How Much is a Boat?

How Much Does a Boat Cost?

Written by Carolyn Jackson

How Much Is a Boat?

The thing about boat pricing is that it’s extremely diverse. You can get a used fishing boat for $1K and you can also buy a superyacht for millions of dollars. The range, even within the same boat categories ranges wildly. However, looking at the market holistically, the average price of a new boat in 2018 was $42,000. The average price of a used boat in 2018 was $10,000. And the average price of a boat trailer was $2,400.
You do, however, need to look at your desired boat category. The most popular type of boat in the US, the pontoon, is a perfect example. You can buy a new pontoon for about $30K, but you can also buy a new pontoon for over $200K. In a lot of ways, this is similar to the automotive industry. A Ford sedan might start at $20K, but another luxury brand sedan could start at $80K or more. Or if you compare a sedan to a truck, the price also will fluctuate. The point is, as you begin your search for your dream boat, remember that budget is an important first step. Knowing whether you want to purchase a $30K pontoon or a $200K pontoon will help narrow down your search and make your boat buying experience smoother.
In this article, we will cover 7 of the most popular types of boats and a price range for how much you might expect to pay for that type of boat. We will also list some manufacturers in different price ranges for each type of boat. This article should give you a good idea of how much each type of boat typically costs (from an NAP perspective, please keep in mind there are other expenses when purchasing a boat like certifications, upgrades to engines, a trailer, dealer fees, taxes, storage, maintenance, etc that all factor into the total cost of ownership) and give you a good place to start your boat buying journey. So all aboard!

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How Much Does a Boat Cost?

We cover current pricing for the following 7 categories of boats:

  • Deck Boat
  • Bass Boat
  • Center Console Boat
  • Pontoon Boat
  • Bowrider Boat
  • Ski Boat


How Much Does A Deck Boat Cost?

You can expect to pay somewhere between $40K and $150K for a deck boat.
The trademark feature of a deck boat is, you guessed it, a deck. These watercraft have an open deck area from the front to the back of the boat, which provides an open seating area for small groups of people. These boats are typically in a V shape, as opposed to a Pontoon rectangular shape. Deck boats are typically 20 – 32 feet in length and are popularly used for recreational activities like swimming, water sports, and cruising.

Some Examples:

Crownline $$$
2020 Crownline E 235

– NAP $65,995

2020 Crownline 264 CR

– NAP $106,995

Starcraft $
2020 Starcraft 191 SVX

– NAP $43,980

Other Deck Boat Manufacturers:

  • Four Winns $$
  • Hurricane $$
  • Stingray $$
  • Regal $$


How Much Is A Bass Boat?

Bass boats range pretty widely in their cost, but most of the cost is from add ons and you can definitely find an affordable bass boat. The aluminum bass boats will almost always be less expensive than fiberglass bass boats. You can expect to pay between $20K and $90K for a new bass boat.
Unsurprisingly, a Bass Boat is a boat made specifically for catching bass fish. These boats are equipped and designed for catching bass and other panfish, usually in freshwater. Modern bass boats feature swivel chairs, which allow the angler to cast their rod from any position in any direction. The boats have storage bins for bait, rods, and lures in addition to live wells where the fish can be kept alive while you continue to fish. Bass Boats are traditionally outboard boats and some have a trolling motor, which allows you to cruise at a very slow and consistent pace. They are usually aluminum or fiberglass.
Some Examples:
Ranger $$$
2020 Ranger 622FS PRO Fiberglass

– NAP $81,795

2020 Ranger Z518L Fiberglass

– NAP $49,095

2020 Ranger 1862cc Aluminum

– NAP $20,695

Xpress $
2020 Xpress X19 PRO

– NAP $31,995

2020 Xpress X17 PRO

– NAP $22,995

Other Bass Boat Manufacturers:

  • BassCat $$$
  • Crestliner $
  • Lund $$
  • Triton $$


How Much Does A Center Console Cost?

Center consoles might have the biggest variation in price on our list. High end, luxury center console boats built for open salt waters and with all the amenities can cost over $1M. However, other, less luxurious and smaller center consoles can cost as little as $30K.
Center Consoles get their name because the console, or steering cockpit area in any boat, is located smack dab in the middle of the boat. They are easily recognizable because you can walk completely around the boat, circling the steering wheel. Center Console boats do not have a cabin or foredeck. These boats make great fishing boats, especially sport fishing in offshore waters. They are usually equipped with fish lockers, rod holders and other tech and equipment for fishing.
Some Examples:
Contender $$$
2020 Contender 39 Fisharound

– Approx $700,000

2020 Contender 28 T

– Approx $230,000

Scarab $
2020 Scarab 255 Open G

– NAP $58,214

2020 Scarab 195 Open ID

– NAP $33,929

Other Center Console Manufacturers:

  • Boston Whaler $$
  • Everglades $$
  • Pursuit $$
  • Regulator $$$


How Much Is A Pontoon Boat?

Pontoon cost is all about the length of the boat and the seemingly endless array of add ons and upgrades you can have customized for your boat. Most new pontoons will cost you somewhere between $30K and $60K, but that price can climb once you start with accessories and upgrades. Some pontoon brands do start with a higher NAP, like Bennington, so arm yourself with a budget and stick to it when you begin your pricing research.
Pontoons are one of the most popular inland water boats. They are flat, rectangular boats, which feature a wide and spacious area for passengers to move about. They float with two pontoons attached to the bottom of the boat (they look like canoes). The pontoons contain a significant amount of buoyancy, allowing pontoon designers to create massive deck space fitted with tons of additions and luxuries, like bars, lounge chairs, slides, etc. Pontoons range from 15ft-30ft and are often thought of as party boats.
Some Examples:
Bennington $$$
2019 Bennington 25QXSBWIO

– Approx $117,495

2019 Bennington 28RSRX

– Approx $109,995

Regency $$
2020 Regency 250 LE3

– NAP $71,995

2020 Regency 230 DL3

– $46,995

Harris $
2020 Harris Sunliner 230

– NAP $$31,297

2020 Harris Cruiser LX 180

– NAP $18,731

Other Pontoon Manufacturers:

  • Sun Tracker $$
  • Lowe $
  • Manitou $$$
  • Premier $$$


How Much Does A Bowrider Cost?

Bowriders also range significantly in price. Some larger bowriders can climb in price to $250K and even higher whereas you can buy the same style boat, but smaller and less equipped for under $20K. Know what you want, but also consider what you need when researching a bowrider.
Bowriders are famous for their open bow, which is the front part of the classically V-shaped boat. They have a traditional seating area in the back of the boat, and then additional seating in the bow. They are typically a bit smaller than a deck boat ranging from 17’ to 35’ and holding 6-10 passengers and run very smoothly. They can have an inboard or outboard engine and typically have a deck on the back to make an easy entry for swimming and water sports.
Some Examples:
Chaparral $$$
2020 Chaparral 300 OSX

– NAP $252,333

2020 Chaparral 250 Suncoast

– NAP $74,295

Bayliner $
2020 Bayliner 160 Bowrider

– NAP $16,499

2020 Bayliner VR5 Bowrider

– NAP $ 28,399

Other Bowrider Manufacturers:

  • Bryant $$$
  • Crownline $$$
  • Four Winns $$
  • Monterey $$


How Much Is A Ski Boat?

Ski boats are a slightly more expensive boat in general, but their pricing varies slightly less than some of the other categories of boats we have covered today. Expect to pay somewhere between $35K and $200K for a good, new ski boat.
Ski Boats have come a long way since their inception in the 60s. The trademark of a good Ski Boat is being able to pull hard from a dead stop and to create the smallest wake possible, creating optimum conditions for water skiing. Ski Boats don’t need to be extremely fast, as most skiers prefer speeds in the low to mid-30s. Ski Boats traditionally feature an inboard engine and a back deck for easy loading and unloading. They are also known for their V shape, which helps with their goal to create flat wakes and highly responsive handling.
Some Examples:
Mastercraft $$$
2020 Mastercraft X22

– NAP $147,860

2020 Mastercraft XT25

– NAP $128,730

Heyday $
2019 Heyday WT-1SC

– NAP $39,999

2019 Heyday WT-SURF

– NAP $57,999

Other Ski Boat Manufacturers:

  • Malibu $$
  • Tige $
  • Nautique $$
  • Supra $


Are Some Manufacturers More Expensive Than Others?

Definitely. Although most boat manufacturers try to give you a range of pricing options within their lineup of products, some manufacturers are inherently geared toward higher pricing than other manufacturers.
For example, Hatteras only sells larger boats in the 60’ to 80’ range, which routinely cost millions and are known for their luxurious and spacious amenities.
Bayliner is known for being one of the most affordable brands in the marine industry. They are able to combine quality and affordability, especially in their bowrider line. Another brand known for its more affordable products is Harris. Their pontoons and ski boats alike are priced on the lower end for those types of boats.

Cost of Owning a Boat

When purchasing a boat, the NAP of the boat is only one expense you need to consider. You can expect dealer fees, taxes, certifications, continual maintenance, boat storage and transportation, gas, etc. You will also likely need to purchase one (or more) engines separately as most boats do not come with an engine, or at least do not include the cost of an engine in their NAP. Another cost consideration is a trailer, which you will need to transport the boat from the dealer to its desired location. The reward of getting out on the water as often as you want is well worth the work.


As you begin your boat buying journey, the best place to start is to set a budget. Know what you can afford and see how it would break down into monthly payments. There are dozens of manufacturers and types of boats available so you can definitely find one that fits your needs within your budget.

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