Sunday fun on small rivers and canals, also anglers appreciate them.

The cost of a motorboat

While inflatable boats with engine are already available for almost 1000 euros , a motor yacht can cost several million. Small boats, which are suitable for fishing or Sunday cruising on the lake, start at about 2000 euros. Small cabin boats are available from about 5000 euros . The prices are not only based on model and size, but especially on the equipment. If you want mahogany and leather, you pay much more than with a comparatively Spartan equipment or a boat made of modern fiberglass-reinforced plastic. The second-hand market for boats is broad and here you can always make bargains. However, buying a motorboat is difficult for newcomers to assess whether the price-performance ratio is right for a used boat. A motorboat should not be purchased on its own, but with the support of an experienced boat owner.

 A new motorboat has the advantage that it can be equipped as desired.

Finance the motorboat

Finance the motorboat

The installment by the manufacturer

A new motorboat has the advantage that it can be equipped as desired. The manufacturers now offer installment payment, relatively new is the possibility to lease a boat . Assuming the captain’s creditworthiness, the modalities do not differ from the purchase of a car.

The inclusion of a mini loan

A motorboat purchase is not broken over the knee. If the dream boat is found, it often exceeds your own budget. Due to other financial obligations there is no scope to raise the sum at the moment. With a mini credit, it is possible to buy a motorboat. Boat Lending offers quick and easy mini-credits for future boat owners. All captains have to do is complete the necessary application forms and upload documents . If the necessary creditworthiness is given and the applicant has a monthly fixed income of at least 500 euros, Boat Lending grants the loan commitment within a few hours for a sum between 100 and 3000 euros . Customers can choose to pay back the sum in one installment or comfortably in six parts. For express option and application until 14 o’clock on a working day, the transfer of the mini-credit to the account of the customer will be arranged on the same day.


Those who earn well, but have many payment obligations, may need to resort to a guarantee to buy a motorboat. This is possible both on a private basis and when borrowing from the house bank. However, many people are reluctant to publicize their financial situation with family or friends. In addition, there is always the risk that the citizen will be charged if the debtor does not pay . In addition, a loan application with guarantee at the bank has a certain processing time. If there is a bargain on the market, it may happen that someone else will buy the motorboat until the loan is approved.

The motorboat wait

The motorboat wait

What should be considered regarding the maintenance of motorboats?

The maintenance costs of a motor boat amount to about ten percent of the purchase price per year (original price). With a boat in need of restoration, there can be more. In order to save money, it is recommended for boat owners to acquire the necessary manual skills themselves . If you’re a member of a boat club, you can offer club members their help and look over their shoulders for repairs. In return, the experienced boat owners are happy to assist the newbie. As a small vehicle motorboats receive a certificate of maritime safety, which is comparable to the TÜV sticker. For this reason, the motorboat must always be in good shape.

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