IMHO: from reading your original post, I would recommend that you wait until you have the cash. As you said: you are worried about using an equity loan because you wouldn't want your house at risk if something happened.
For example; my boat partner and I bought a boat for 25,500 in 2010, with taxes registration etc, that quickly became 30,000. We then spent another 13,000 upgrading/storing/mooring/repairing...this year alone!
We have 3,000 in the bank and are expecting to have to spend another 4000-5000 due to the fact that the previous owner never took care of the cushions, and now they are soaked with mold; requiring burning them and getting new ones.
If you cant handle these kind of expenses out-of-pocket, you have no business spending money on a toy like a boat.