How To Afford a Boat on Any Budget

Owning a boat can be more affordable than you think! It’s true that certain boats come with a hefty price tag and can require extensive upkeep, but the idea that owning a boat is solely reserved for those with deep pockets is just not accurate. In fact, there are several ways to purchase and maintain a boat without breaking the bank.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can afford your own boat, regardless of your budget.  

There are many options that make boat ownership within your grasp! 

Start saving now.

Start saving for your boat and pay in cash, or at least enough for a hefty down payment.  

Doing this can help you keep your interest rates low. Follow these tips for saving, and you’ll be soaking up the sun and coasting across those waves sooner than you think!   

  • Set a goal – Create a realistic boat savings goal. Establish a timeline and divide the total by the months that will pass until you are ready to buy that boat. This is the amount you will need to save each month.  
  • Review your monthly budget – look at how much you spend and earn each month. Then, review your spending habits carefully. Determine how much you pull in each month and how much you spend.    
  • Find a side hustle – If you want to speed things up, you can look for ways to boost your income. A small side job will help you hit the waves much sooner!  
  • Automatic payments to savings – We may have the best intentions to be money aside every month, but most times, it’s not going to happen. That’s why the best way to ensure you stick to your plan each month is to make it automatic.  
Pro tip: After deep diving into your budget, check out our boat loan payment calculator. The boat loan payment calculator is a great, quick tool to help you assess a price range you should target before you start shopping for one.   

Look into used boats for sale.

Purchasing used boats is an excellent way to save money.   

Used boats are often in excellent condition and may already come equipped with fun features like fishing equipment or GPS systems. An added benefit of purchasing used boats is that they tend to depreciate slowly over time, so buyers don’t have to worry about rapid decreases in value. Be sure to thoroughly inspect any used boat before purchasing; an experienced technician can help you identify any potential problems or areas requiring maintenance or repair.  

Utilize boat financing.

Financing for a new or pre-owned boat is a great way to get on the water quickly.   

Boats for Sale has affordable financing options for every budget. Our financing experts have worked for decades hunting down the ideal rate, lender, and programs for every boat buyer. We offer a wide range of programs that we customize according to your priorities, purchase, and desired payback plan. We don’t just want to provide you with a one-stop online boat-buying shop—we want to give you the most competitive offer, too.

Shop around for marine insurance.

Save money by shopping around for affordable marine insurance.

Insurance rates vary depending on the type of boat, its size, and where it will be used most frequently. Shopping around for marine insurance is one of the best ways to get coverage at a reasonable rate without sacrificing quality or protection. It also pays to know about some common myths surrounding boat ownership; for instance, many people mistakenly believe that expensive boats require more expensive insurance packages when this isn’t always true. Fortunately, Boats for Sale does all the shopping around FOR you. Our team of experts will sift through all the carriers, plans, and options to customize the best plan to protect your boat purchase at a price point that’s comfortable.   

Look for discounts and sales.

Many dealerships offer sales during certain times of year—especially around holidays—and discounts may be available if you’re willing to pay cash instead of financing your purchase.   

Additionally, some marinas provide discounts on dockage fees and other services if they know they’ll have your business long-term; these discounts may add up quickly over time! Finally, keep an eye out online for deals on new and used boating supplies such as anchors, moorings lines, life preservers, etc., as these items can add up over time but are essential for safe boating practices.  

Attend some boat shows.

A boat show is a great way to explore your options.   

All boat brands and dealers in your area will be represented in one location, making a boat show an efficient way to start shopping. Dealers also often have discount pricing and financing deals available at early-season shows. Check out our Boat Shows for Beginners blog post to get ready for your next boat show. 

With thoughtful planning and research, owning a boat doesn’t have to financially break the bank or be out of reach. Here at Boats for Sale, we understand how overwhelming it can feel when looking for the perfect boat within your budget range. That’s why we’ve made sure that our search filters make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for at the right price! 

So, whether you’re looking for something small or large (or anything in between), we’ve got plenty of options ranging from affordability levels so you can find something within every budget. Happy Boating!