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In my experience, very few first time boat buyers or people considering the feasibility of purchasing a boat, realize how affordable boat loans can be.

Boat loans are structured very differently than car loans. Car loans generally extend out for 4 or 5 years. Boat loans can be extended out to 10, 15 and even 20 years (depending on the amount of the loan). Yes, this is a double-edged sword. The positive side is that the monthly payment on a 15 year loan is very affordable (see sample chart below). The negative side is you pay off very little of the boat's principal every month.

Another difference between car loans and boat loans is in the down payment. With a car loan, most banks will lend up to 100% of the balance. With boat loans, most banks and marine financial institutions require between a 10% and a 20% down payment.

It is always best to check with the bank or credit union that you are associated with to see if they are "boat loan friendly". Again, in my experience, most major banks and credit unions appear to want to avoid boat loans altogether. They do this by putting significant restrictions on the loan parameters (requiring the boat be less than 10 years old, only going out to 7 years on the loan or having significantly higher interest rates).

I always recommend my clients shop around and find the best loan/rate/term that works for them.

That being said, I can recommend giving Max Salvater of Sterling Associates a call (916) 849-9070, or email max@boatbankerusa.com . Max is a marine loan broker and only deals with boat/yacht loans. His job is to find you the best loan possible. He is an excellent resource for any questions that deal with the financing of anything that floats. Max was kind enough to provide me the numbers for the loan rate examples below. I have included his loan application page link on the next tab down on the left margin.

I also recommend giving Provident Credit Union a call, as they are a boat loan friendly credit union with many locations throughout the Bay Area. They can help out if you have a less than perfect credit history. Give Provident Credit Union a call and see what they can do for you.


$30,000 loan 15 year term/5.9% $250 a month

$60,000 loan 15 year term/4.5% $460 a month

$90,000 loan 15 year term/4.5% $690 a month

$120,000 loan 20 year term/3.9% $750 a month

These parameters are based on a high FICO score and can vary with the age of the boat being financed.

River City Yacht and Boat Sales

1371 Garden Highway
Suite 150
Sacramento, CA 95833, United States

Tel 916-435-6230
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