Speed boats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, different performance characteristics, and other extra options. If you are in the market looking for an appropriate speed boat with the performance and aesthetics that fit your needs, where would you start and how much does a speed boat cost exactly?
We will discuss how much speed boats cost and not necessarily just the upfront cost but including the hidden costs as well. Plus there will be a list of the 10 most popular speed boats out there to give some examples.
What is a Speed Boat?
A speed boat is a type of boat designed for high speed hence the name. Mainly used for fishing, cruising, and water sports, and come in lengths of around 15 to 30 feet. Powered by either a sterndrive or outboard motor, these boats can output massive amounts of power enough to propel their heft at a high speed.
In short, if speed and performance are what you are looking for, then look no further because a speed boat is exactly designed with that purpose in mind.
That said if you are looking for one, it begs the question of how much does a speed boat cost, right?
On Average, How Much Do Speed Boats Cost
With many different types of speed boats and different brand name manufacturers out there, speed boat prices actually vary quite widely. The most important consideration being inboard vs outboard motors, which will be discussed later on in this guide, as this factor alone can greatly influence the cost of a speed boat.
You can get a speed boat for as little as $20,000 for a low-end base model, but if you are willing to spend a huge sum for a top-end inboard motor speed boat it could cost you up to $4,000,000 and that’s a lot of zeroes.
But on average for the budget segment, a $100,000 one should be appropriate enough for most use case scenarios.
What are the Price Ranges for Different Types of Speed Boats?
Although prices vary from minor types of speed boats. Examples of these minor types would be Bowriders, Trawlers, Bay Boats, Bass Boats, Deck Boats, Cruisers, and high-performance boats. The major factor in driving their respective price ranges would be the availability of an inboard or outboard motor.
For inboard motor speed boats, a rough price range would be around the $27,000 mark all the way up to the $1,600,000 mark.
Outboard motors on the other hand start as low as $18,000 and climbing up to a similar price of top-end outboard motor-type speed boats, but mostly for luxury and aesthetics.
Generally, with the same power and performance characteristics, an inboard motor will always be more expensive compared to an outboard one.
Factors Driving the Cost
As you read through this guide, you'll start asking yourself as to why do speed boats cost the way they do and is a million-dollar boat really that much better than a $20,000 one?
One of the primary factors driving speed boat cost is size. naturally, a bigger boat will need larger more powerful motors and more material and thus will be more expensive than a smaller speed boat with lighter weight and lesser power requirements.
The motor type is another consideration not to be taken lightly as not only does it affect cost but also the potential performance and overall useability of your speed boat.
With regards to most speed boats, the options usually are just inboard vs outboard motors. A special type of motor called sterndrives does exist, but these are quite exceptional and also quite expensive.
For most speed boats though outboard motors are usually the more affordable choice for the same amount of power output compared to inboard motors which are more often than not the more expensive choice. Do keep in mind that cost isn’t the only thing where these motors differ, and this will be discussed in a later part of this guide.
Boat manufacturers love to take care of their customers and really tailor-make their boats to fit your wants and needs. That said high-end speed boats have special luxury options such as leather seats, extra navigational electronics, heated seats, and wooden floors. If you want the boat of your dreams, chances are a boat manufacturer has your back, provided you have the financial capacity to pay for it.
In short the simpler your boat is the cheaper it is, and the more features packed into it, the more expensive.
Fees and Taxes
Now this differs from place to place, so do check your local regulations regarding speed boats. Licenses and fees are usually flat costs and to some extent are affected by the size and power output of your speed boat. Taxes, on the other hand, are mostly percentage-based, and scales quite quickly as your boat’s price goes up.
Most Popular Speed Boats
Here is a shortlist of popular speed boats, their sizes, and price.
1. Chaparral Boats 210 Suncoast
This is a 20-foot 10-inch outboard motor speed boat and costs around $39,000.
2. Chaparral Boats 223 Vortex VR
Another boat straight from Chaparral, the Vortex VR is a 22-foot 3-inch inboard motor speed boat and costs around $45,000.
3. G3 Boats Bay 22 DLX
The Bay 22 DLX from G3 Boats is a 22-foot outboard motor speed boat and costs around $43,000.
4. Chaparral Boats 227 SSX
The 227 SSX from Chaparral Boats is a 23-foot outboard motor speed boat and costs around $51,000.
5. Bayliner VR5
The Bayliner VR5 is a 20-foot 4-inch inboard motor speed boat and costs around $27,000.
6. Sea Ray SLX 250
The SLX 250 from Sea Ray is a 25-foot 6-inch inboard motor speed boat and costs around $90,000.
7. G3 Boats Bay 18
The Bay 18 from G3 boats is an 18-foot outboard motor speed boat and costs around $23,500.
8. Ranger Z175
The Ranger Z175 is a 17-foot 6-inch outboard motor speed boat and costs around $26,000.
9. G3 Boats Bay 20
Another offering from G3 Boats the Bay 20 is a 20-foot outboard motor speed boat and costs around $27,500.
10. Bayliner 170
The Bayliner 170 is a 17-foot 6-inch outboard motor speed boat and costs around $18,000.
How Much Does it Cost to Maintain and Run a Speed Boat Annually?
In order to actually use your boat on different bodies of water, you’re going to need some method of transporting it, and the boat trailer is an upfront cost you need to pay for to enjoy the boat, plus any other licenses and fees needed for driving the trailer. You'll also want to make sure your boat trailer is secure from thieves.
This costs somewhere around $700 to over $4000.
Marine gas is a bit of a premium compared to car gas, plus the larger and the more powerful your boat, the more fuel you’re going to need for each trip.
On average this should be roughly $400 an hour for a 150 hp engine operating nonstop.
This comes as a percentage cost of your boat and is a recurring fee. Check out how much pontoon boat insurance costs for an idea.
Assuming you’re going to dock your boat and keep it on the water for extended periods of time, you’re going to have to consider these costs. This ranges from $80-$250 per year for annual mooring rates.
You could also keep it in your garage, but if you’d prefer renting out a storage area, then it should cost you $160-$290 per month.
Cleaning your boat, plus checks for damage, scuffed paint, oil changes, and spare parts, these costs vary from boat to boat, but should roughly equate to 10% of the boat’s cost annually.
Inboard vs Outboard
Inboard motors as the name suggests are housed within the speed boat, keeping it away from the elements and any potential external damage, but at the cost of some internal space and the ease of maintenance. They also happen to cost more and they come together with the boat during construction.
Outboard motors on the other hand are external motors attached to your boat. This means that they are easily serviceable and replaceable plus maintenance is significantly easier along with some space gains as outboard motors tend to be smaller not to mention more affordable than inboard motors.
A speed boat is quite a versatile vessel and as such it has a ton of variety in its monetary value. That said the upfront cost of a speed boat should not be the only thing that you should consider as there is also a sizeable amount of hidden costs associated with owning a speed boat.
In summary, consider the speed boat that fits your budget, and add another 50% to that cost to ensure that you will be able to cover all costs associated with the speed boat for a few years.
Now you know how much does a speed boat cost in total.