But the real point is that a very large percentage of boat buyers do not get loans. That means that while NADA and lenders may set the limit that a small percentage of buyers can pay, they do not, and cannot actually set the market price.
As for using Other People's Money. Yeah. It's a great idea. But it does not work when you are buying a depreciating asset that will not be used for generating revenue. In that case, as hellosailor said, it is the bank that is using YOUR money--not the other way around.
Can you point me to a source on the percertage of boat buyers who finance?
Regardless, pay cash vs finance can be debated into the ground. While returns on guaranteed investments are at life time lows right now there is still lost opportunity cost to be considered. Even an investment in 5% tax free bonds, along with the second home deduction can put a serious dent in the finance costs of a boat. Especially these days when the interest rates being charged on loans are also at all time lows.
Then there are other investment venues to be considered. Since the cash going into the boat is a guaranteed loser, from an investment POV, just about anything short of penny stocks would be less risk. From cashing in on the real estate downturn to keeping the money in the stock market there are a lot better uses for the cash than draining it on a boat. Seriously, an investment savy friend approaches you with the bonafide deal of a lifetime but go time is now. You tell him you can't because you just bought a boat. Hmm, yeah, that works!!!
So, even if you have the cash, plunking it all into a boat, maybe not the best option. At least something where all the possibilities have to be weighed.