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There's a Boat for Every Personality ... and Every Pocketbook.

Boating Fits Your Budget.

Apart from the whole floating-on-water thing, cars and boats have many similarities, including how they can be financed.

In fact, most new boats cost less than your average car. In this section, we supply you with the tools to help you set a budget, information on how and where to finance, and tips on determining the right insurance policy for your boat. We’ll also introduce you to some of our friends who share some thoughts on boating and budgeting (boating is the ultimate social activity, after all).

What's Inside This Chapter:

  • Loan Calculator
  • Financing
  • Insuring
  • Useful Tips

Testimonials: Boating
is a worthy investment.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking (or been told) that a boat “isn't in the budget.” Truth is, boating is an activity like playing a round of golf, bringing the whole family to a baseball game, or taking your significant other out for dinner and a movie.

Consider the cost of just one trip to travel and stay at a theme park or resort (we did some research, it’s not cheap). You could pay all that money to be cooped up in a car or plane, wait in countless lines and eat mass-prepared meals (once!), OR you could own a boat that you could take out as many times as you want. Boating is a never-ending vacation. And best of all, you won’t have creepy cartoon characters coming up to you asking for hugs.

There’s also a big myth about the “hidden cost” of boating. Let’s get something clear: It’s so not true. Just like any vehicle, there is upkeep, maintenance and other typical annual expenditures. No mermaid is going to pick your pocket while you’re enjoying a sunset cruise on the lake.

“If you just change your lifestyle a little bit, you can have a whole other world open to you.”

“It gives back more than you could ever put into it.”

“It’s worth the time and effort ... it’s changed our lives.”

Loan Calculator

Simple math:
U/H20=FUn(you over the water = good times)

Three words: Boating is affordable.

If you know the price of a particular boat and how much you can spend per month on one, you can use our online loan calculator to help you make your dream of owning a boat a reality. It’s simple to use, and you’ll be surprised by how easy it will be to plan for.

We’ll even help you calculate additional costs, such as fuel, maintenance and insurance. We’ll also help you determine average loan rates and terms via the National Marine Banker’s Association.

No need to thank us. The joy that will be on your face is thanks enough. If you want to ask us out for a day on the water, however, that would be fine with us, too..

Financing

For some, the idea of financing is as fun as running out of gas in the middle of the lake during a downpour in the middle of night. But if you’re prepared and know the conditions, it can be smooth sailing.

Lenders, such as banks, credit unions and even dealers, have learned that boat buyers like you are excellent loan clients. Why wouldn’t they be? Have you ever heard anyone exclaim, “I don’t trust that boater!”? We haven’t.

Deciding what kind of boat to buy is only one part of your buying process. Determining your budget, finding the type of loan you need, comparing rates and negotiating terms are equally important steps.

There is a ton of financing information and more in our buying and financing section.

Insuring

Boat insurance is an important way to protect your investment. Consult your agent, talk to your local dealer, or even ask a fellow boater for a little advice about policies and coverage. Look for an “A” rating or better, and find an agency that can tailor a policy to fit your boating needs.

Useful Tips

  • Consider adding a separate policy to insure your boat rather than tacking it on to your home or vehicle policy—they may not address marine risks.
  • When choosing a policy, find one that covers “separate but equal amount of funds for salvage work.” This will compensate you not only for your boat, but also for its removal from the water in the case of an accident.
  • Decide if you want an “agreed value” or “actual value” policy. The agreed-value policy covers your boat at whatever price you and the lender establish. Depreciation is not a factor. It usually costs more money than an actual value policy, which covers your boat only to its actual cash value.

You keep life vests in the boat to keep your passengers safe. Make sure you select the right financing plan and insurance policy to keep you protected as well.