Here’s some tips to save from our friends at BoatUS:
CONSIDER NON-MARINE PRODUCTS
In general, purchase marine products, especially anything electrical. But some items, such as oil filters, air cleaners, cable ties, spray lubricants, quality stainless fasteners, and sandpaper, can be bought at local hardware stores or online at a lower cost than at a marine retailer. Read labels and specs to be sure that a product is not inappropriate for your boat and circumstances.
CLEAN OLD BOATING STUFF OUT OF THE GARAGE, AND BUY USED
Some less-expensive used parts, such as anchors, can be just as good as new. See if there are any marine-salvage stores in your area. If you find one, sell your own extra boat stuff and marine hardware. Even pieces of teak or old teak cabinet doors are a find for crafty people.
SHOP AROUND FOR A MARINA
You may be comfortable in your marina and dutifully pay the annual bill.
But are you getting the best deal?
If there are other marinas in your area, shop around; some are operating at less-than-full capacity and would love to have you. (Be sure to explore why one marina may have openings and others don’t by checking online for comments from other boaters.)
For the sake of a few phone calls and moving his boat to another location, one of our editors saved $1,000/year; though in some parts of the country where marinas are much less expensive, this figure may be very different.
BE IMAGINATIVE WITH SOLUTIONS
Buying a used inner tube costs very little (often tire shops give them away). You can cut them up into shapes suitable for storage and use them for all sorts of onboard issues, such as temporary gaskets.
AFTERMARKET GOLD MINE
If your boat and gear is out of warranty, investigate aftermarket parts. If those parts have the same or better specs, they may save you many hundreds of dollars over the “official” part sold by the engine manufacturer.
Buy your engine oil in bulk. An average quart of some types of OBM marine oil may go for around $14. A gallon may go for $40 (a $16 savings). A 4-gallon case goes for about $110 (another $50 in savings, and $114 less than buying it by the quart). Now imagine the savings if you have twin outboards that take 6 or 7 quarts of oil twice a season. If your dockmates all use the same kind of oil, buy cases at a discount.