How long do the boats last?

Buying a boat is an expensive purchase that people consider as a kind of investment. Suffice it to say, there are questions you need to know the answer to when investing. One such question is “how long do the boats last?”

Boats can last between 5 and 50 years, but larger vessels should reach up to 100 years. Let’s take a look at the expected lifespan of watercraft and the factors that affect it.

boat life

Boating is much easier in video games than in real life. An example that illustrates this fact is the game Black Desert Online or BDO, which shows players how long the Black Desert ship lasts, or how much damage the ship can take before it becomes unusable. Thus, players can make decisions that are better suited to each situation.

However, real life sailing is different. There are still ways to determine how long boats can last, but it’s not as practical as looking at the lifespan of a BDO ship. Still, it’s better than nothing.

Unlike the lifespan of BDO boats, the expected lifespan of a watercraft is measured in years. While design and materials contribute greatly to estimated numbers, regular care and maintenance can be an even bigger factor.

A neglected ship may not even last 5 years, and if a boat is used frequently but never maintained, it may be lucky to last a year. To better understand this, it is good to familiarize yourself with what maintenance entails.

Boat maintenance

Every boat owner should be familiar with maintenance. You don’t need to know how to do everything yourself, but you do need to know what needs to be worked on and how often. Do what you can and let the professionals take care of the rest.

As far as a boat is concerned, everything must be maintained; it’s just a matter of dividing them into groups. The main groups are engine, hull, electrical systems, plumbing, moving parts and upholstery. Not all ships would have all of these items, but they are quite common.

Parts distribution

pontoon boats

  • Electrical systems and plumbing should be checked periodically. Many rely on the work of professionals for these, but it shouldn’t cost too much as their maintenance isn’t often needed (about once a year).
  • The moving parts and upholstery are somewhat similar in that they don’t need frequent maintenance, although simple care such as cleaning is very helpful.
  • The engine is something that will have to be mastered over time because in the event of a problem in navigation, you can only rely on yourself.
  • There are also simple maintenance and checks that should be done on the engine before and after setting off on the boat, such as using the correct fuel without ethanol, fixing the battery and making sure it has no corrosion. , and check the propeller shaft. .
  • The hull is probably the easiest to maintain, but it’s the one you’ll probably spend the most time on.

Unfortunately, hull maintenance involves a lot of things. Cleaning, waxing, polishing, gel coat repair and painting are just a few of the things you may need to do at some point in your life as a boat owner.

But caring for the hull is also one of the most rewarding things to work on, because doing it directly contributes to the beauty of your boat.

The value of boat maintenance


Much of what you’ll do to maintain your boat will have something to do with cleaning, and while that sounds like a hassle, it keeps things simple.

Remember that water and moisture can damage the boat, and cleaning the interior and exterior will help prevent such damage. On the other hand, it becomes difficult once your boat has suffered damage and it becomes a bigger and more expensive problem the longer it goes unresolved.

Boat maintenance is also important for other reasons. This will help keep your vessel reliable and safe to use. A boat that behaves strangely in many situations is difficult to maneuver and prone to accidents.

Regular maintenance also allows you to retain greater value from a boat. It’s not just that a well-maintained ship is more valuable, but a neglected ship will have no value to speak of at any given time. If you want to keep your options open, good maintenance will allow you to sell your boat.

Types of Boats and Expected Lifespan

Different types of boats will have different expected lifespans, but various factors affect longevity. These factors include the material they are made of and how they are used. Different materials also face different challenges that affect how easy or difficult they are to maintain.

The design also plays a role, but it is more difficult to integrate into a quote. For now, let’s use the material to categorize the boats. Peak year estimates are made assuming that the boats are well maintained.

1. Aluminum

how long-you-can-leave-a-fiberglass-boat-in-the-water

How long do aluminum boats last? 15 to 30 years is expected on average. However, it is not uncommon for them to last up to 50 years.

The biggest challenge for this type of watercraft is corrosion, especially when used in salt water, which makes hull maintenance essential. Many types of boats use aluminum, with Jon boats and pontoons often making the list.

2. Fiberglass

This material is used in a wide variety of vessels, such as sailboats, and is known for its durability. These craft have an expected lifespan of 10 to 25 years, but can easily reach 50 years as well.

However, fiberglass is prone to UV damage, which makes its gel coat extremely important for its longevity. Gel coat maintenance is known to take a lot of time and effort. To make your job easier, use products that clean and wax the boat in one pass.

3. Steel

This material is expected to last between 40 and 75 years, but is more difficult to work with and is generally limited to use in larger vessels such as container ships. This material is also much heavier than aluminum and fiberglass, which makes steel watercraft difficult to control.

4. Wood


These should last around 10 to 25 years, which is a big improvement considering how short-lived wooden boats were in the past. The biggest advantage of wooden boats is their ease of repair compared to other types. Wood is also popular for people looking to build their craft from scratch.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long can a fiberglass boat be left in the water?

It can stay in water for up to a month. Any longer than this will likely result in hull damage such as cracks, leaks, or water buildup.

2. How old is too old for a boat?

He may be too old if he is over 50. The exception would be if it is a special type of boat, or if it has some sort of cultural or historical significance and has been specially maintained.


How long do the boats last? Now you know that boats can last from 5 to 50 years, some can last up to 100 years. More importantly, you know what’s going on to ensure a vessel runs for a long time.

If you have any comments and suggestions or have any experiences to share, please leave them below. We would love to hear from you.

Remember to navigate safely.

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