Boat owner enjoying the lake.

Reasons Not To Buy A Boat

If you are thinking about buying a boat, you are probably dreaming about all of the fun that you will have out on the water. The last thing that you are thinking about is all of the problems of boat ownership. We would hate to rain on your parade but, the forecast is calling for showers. Read on before you commit to that new boat.

The Dream Of Boat Ownership

“The best boat in the world is the one that your buddy owns.”

Owning a boat is the dream of many but you might find that it quickly turns into a nightmare. Before you pull the trigger and sign that boat loan contract, here are some things that you should think about. Things that might absolutely wreck your finances and your enjoyment of your spare time.

Boat Loans Are Expensive

Don’t think that you are going to get the same kind of rate that you get with an automobile. It will be a few points higher if you have good credit and a loan for fair credit might be even worse.

From a lender standpoint, boats are a riskier investment. When times are tough, people will keep on paying their car note so that they can get to work. The boat, on the other hand, is the first thing to go. This means default rates on boats can be a bit higher.

In addition, it can be harder to repossess a boat so that it can be sold at auction. A boat is far easier to hide than a car so it takes much more work to get it back if a borrower decides to default.

Finally, boats tend to depreciate faster than vehicles. That is a bad thing since a boat loan is a secured loan. It means if everything went wrong, the bank would have a harder time getting their money back.

All of this adds up to the fact that lenders must charge more interest than they might for the same person for a car loan.

You Have To Insure It

If you have a loan, you certainly need to insure your boat, full coverage. Even if you buy your boat cash though you will probably need to carry liability insurance at a minimum if you want to take it on public waters.

Boat insurance will cost anywhere from 300 dollars to 500 dollars a year. Not as much as auto insurance but it is an added expense none the less.

You Have To Store It

Perhaps you have the room for your boat at home. If not or if you live in an HOA community, you will need to store your boat. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 a month for a parking spot and more if you want it covered.

In addition, every time that you want to use your boat, you have to drive to the storage lot and get it and then return it there when your done. Seems trivial but it could add one hour in travel time each time you want to go boating.

You Might Not Always Want To Use It

But you will be forced to. There might be times when you want to spend a weekend relaxing at home or taking a day trip to the city. Instead, you will think about the money you have invested in your boat and will have to go boating to make the most of it and to justify the expense. It can become more of an obligation than a past time.

Further forcing you to go boating will be the endless line of people who want to go out on your boat. Boating is a great activity if you do not have to pay for it or do the work.

Alternatives To Owning A Boat

Want the ability to get on the water but don’t want all of the expenses or hassle of boat ownership? Here are some great alternatives to consider.

Boat Clubs

Boat clubs have been popping up for years, offering members the chance to take advantage of the thrill of boat ownership without all of the headaches.

For a monthly fee, and sometimes a one time initiation fee, you get access to boats docked at local lakes.

The great thing about boat clubs is what you do not have to deal with. No insurance headaches, no registration and licensing to deal with and absolutely no maintenance. In addition, the boats are docked at the lake which means that you do not need a tow vehicle and do not have to del with the chaos of the boat loading ramp on the weekend.

What you also get with a boat club is variety. You can choose from several different styles of boats so you are not limited to owning just a fishing boat or just a ski boat.

Boat Rental

Don’t want to commit to a boat club, you could always just rent a boat when you want it. How much do you really want to boat anyway. It might be that once a month would satisfy your urge.

If you are just boating once a month, it might make more sense to simply rent a boa when you want it. It should save you money and a lot of headaches.

Buy A Kayak Or Canoe

Non powered boats like a kayak or a canoe are much less trouble. We can even help you with a quote on a kayak loan.

You can still get out on the water and have fun but you do not have all of the expenses. For around 600 dollars, you can get a good kayak and for about 800 dollars, you can get a nice canoe.

Take them fishing, site seeing, whatever you like. In addition, you are not limited to just lakes and large rivers like you would be with a boat. You can also hit small ponds, creeks and other narrow bodies of water.

In many ways, you will find these small crafts much more versatile and if exercise has not always been your thing, they might even help you get into shape.

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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.