Why should you purchase an American Fiberglass Pool vs. a boat?


Chances are that you already know each of these investments can cost about the same. If you expect me to say that owning a boat is not enjoyable, think again. I have owned several and my family had a blast almost every time we were able to drag the boat to the ramp! So here are my thoughts and feel free to share yours!


1. FUEL. Yes, that boat and the truck you tow it to water in both consume a lot of that expensive, nasty, fossil fuel. Can anyone tell me why fuel at a dock is always at least 25% higher than the gas station just down the street? Every boat owner knows that spending $100-$200 a day for fuel is more the norm than actually catching a mess of fish. Sometimes those fish get mighty pricey when it’s a slow day with the fishing pole. Use your boat a lot? Expect to spend $2000 in fuel and additives a season.

If you are not so fortunate to be able to have that extra garage space, you are likely storing your boat somewhere. If you are a saltwater boater, you likely prefer dry storage. These fees go on all year, even while you can’t use the boat due to weather conditions. Storage fees will typically average around $3000 a year for 20’ – 30’ boats.

Everything in life that moves people or freight has to have insurance. Even if you “bundle” all your possessions and use the Gecko, the Caveman, or the squealing pig for your insurance, expect to pay at least $1250 a year on your boat and trailer insurance.

This is an expensive but necessary evil. Who wants to be 15 miles offshore and have to pay a towing fee since your motor quit? Batteries need to be properly charged, motors require tune ups every 90 hours. Hulls need to be washed and polished for protection. Gas tanks need to be drained and cleaned. Shall I go on? One tank of bad fuel and POW! right in the kisser; a quick grand disappears before your very eyes! Is it easy to put a real cost to all this stuff? Not at all. I believe most boat owners will tell you they spend at least $2500 a year on maintenance and related items.

Even though they are not hard $$$ costs, there are other things that will affect your boat owning experience.
A. WEATHER – Not too many of us like long, rough boat rides that can cause you to want to go straight to the chiropractor after hitting the dock.
B. SEASONAL – Recreational boaters don’t like boating 5-6 months out of the year.
All those payments and other costs keep on rolling in in spite of weather conditions.

Boats usually have a one year warranty. That’s not much considering the amount they cost. American Fiberglass Pools have a Lifetime Limited Warranty; that sounds exceptional compared to one year!


If you elect, like most folks, to get a saltwater chlorination system installed on your American Fiberglass Pool, you will spend very little money except on a few inexpensive water balance chemicals every 6-8 weeks. Most of our American Fiberglass Pool customers tell us they spend under $300 a year on pool chemicals.

All American Fiberglass Pools are installed with auto time clocks that allow you to operate the pool filtration system as little as six hours a day. Put a robotic pool cleaner in the pool and that becomes as little as four hours per day. Again, our customers report spending around $250 a year on electricity to operate the pool.

American Fiberglass Pools in most areas of the country are swimmable for up to 8 months of every year. If you install a spa along with your American Fiberglass Pool, you can us it every day of the year! Using your pool or spa does not mean having to get dressed, pack a lunch, or top off the tank like a boat does.

OK, so let’s sum all this up.
To keep a boat ready to hit the water at any time it will cost most boat owners at least $8,750 a year.
An American Fiberglass Pool kept swim ready for those BBQ’s and parties, or for a midnight dip, according to a survey of our owners, cost around $550 a year.
                                             5 years          10 years           20 years
Boat ownership cost:         $43,750          $87,500           $175,000

Pool ownership cost:          $2,750            $5,500              $11,000

Sure things like pumps, filters, salt cells, etc. have to be replaced on pools every 10 years or so, but you sure won’t get 10 years of use on a boat motor that runs in saltwater. Buying a new boat motor for $14,000 will sure pay for at least 8-9 completely new pool equipment change outs.

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18 Responses to “Why should you purchase an American Fiberglass Pool vs. a boat?”

  1. D.Grant says:

    Our family was torn between getting a pool or a boat. My wife and I intended to sit down this weekend to figure out our cost of ownership on each purchase. Now that you have done so for us, we will be shpping pools for sure instead of going to the boat show!
    We live in the northeast, very likely some of the cost here will be more than you Texans have to pay. Everything is more expensive up here and we are jealous of your low gas prices……

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Glad we were able to point you in the right direction toward a pool purchase. Just so you know, our gas prices here are too much as well.

  2. Sqeaky Wheel says:

    Seems like the older we get, the more we enjoy our pool and spa.Our boat has been gathering cobwebs for years and we no longer enjoy getting beat up in boat rides.We use the pool almost every day for water aerobics and many of our friends join us at least 4 times a week.Our backyard has become the center of attentionfor almost all of our activities.We could not live without our pool and spa. The boat however, Craig’s list here we come!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      I agree whole heartedly about enjoying the pool and spa even more when you are a seasoned citizen! A lot easier to exercise in the water than being a land lubber. Good luck on selling that boat!

  3. Bocatexas says:

    What is that old adage?
    The 2 happiest days of a boat owner’s life are the day the boat was purchased and the day the boat was sold?
    Anyone want to say Amen?

  4. Toledo Ben says:

    The drought was so bad here in east Texas that the lakes are down up to 16 ft.
    We cannot even launch our boat since all the ramps are closed. Even if your boat is in the water already, the stumps,trees, and debris is virtually a mine field ready to destroy a prop or lower unit. Looks like the weather genuis’ are saying we should expect another 2-3 years of this nonsense. The only way to make our lake home waterfront property again is by building a pool.Can you have the nearest American Fiberglass pool builder email us?

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hi Ben, We have forwarded at your request your information to our nearest American Fiberglass Pool dealer. Happy swimming (soon)!

  5. Chop Top says:

    Want to own a boat? Get a sail boat, at least you won’t have to buy gas, get tune ups, and pay less insurnce…………

  6. Sam Wiel says:

    I have had a few boats & many pools over the years here in LA. I must admit that the pools were used much more than the boats. My kids prefered the pools[my wife too] more than boating. The only one that liked the boats more was me.
    Long & short……I was out voted!!

  7. Freddie says:

    A pool will be the entertainment extrordinaire spot in your life.
    Boats are fun too but way too much work.

  8. Lorenzo says:

    We took our boat out for the 1st time this year this very week end.
    My drunk brother forgot to put in the plug inspite of my constant reminders.
    To make a long story short, the boat sank at the ramp.
    Thank Goodness a guy nearby had a backhoe and was able to pull the boat back up the ramp.He only charged me his childrens rate since he felt sorry for me. That was $150.
    The boat has several gouges, lots of scratches,the batterrys have to be replaced,the fuel system flushed,and I don’t even know what needs to be done to the motor yet.
    It is all MY FAULT! My wife wanted me to BBQ by our sparkling pool.
    I should have listened to her as usual.She is always right. I am glad I did take her advise and built a fiberglass pool last spring. We took several bids and she insisted on the American Fiberglass Pool brand.
    We can honestly say that our pool has been all that we expected it to be….even better!
    Happy trails……..Lorenzo and Yvonne

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Lorenzo, Sorry to hear about your issues at the boat ramp. I suggest you keep your Bro away from the beer cooler no matter where you are! As for your wife, since I know her I can verify that she is one smart lady! I’m pleased to hear your American Fiberglass Pool is such a pleasure to be in!

  9. Terry says:

    I work shift work 12 hours every day. All day long I think about my pool and spa at home. I cannot wait to get there even now.
    As for my boat……..it has not been out of the shed in years. Once my wife and kids finally talked me into a pool, our family life has gone off the scale!
    Anyone interested in a 21′ Hydrosport center console?

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hey Terry. Sorry, I don’t need a boat. Pleased to hear that your pool has become such a benefit to your family!