Imagine…coasting along beautiful, sparkling, summer waters in your very own boat.

Boat ownership is not as far off as you might think.

With a boat loan, the cost of your brand-new boat may be equivalent to a monthly car payment, from $250 to $350 per month. Your boat might even be eligible as a tax deduction!

What Kind of Boat Do You Want to Buy?

Let’s say you are looking for a boat trader in Florida. Before you start taking tours of actual boats, sit down and make some decisions about the kind of boat you want and need.

First, do you want a sailboat or a motorboat? Chances are, you probably already have an idea. Sailboats require more skill and knowledge. They are slower, but also consume a lot less fuel.

Motorboats come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be powerful speed demons or relaxing yachts designed for parties and socializing.

Get clarity on the type of boat you want, along with its size and various features, before talking to your local boatrader. This will help you get the best deal and avoid spending too much on features you don’t need.

How Much Will Your Boat Cost?

How much your boat will cost depends on the type of boat you want to buy.

Sailboats can be relatively inexpensive. A small sailboat can be purchased for $1,500, in which case, you probably would not need a loan. Of course, the bigger the boat, the more expensive it will likely be. Sailboats that are larger than 26 feet and under 36 feet can run from $7,500 to $85,000.

Motorboats will generally cost more than sailboats, especially if you include the cost of fuel. Even a slow motorized boat can be expensive. For example, a pontoon boat, which is great for lazy boating in a calm lake, can cost $11,000 to $60,000.

Remember, boats need a home. You will have to house your boat in a slip at a dock somewhere. If you are really lucky, you might have access to a dock directly from your home. You might also have dock access in your neighborhood through your Home Owners Association if you live close to water.

Otherwise, you will have to rent a boat slip. In Bradenton, Florida, for example, the monthly cost for a 37-foot boat slip could be $900 per month. Of course, the bigger the boat, the more you will probably have to pay for your boat slip. However, it does depend on location.

In Galveston, Texas, your price for a 43-foot boat slip would be around $270 per month, far less expensive than the cost in Bradenton, Florida.

Boat slips will include more than just a place to house the boat. Each marina will offer its own unique blend of additional amenities, such as on-site showers, security, cable TV hook-ups, and WiFi.

4 Totally Free Online Boat Loan Calculators

Once you have decided the type of boat you want, you can determine how much it will cost you per month with a boat payment calculator. Here are just a few free online services that can help gauge the feasibility of various boat loans:

1. Boat Trader Loan Payment Calculator

Boat Trader offers a simple calculator where you input the interest rate, followed by the loan term. This will then give you your estimated monthly boat payments.

2. BoatU.S. Boat Loan Calculator

BoatU.S. offers two ways to calculate your boat loan. You can find out your monthly payment based on the interest rate, loan amount, and number of years on the loan. Or, you can enter your desired monthly payment, interest rate, and loan term to find out the total cost of a potential loan.

3. BoatLoans.com Boat Loans Calculator

According to BoatLoans.com, the typical length of a boat loan is between 15 and 20 years. This company offers boat loans, and their boat loan calculator provides your estimated monthly payment based on loan amount, interest rate, and length.

4. Discover Boating Boat Loan Calculator

Like BoatU.S., Discover Boating offers a two-way calculator. You can enter your boat loan amount, interest rate, and term to find out your monthly payment. Or, you can work backwards by entering your desired monthly boat loan payment to find out what your total loan amount might be.

Other Financial Considerations When Buying a Boat

Remember, these boat payment calculators simply provide estimates. They also don’t take into consideration the costs of taxes, boat registration, transportation, and docking. Your boat will need maintenance every year. Even sailboats will require fuel to run. Your total costs for owning a boat should include the cost of your boat loan, your fees to house the boat in a slip, expenses for wintering the boat in the off-season, and any ongoing maintenance costs.

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