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I love the PV & FV functions in excel. If you're assuming a $300 payment with zero down, in todays boat loan market you're talking about a 10 year loan at a rate around 12%. If you further assume you will pay off the loan at the end of 10 years (FV=0), you get a purchase price of: $20,910.16 *GROSS*.

That means this includes all taxes & fees as well. If you assume 6.5% sales tax and additional .5% in misc. fees, you're talking about a boat purchase negoatiated price of $19,542.20

For a minimum of 30', you're looking at likely a late 70's or early 80's Catalina 30 or comparable 30 footer...and at that age, good luck getting financing.

Might want to try to save a bit more money or scale to the 25' level where you can get a decent Catalina 25-27. Financing again, will be tough...but possible.
 

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With excellent credit and if I was looking at an under 30k loan with 6k down, wouldn't that give me a drastically lower interest rate than 12% and a subsequently higher purchase price? (I'm seeing 5.99 teaser rates being advertised on the front page of many boat financing websites).

The part I readily admit that I don't understand is how to predict the loan term lengths lending institutions will allow...

The typical car loan is simple, 5 yrs for new, 4 yrs for used. But in boat financing it can stretch up to 30 years on the far end of the spectrum. I know 30 yrs wouldn't apply to a 30k loan, but how far can you stretch it out?

Is there a chart online anywhere that breaks down the price points and boat ages at which you can get a 5, 7, 10, 15, etc year loan?
No chart that I'm aware of, but these are simple excel formulas. If you have excel, learn to use PV & PMT functions

=PV(rate, periods, payment, future value)
explain the terms
PV = present value...this is where you calculate the value of the loan you can afford.

Rate = your interest rate. Remember, its your annual rate divided by the # of payments per year. So, if you have a 8% ANNUAL percentage rate, your monthly or periodic rate is 8% / 12...or .08/1 or, .0067.

Periods = # of payments you'll make over the term of the entire loan. If you have a 10 year loan, then its 10 x 12 (monthly payments) = 120 periods

Future Value = usually zero, you have to pay off the loan!

You can play with this and the PMT function which is just a variant, with a few different inputs (rate, periods, future value, present value)
 

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Generally, I recommend anyone looking to buy a boat-new or used-reserve about 15-20% of their boat buying budget for upgrades, repairs and refitting their boat, since boats are not cars, and often need to be modified to some degree to fit the way you will use the boat.
Truer words have rarely been spoken. We bought a brand new 2008 Beneteau 343. Our "fit out" list to get the boat cruise worthy is around $15,000...and that CANNOT be financed, its cash up front or it goes on credit cards!!!

Yeah those dealer options seem pricey, or having your dealer install all your equipment with their labor rates seems ridiculously out of line, but the beauty with that situation is that you can get the price of those options financed over 20 years on a new boat! Think about it, yeah you may pay more for your chart plotter installation by having your dealer do it, but you can finance that component over 20 years at 6-7% on a new boat 100k+ loan.

If you were to put it on your credit card and pay it off over a year, you'll easily pay 10, 15, 20, 30%!!!! plus interest on it as you pay it off. Gut feel says that you'd be ahead having your dealer install and rolling the options into your financing.

The trick is getting a dealer to work with you, that allows you to buy the equipment (getting you retail prices and rebates which at times are below wholesale on some items!!)...then have him install it for your and then roll the full costs into your financing package. Most wont do this, but some will. Or finding a 0% credit card deal and loading it up..but those terms are usually only for 1 year, and paying off $15k over 1 year is a tough nut.
 
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