To many new boaters, a common notion is that you can save money by buying a trailer for your boat, storing it at home and avoid all of those costly marina fees. On the surface, this makes sense, but if you really dig into what is involved with loading, towing, storing and launching a boat – you will quickly see that in the grand scheme of things, the marina really isn’t all that expensive. Let’s face it, boating is an expensive hobby, and it is one that you may as well do the right way if you are going to do it at all.
Now, for a few, keeping a boat on a trailer does make sense and we realize this. If your boating is primarily aimed at fishing, then this can be especially true, as you may have several lakes you like to use. This article is geared toward pleasure boaters who typically go to the same lake and want to maximize their time on the water.
1. Convenience – This is easily the biggest selling point for using a marina. Slip fees can range from 150-250 per month, and when the time comes that you want to take the boat out – all you have to do is drive to the marina, park, and go fire up the boat. Many marinas have other services as well such as storage, maintenance, cleaning, etc. Unless you’re just one of those that waxes the car several times a year and really enjoys doing everything yourself, there isn’t anything much more convenient than having your boat parked and ready at the marina.
2. Save Money – Some will think that this is crazy, since a marina carries monthly fees with it, but think about. Your time costs someting – we even put a post about it right here. Gas to and from your house costs something – a LOT these days. The trailer isn’t cheap. You have to have a vehicle capable of towing the trailer (no, the minivan won’t cut it). Wear and tear on your big vehicle’s transmission hauling such a heavy item around is costly. All in all, it costs a LOT of money to outfit yourself with the proper rig to haul a boat. With the marina – you just show up. It doesn’t matter what you are driving!
3. Protect Your Investment – The risk of accidents, wrecks, and other mishaps aside – there is an often overlooked risk that comes with trailering your boat. If it takes a good 1 – 1.5 hours to get your boat hooked up, get to the marina, launched and in the water, then it likely takes the same amount of time when you are done. That is a LOT of hassle. If you know that 2-3 hours of your boating day are going to be wasted fiddling with the boat, how often do you think you are going to GO boating. It’s saturday morning, the kids are begging to go to the lake and you just don’t feel like messing with it so you talk them into doing something else. You do this too many times, then you run the risk of having bought the boat for nothing, and you will quickly come to resent that boat payment.
4. Save Your Marriage – For some this may not apply, but for many, you have to admit that having the big boat parked in the front yard, or blocking the garage becomes a pretty touchy subject at times. The problem is likely even worse during the off-months when the boat isn’t even being used. When you add that to the boat payment you are probably making, it adds even more insult to injury! Do your spouse and your neighbors a favor and get that boat off the street and into a marina!
5. Safety & Security – This is an often overlooked risk of trailering your boat. Pulling a boat is no easy task, and you have to know how to drive a big vehicle pulling a large trailer. If you already are used to hauling a big RV around then this may not be as big of a deal, but to the new boater, hauling a boat can be a daunting task. What’s more – having to wait in line at the boat ramp, parking your truck and trailer in the public boat ramp lot, worrying about having your truck broken into or someone stealing your trailer tires – it all adds up to a lot of worry that can be easily avoided by forking over the money for a slip rental.