Buying your boat

Owning a boat may be one of the big decisions you will make in your life.  Do not make the mistake of thinking you are buying a car because you are not. For starters, boats are consistently in sea water so you can expect more wear and tear of parts. They are also a lot more difficult to sell than you typical Toyota. And as long as you haven't sold the boat, you need to keep paying for the berthing fees. There is a whole wealth of information available on our website to help you in the process of buying a boat. We are also specialists in importing used boats from the US. Give us a call at (65)96618345 for us to share with you the process of importing a boat. Below are some considerations.

What kind of boat should I get?

Popular Boats



What can you do?


Cuddy cabins are small boats with a tiny cabin near the bow. They are used typically for day trips to islands as well as fishing and other on water activities.

Stern drive or Outboard motor. Mostly petrol driven

Suitable for small families or group of friends who want to access islands via beach or low jetties. Good for beginners as it is easy to drive. When you run into a storm, you can keep your kids dry by packing them into the small cabin.


Bowriders are open deck boats typically between 15 to 30 feet or more. They are used for a number of on-water activities such as water skiing, island hopping, fishing or just chilling out under the sun. 


Stern drive or Outboard motor. Mostly petrol driven

These are usually powerful fun boats to drive. They are an open deck breed of boats which allow passengers to sit in the front, the back and even hanging out from the back. As they have low drafts, you can use them to access islands via the beaches and are usually easy to drive and berth. Good boat for beginners but they don't handle big waves well.


Walkabouts are utility boats that are used typically for fishing and other activities. They come with a small cabin and depending on their length, some others even come with a head (marine toilet)....


Stern drive or Outboard motor. Mostly petrol driven

Walkabouts typically have deep V hulls so they will handle bigger waves well. They are usually used for fishing and the angler can literally walk around the boat while chasing the fish. Such boats would come with baitwells and livewells and a small cabin with a toilet to keep the fisherman happy while out at sea.


Cabin cruisers are typically between 25->40 feet in length. They have a cabin, kitchenette, toilet and even a v-berth for resting. The larger cruisers would usually come with airconditioning and a power generator which makes living aboard more bearable.

Stern drive or shaft drives. Smaller cruisers are usually petrol driven and the larger ones may come with diesel engines

There are a whole range of cruisers from entry level 24 footers to large 60 footers. The facilities available on these yachts are also different but all of them will come with a cabin with a V berth, toilet(head) and storage in the back berth.  Cruisers have typically deep V hulls and are able to handle choppy waters well.  Due to their weight, they are not easy to refloat once they are beached so stay away from shallow waters and use the jetty for unloading instead.


Convertibles and Yachts are mid sized boats measuring over 35 Feet in length. They would typically come with the creature comforts such as large cabins, toilets, airconditioning etc.


Mostly shaft drives. Smaller yachts are usually petrol driven and the larger ones may come with diesel engines

Flybridges are very comfortable boats to sail in. The driving position is normally on the bridge (though some have controls in the saloon) and passengers can ride in the saloon and have all round visibility of the surrounding seas. Flybridges typically comes with a main saloon with a kitchenette, dining area, living area, and one or two bedrooms and toilets (heads). Such boats are suitable for overnighter as they come with full facilities and airconditioning.

How should I budget for this?

If you set aside a budget of say 100k for a boat for this year, get a boat that costs 70-80k as you will need the rest of the funds for other expenses such as berthing, registration and other works you may want to perform on your boat. If you get a new boat, you will have warranty on any defects and if you get a used boat, you may want to set aside more funds for parts replacement and repairs. Some of the costs you need to plan for are:

a. Cleaning costs (diving to be included for boats in wet berths)

b. Berthing costs (most marinas charge 50% more if your boat is SZH registered)

c. Maintenance costs (do not stinge on this. Cost of repairs are typically much higher than cost of regular maintenance)

d. Sinking fund (this is needed to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances including repairs)

e. Insurance (make sure you get 3rd party liability insurance as well as insurance for our hull and engine/s)

Can I get financing for my boat?

There is financing available for boats. Singapura finance offers financing for boats less than 10 years of age. They typically finance about 60% of the cost of the boat up to about 5 years.

Should I get new or used?

If you are new to boating and you do not have very deep pockets, you may want to consider getting a used boat. You may also want to get a smaller boat with single engine as maintenance and other running costs increase with the size of the boat and number of engines. If you can afford new, go for it as you will have warranty to keep your 1st year of ownership stress free.

To charter or not?

It certainly sounds good to have your boating costs offset by chartering the boat out a few times a month. However, there are costs to register your boat as an SZH instead of an SZ. 1st of all, your registration cost is higher and if your boat has a cabin, you will likely need to undergo a stability test and a class survey.  Such surveys will set you back thousands of dollar before you make your 1st charter dollar. Having said that, if you have a good marketing plan for your boat and you are able to charter your boat 4-5 times a month, you can quickly recover that investment and start offsetting the costs your hobby.

Where shall I berth my Boat?

Bad news is you have limited choices. Most of the marinas in the south of Singapore have a long wait list. Good news is that there are still some berths available. As at the time this article is written, you should still be able to find some berths at RSYC, MCC, SAFYC and RM. Berthing a boat in a certain marina would typically mean that on a typical day out, you will travel at most 10-15nm from the marina as there are fuel cost and travel time considerations, so choose your marina carfeully. Also, in my experience of running charters, charter boats fare better if they are berthed in the marinas south of Singapore.

Am I ready to Skipper my own boat?

In my opinion, getting a PPCDL is not sufficient for you to effectively pilot a boat on your own. Being a skipper comes with responsibility as your passengers rely on you to make decisions on the fly to keep them safe. I would typically encourage new PPCDL holders to go out to sea with an experienced boater at least a few times before doing it solo. To the untrained eye, sea looks open and inviting but seasoned boaters know exactly where to go and where to avoid. One way of fast tracking that experience is to attend the competency course conducted by TheBoatShopAsia. This course consists of 3 legs covering different topics and also provide the attendee with more driving and navigational time, as well as experience on real life emergency scenarios.