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Boat Financing & Shopping Tips

Summer is finally here, that means it’s the perfect time for many Floridians to hit the open water on a new boat. According to Money Talk News, there are 12 million registered boats in the United States. That equates to more than the total number of people who live in Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, Nebraska, and Maine. The nice, warm weather may have you considering plunging into boat ownership. If so, that’s great! Launch FCU wants to assist you in your boat buying journey by providing you with tips, and boat financing to make your boat search and purchase as smooth as how you will look in that new boat.

Tips For Smart Boat Buying

  1. Decide What Type Of Boat You Want. Things to take into consideration include where and how you will use the boat. For instance, do you plan on doing a lot of water activities like waterskiing, wakeboarding, docking activities, vacationing, or fishing? Also think about convenience. If you have a busy schedule, a boat trailer may be a good option so that you don’t have to pay for a permanent dock spot. Also ask yourself, will you be boating in salt water or fresh water? Ocean, river, or lake? Lastly, how much boat can you afford? Make sure to take into consideration potential state and local taxes, insurance, docking fees, boat financing, and necessary maintenance. A good tool to help you with this is Discover Boating’s Boat Selector Tool.
  2. Make A List and Check It Twice. Once you have a short list of potential boats to buy, create a list of features that the boat must have, and a list of features that you would like to stay away from. Take this list with you while you go look at boats.
  3. New or Used? Another thing to take into consideration when buying a boat is if you are going to buy the boat new or used. There are a lot of gently used boats available at much lower prices than what you would pay for the same boat new. Similar to buying a used car, proper research should be conducted before buying a used boat. You should always check for engine issues, electrical system issues, failing pumps etc., before buying a used boat. com provides a list of 10 hidden problems to look out for in used boats. Similar to buying a used car, it is very possible to find a good quality used boat without any major issues. Utilize a site like Boat Trader or boats.com to help you find quality used boats for sale. If you do decide to buy a used boat, make sure to get a marine survey conducted.
  4. Warranty? For every boat you are considering, check to see if it comes with a warranty, and investigate that warranty. Warranties are a valuable commodity, and something that should be highly important to you when deciding which boat to buy. Figure out what the warranty includes. For instance, engine, hull, accessories, service, etc). This could save you money in the long-run in costly repairs.
  5. Take Your Time. Remember, there isn’t a rush. A boat is a major financial expense, and should be treated just as any other major event in your life. If you are a homeowner, chances are you did not buy the very first home you looked at without checking out other options. Your boat buying journey should not be any different. Make sure to seek out many different options to ensure that you pick the option that is best for your purposes, financials, and family. There’s nothing worse than rushing into a decision and ending up with a boat that is not in-line with your lifestyle, or even worse buying a boat that you can‘t stand driving.
  6. Ask For A Test Drive. Many boat dealers, as well as independent sellers, will allow you to test drive a boat that you are interested in. Just like test driving a car, test driving a boat is important to see if you like how the boat handles on the water. Trying the boat in different types of conditions can also be helpful. Always ask if test driving is an option.
  7. Keep In Mind The Cost Of Ownership. Like any “toy,” owning a boat can bring about additional financial obligations such as:
    • Insurance
    • Maintenance
    • Potential Repair Costs
    • Storage
    • Boat Financing

    Make sure you can afford these additional costs in addition to your current financial responsibilities.

  8. Pick The Right Lender. It’s important to pick the right financial partner when you buy your boat. Launch FCU offers boat financing in Brevard County and Volusia County with competitive rates, and flexible terms. Not to mention friendly, courteous service that can’t be beaten. Launch FCU can provide you with a boat loan that allows you to actually enjoy your new or used boat. Terms up to 180 months will help you get out on the water fast, and make paying for your boat less of a financial strain.

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