Are Boats Cheaper In Mexico?

Boats are a considerable monetary investment, so you will want to make sure to buy a boat that has all of the features that you need  and is also right for your budget. Days spent relaxing, fishing with family, or having a boat party in the middle of the ocean are great but if you are worried about how to make the payment all of the time it certainly takes away a lot of the fun. 

Everyone is always looking for ways to save money on anything that they purchase but will buying a boat in Mexico allow you to save any money? 

Boats in Mexico are typically 10-20% cheaper for the same model than what you would pay in the USA. However, on the secondary market there are far more price fluctuations so you could easily find a used boat cheaper in the USA than anywhere else. 

One thing to keep in mind is that you have to deal with any issues you have to deal with the seller in another country. That can prove difficult if not impossible so that is something that you should keep in mind. 

If you are planning to purchase a boat anytime soon, then Mexico is a great spot. You must be wondering why Mexico could be the best place as there are many other countries that have boats at good prices as well but to know the reason behind choosing Mexico you will need to keep reading. 

There are a variety of reasons to choose Mexico but what type of boat and who it is that is selling it are also important things to consider when buying anywhere but especially out of the country. 

Why choose Mexico to buy a boat?

Mexico is one of the best cruising grounds in the world. With 2,500 miles of coastline, California is protected by the Baja Peninsula. You can find hundreds of gorgeous islands that offer a great place for sailboats. In case if you are keen to buy a cruise, the pacific coast of Mexico would fit the bill just fine as well. Also, choosing such a beautiful place is very much satisfying as well! 

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So where can you have a perfect start for your boat search? One of the best places to begin is the coastal areas to the south of California where you’ll find a lot of sellers and boats like the Rafiki 37 (a great seller) alongside the shores.

What kind of boat are you going to buy?

This should be the first question you ask yourself before thinking of where you want to buy a bot at. As you know, boats are specialized and which one you need is largely determined by the activities and how perfectly it fits into your needs. Mexico is a great place to get you a boat that will meet all of your needs and your taste but you have to know what those needs are ahead of time. 

Think about all the possible scenarios of how you will use your boat before signing on the dotted line to purchase one. Even after you look at something specific, there are many more choices available that would require different types of energy, time, and money to enjoy as you wish. So, take the time to think carefully before you make a choice.

How often are you going to use your boat?

Before you start to search for a boat, make sure you identify its specific purpose. Would it be for fishing, water skiing or even tubing? It’s totally up to you how you plan on using it but knowing how you intend to use it will help you decide on the right type of boat. 

There are many ways to use a boat and your expectations will determine what exactly you are looking for and of course the cost. It might be one of these reasons that you are looking to purchase a boat.

  • Fishing
  • Relaxing with family and friends
  • Sailing
  • Partying (cruise)
  • Sports
  • Trips and ventures

Once you identify the use of your boat you should be able to determine which boat you should buy and then in turn you can find the best place to buy that specific model. 

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Who are those sailors selling their boats?

Baja California and the city of La Paz (a Spanish word meaning peace), is said to be the mecca of the harbor for sailors from all parts of the world. You can easily find a vast variety of boats being sold and typically for cheap prices. You will find boats for sale there like the Pershing 45 Cancun, Sea Ray Sundance, Fountain Pajot Algeria and so many others that are for sale. 

The best part is that even the sailors who come here to sell their boats will also often shop for more efficient boats and take it back to their country in exchange for the old ones.

This is why it’s important to know exactly what model you are wanting before you ever head to Mexico. 

Why could buying a boat in Mexico be cheaper?

If buying a boat is one of your retirement plans or simply a way for you to get away on the weekend then you are in the right place. People who have purchased boats in Mexico have reported saving 20% of the total cost when compared to many other countries. 

However, there is this belief that boats in America and Chesapeake are more expensive, but it’s unpredictable because it depends on the season in which the boats are being sold as well as how quickly the seller has to get rid of the boat. 

Price is just one of the reasons why people prefer Mexico over other countries but there’s something more than the sticker price. In addition to the cost of your boat, there are few other expenses that you will have to handle separately. Those include:

  • Gear type
  • Sufficient storage
  • Docking
  • Fuel
  • Other additions

Other than the cost, it’s also important to check for all kinds of facilities and not just look at a simple price tag. Be sure and look at all of the costs associated with the boat purchase no matter where you are buying it at. 

How to deal with taxes and transportation charges?

If you look deeply into the costs, many of the states impose an estimated tax amount of 5% upon the boat that is to be registered in the state. This is much cheaper than other countries that often impose more than a 20% tax on their state boats. 

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The minimum eligibility criteria for a boat to get registered are that the boat needs to be a minimum of 10 feet in length. 

There exists an exceptional case that says if a boat is transferred by gift and there is no sale between the giver and the taker then the minimum tax for the boat is not applicable. Anyone who claims the boat to be of such type will have to submit a notarized affidavit of the boat in which it has to be mentioned that both the donor and the recipient are under perjury that the vessel has been given as a gift and not actually sold. 

This is to prevent people from trying to use this loophole to try and save on the taxes. 

Also, those boats that have a certificate of ownership from the United States Coast guard are exempted from registration and boat tax. No other country offers such policies for boats and that’s another one of the major reasons why Mexico is the best choice for procuring boats. When a person is paying through the Mexico Motor Vehicle Division for the title, they are supposed to pay the tax within 30 days of ownership. 

The amount that they pay directly goes to the “Boat Suspense Fund”. About 50% of the amount is contributed to the energy, minerals and natural resources department of the country at the end of every month. 


No matter where you choose to buy your next new boat, you will have to decide how you will use it and what type of boat you are interested in before you ever start looking at them locally or in Mexico. Ultimately you will likely be able to save a decent amount of money by purchasing there but there is additional hassle involved. 

Only you can decide if that hassle is worth it or not. 

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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