You may want to buy a boat for many reasons. You could be
a commercial fisherman looking to add to your fleet. Or you
could want a sail or power boat for some fun with the family.
Perhaps you're looking into purchasing a yacht as your home
away from home. In any case, you will probably be looking
for a boat loan to help finance your plan. Here are some important
things to consider when contemplating your loan--and your
First of all, boats are classified as recreational vehicles;
they are a luxury, not a necessity, so the terms of a loan
will be stricter than those for a house or car. That said,
there are many banks and marine lenders out there who offer
loans for all kinds of boats, including power and sail boats,
high-performance boats, "liveaboards," older wooden
boats, or even multi-hull models.
Before you check out boats, you may want to get pre-approved
for a loan first, so you can shop with confidence--and within
your means. You will need to provide the same information
you would for almost any kind of loan: two years' worth of
your tax returns, proof of income, and your monthly expenditures.
Your prospective lender will most likely examine your credit
score as well. The minimum amount most lenders are willing
to finance is $25,000; some will go as low as $15,000. Keep
in mind that you will have to furnish a down payment of at
least 10 percent of the boat's value.
Plot a Course to Your Boat Loan
Once you decide what kind of boat you want--and which ones
you can afford--you're ready to go shopping. Keep in mind
that there are other expenses involved with having a boat,
including insurance, fuel, dockage, and maintenance costs.
With these realities in mind, you'll be ready to sail into
the sunset on the boat of your dreams.