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eyepatrol

Boat Buying - Your Thoughts?

55 posts in this topic

For quite some time now my wife and I have been looking at various boat brochures, on-line info and making phone calls to various dealers regarding costs of various items we'd want to have included in the rig we purchase early next year. One thing we've been struggling over is the loan term. We both agree on the maximum amount of monthly payment we want to have. But with that set amount, we are resigned to either leaving a few items out of the purchase of a boat, trying to find a new non-current boat of our liking next spring (if there are any models we're interested in still available), or buying a slightly used (1 or 2 year old) boat.

The loan terms available on boats now days range from as short as you want, all the way out to 12 and even 15 years. Obviously as you take out longer term loans, the interest rates get higher. So here's what we're wrestling back and forth with. She wants a shorter term loan. Preferably 7yrs or less, but she is willing to go 10yrs, however not more than 10 yrs. With those limits, we are limited to getting a boat with fewer items than I'd prefer (one sonar instead of two, no kicker motor, smaller motor, no customizing, etc). My opinion is we could go out 12 or even 15 years so that not only can we get everything we want, we can get exactly what we want without having to compromise on "settling" for a used boat or leaving items off a new boat. I've mentioned to her that we'll likely get the boat paid off much sooner than that because in just a few years we'll have some other debt that will be paid off plus our kids will be going to school and not daycare, we'll get additional raises, tax returns, etc etc. Her argument - she thinks we won't make additional payments and that we'll end up paying a ton of interest in the long run (which is true if we didn't pay off sooner).

Okay, so there's the backround history of the whole thing. What do you guys (or ladies) think? What would you do? Any suggestions/ideas I can bring to my wife to discuss to try and get the "dream boat"? Keep in mind that it isn't a heated debate between the two of us, just a healthy discussion. smirk.gif We have discussed leaving a few items off and just buying them when we have the money sometime in the future. But in some respects we'll be losing money as prices for new items don't drop from year to year. We've also BRIEFLY discussed waiting another year to have a larger down payment saved up, but I shot that down in a big 'ol hurry because I just can't go without a boat for another year. crazy.gifwink.gif

Thanks!

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I have never understood the need for new... Your paying to be the first person to start it up ect. All of my boats and vehicles I have ever bought were used. Some more than other. My last boat I bought had only about 40 hours on the eng..But was almost 1/2 off what it would have been new.

I say, get the boat of your dreams, but get it used and get the payments your looking for.

just my opinion! Happy boat shopping to you!

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I hear ya Deitz. We've gone to doing that with our vehicles. The one difference we're finding though in searching used boats is they just aren't quite set up the way we'd like and would have to make mod's that would cost some dough and would bring us over the purchase limit that we're "restricted" to with my wife's finance options. I'm constantly looking though to see if I can find the right one as I whole-heartedly agree with you on buying used, if we can just find the right one. wink.gif

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Unless you basically live on the lake shore, it has to be cheaper to hire a guide then buy a $20,000 boat.

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If you don't currently have a boat, you may want to start off with something a bit less expensive and then use that for a year or two then trade up. This way you can make a list of all the things that boat does or does not have, and you will know EXACTLY what you want when you do spend the dough a the "perfect boat". Just what I would do. Maybe your starter boat will end up being the perfect boat.

I would say you can do without the kicker motor for now. I see many many guys without them and they catch more fish than the guys with. (well maybe) but my point is it can save you some G's and you won't really use it too much. I think a really nice bow mount trolling motor will do the trick just fine. Just make sure it has more power than the boat needs grin.gif

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Quote:

Unless you basically live on the lake shore, it has to be cheaper to hire a guide then buy a $20,000 boat.


....? ummm what do you mean. Hire a guide every single time you want to go fishin?!

I have been out LOTS of times this year. And at $200 a pop to go with a guide that would add up in a big ol hurry over the years you would own a boat.

if you went fishing 30 times in a season (we will say) that would be 6 grand per year. A $20,000 boat would pay it self off in about 3.5 years at that rate....

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Not in the long run. smirk.gif Depends on how often a person gets out each year I guess. For me, it wouldn't work. Not just for fishing, but for family fun too.

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F4L -

This will actually be the second boat that I will have ever bought. The first was a 17'-3" Warrior. I thought I had the "dream boat" setup on that one, only to find after the first year or two that I would have preferred some changes and additions. You're right though. And this time, I know exactly what I want for a setup. wink.gif

We've been contemplating long and hard about a kicker motor. A new one fully decked out with lift and all can cost around $3500, a used one maybe around $2,000 - $2,500 (for a decent used one). Only thing is, when the wind blows, I like to be on the rough side of the lake. On my previous boat, that is where the kicker really paid off.

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Ahh I see now. I thought from reading previous posts that you didn't have a boat at the current. But that was a while ago so I couldn't remember.

Well it sounds like you have a great idea on what you want to get. If you think you need a kicker and have found a need in the past, then I say go for it. If you think you need and and then decide not to get it you will kick your self for a long time to come.

It sounds like the kiddies might be getting a bit older too, you might want to get a versitle boat for tubing and skiing also, or they may whine grin.gif.

My uncle has a Lund 2150 Tyee, great boat, WAY TO BIG. He uses it more for pleasure than anything and in that case it is the perfect boat. His brother has an 1850 and that seems to be just about right. He has the yammy 225 on it and it scoots pretty good, rides real smooth too. I think they were in competition to see who could have the bigger boat or something because there really is no reason for the 2150, LOL.

Well I think I have rambled on enough for now. Good shopping! You may want to look for the fall specials too. Sometimes they are better than spring. But if the finances says spring, then I spose spring it is laugh.gif

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No you're right, I'm without a boat right now. We sold the Warrior 1yr and 2 weeks ago. tongue.gif

There are so many boat brands out there right now that they're all starting to look the same. smirk.gif But you're right, with the kiddies, we're first looking at 18' - 18.5' family fishing type boats (Crestliner Sportfish, Alumacraft Trophy, Lund Fisherman or Tyee GS, G3 Fish/Ski, Stratos 386XF, Ranger Reata, Princecraft, Polarkraft)....just to name a few. crazy.giftongue.gif Although my wife is now open to getting boats like the Alumacraft Tourny Sport, Lund ProV and others. Whatever boat we can find that has the most cockpit space for my wife to be "comfy" and the kids to roam around (or help dad catch fish). wink.gif If my wife is okay with the room, I'd almost prefer a 17.5' boat, but I'll take an 18'er too if needs be. smirk.gif

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If you're considering a loan for a boat then go with the shortest term loan on the least expensive boat you find acceptable. I understand the temptation of a 15 year loan but just think, are their any boats from 1991 that you would be gaga for? Didn't think so. Electronics are short lived items so just budget for their replacement when you go shopping for a used boat. As for the boat, make a list of the boat-main motor features you need and keep looking until you find a used boat that fits the bill. You can always add a kicker, upgrade the electronics, and put on the trolling motor you like.

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My vote is to buy the boat of your dreams now. I have had my current boat for 18 years before it I had two others and this is or was my dream boat. When I bought it would take two days work to make the monthly payments. Now I make that in a few hours. Point being once you start making the payments it will just be a part of your budget. the enjoyment of having the boat you want will far away a boat payment and some interest you are going to pay. Debt is always there. The best part is when she is paid for and you still have your boat, Take care of them and they will last a long time.

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Very good points Steve and you're right, I wouldn't be looking for a boat from 1991. smirk.gif Although what I've tried telling my wife is we could take out a 12 or 15 year loan and just pay extra on it when we can. In a few years time, we'll be able to put lots of additional money into each monthly payment. My guess is we'd have it paid off in 8, maybe 9 years, but for the interim, we could get what we want at a much lower monthly payment.

I've actually got a hefty list of used boats that we'd be interested in saved in a file. The one positive about buying used from a private seller is you don't pay all the tax on the boat. The downside, you don't always know what you're getting into. It's all so confusing. confused.gifsmile.gif

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Definitely BB. And it's not like we're strapping ourselves for money each month with buying a boat. We're managing our money well enough so that we wouldn't get into financial trouble. In fact, we could afford a much higher monthly payment than what we set as our maximum goal, but we both just don't want to go there.

One big setback in our boat buying plans.....we had problems with our a/c and have been shown that our furnace is starting to leak CO. There goes nearly $5,000 of the money we had saved for a boat. mad.giffrown.gif

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Boat Buying-My Thoughts....If ya gotta finance a "toy" for more than five yrs....don't buy it.

Sorry for the bluntness...KT

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Ditto.

I'd love to buy my ultimate dream boat, but I realize I can't afford it. It's cash or less than a 5 year loan. That's a lot of interest money.

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I would definately say go for the boat of your dreams, as long as you can afford it, which it sounds like you can. Personally, I guess I don't understand the mindset some people have when purchasing a big ticket item like a new boat.

For example, my buddy purchased a boat a couple years ago and couldn't decide whether he wanted a 16' or 17', Lund or Tracker, or whether he should get a 40hp or 50hp motor. Well, to make a long story short...he went with the 16' Tracker and kept the 40hp on it instead of the 50hp. Well, two years later he constantly says to me he wishes he would have got the bigger boat, the 40hp barely gets his boat on plane and it's too small to fish big water.

The thing is, he did save a little bit of money by choosing the lesser boat. However, when you are purchasing a boat that you may have for up to 20 years potentially, what's an extra year of payments to get the boat you really want?? And while he's talked about getting a new boat now, with the rising price of materials he'd be paying a lot more for the same boat he could have had 2 years ago.

Please keep in mind, I'm not implying that everyone should go out and buy a $60,000 rig. Pick a boat that isn't going to kill your pocketbook, but if you do your research and find a boat you like head and shoulders above the rest and you can realistically afford it..pull the trigger! You won't regret it once you have it on the water. The worst case scenario is that some un-forseeen events require you to sell it and get a smaller one. But in that case, you have a great boat that will most likely have a better re-sale value.

I also bought a new boat about a year ago, and with the rising price of materials, I'm pretty confident I could sell mine right now for what I paid for it. Do your research, shop around for the best deal, think about about buying used (another great option Dietz) and go out and buy the boat you REALLY want grin.gif

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Basscatcher,

Like you mentioned in your post, I would say finance with the monthly payments you can afford now and then just make double payments or more when you can afford it.

I think you can avoid a lot of the interest of a longer term loan if you pay it off early.

I just bought my "dream boat" this past spring and I have to admit that those $200/month payments are going to suck when it's in storage all winter. Still, I waited for that boat for 20+ years and now that we can afford it, I got exactly what I wanted.

I'm planning on making up for the boat payments by driving my Accord into the ground. Rather than buying a new car I'll just drive the old one until it drops. I'd rather have the boat than a new car anyway.

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Without knowing your actual budget, but reading your replies, I would think you could probably find everything your looking for in a used boat. Especially in a used, "Pro's" boat that they normally sell about every year or so. Most of those are tricked out with the latest and greatest. I agree with some of the others, no loan for a toy should be for more than 4 years, 5 maximum. You can get upside down pretty quick going farther out than that.

From a personal standpoint, buy the boat that will best suit your fishing needs and wants both now and the future, almost any boat will pull a tube around and the kids don't really care what the brand is. You will by the sounds of your post be keeping the boat for a good long time and you sound like a serious fisherman, so buy a serious fishing boat, not something that will do a lot of things but none of them really well. Good luck in your search, that is half the fun.

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I am frugal by nature and would never make payments on a boat or car for that matter. I've always learned to pay myself monthly and then buy what you want with cash.

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Quote:

I've always learned to pay myself monthly and then buy what you want with cash.


Skippy! I would love to be able to do that!

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All very good points and suggestions! I appreciate that. Like I mentioned, I have a list of used boats that we'd consider which are not quite set up the way we'd like, but a couple are close. I wish I had the patience to save up enough money to simply pay in cash, but that would take at least 5yrs to do, probably much more for the boat we're wanting to get. And a 4 or 5 year loan would be nice, but again for the boat we want to get, the payments would greatly exceed what we're willing to spend monthly.

The maximum selling price for a rig we can afford (based on a max. of 10yr loan) is $26,500. A shorter loan term decreases that amount. A longer loan term like 12yrs increases the amount to around $29,000 and a 15yr loan term increases it to around $32,000. The 10yr max loan term though puts most fiber boats out of the market for us unless we look at boats that are at least 4yrs old or older. I suppose the one exception would be if perchjerker were to sell me his boat for real super cheap! (let's see if he reads this!) wink.gifgrin.gif There are A LOT of aluminum boats, both new non-current and used, that are within our budget range. The exception is new non-currents or brand new boats where they are the standard rigged with 3 seats (we need 4), no travel cover, standard sonar (I'm going LCX-25c and X102c), mid-range thrust bow mount (I want 80lb PD w/ AP and CP), no kicker, some do not have on-board chargers, no hydraulic steering (a must IMO) and a few other items we'd want to have.

There are some used boats out there that are equipped fairly well and I'll be keeping an eye on them until we're ready to buy. I should backtrack a little and say there is a decent chance we'll go used, although I'd prefer to go new non-current if possible before I go used. Brand new is pretty well out of the question from what we've gathered for both fiber and alum.

Again, very good points and suggestions by everyone here.

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Skippy! I would love to be able to do that!


You can, if you can make payments to a bank, you can make payments to yourself.

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Bass Catcher, have you given your requirements to a local dealer? Tell them what you want and that you're serious about buying now, and have them find something that works for you. Swaping out the electronics and trolling motor is easy for them to do and shouldn't be a deal killer especially since you're specifying better gear. As for seats, take a look at a boat with jump seats (Lund Fisherman for example). Mine came with three seats and two jump seats in the back, so when we're moving we have an extra seat free (there's four of us). Our boat would be very crowded if we had an extra seat (where to put the tackle boxes). The dealers are heading into their slow season and they will work hard for a sale.

You mentioned earlier that you'll be able to pay more in a few years. I wouldn't count on making more "real" income in the future, sure you might get a raise or two but you'll probably see continued increases in your medical costs (increase insurance rates plus higher deductibles and co-pays) and energy costs such that will offset any raise you may get. Also kids have a way of not getting cheaper as they grow up.

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Yep, I've visited with over 1/2 dozen dealers so far. More visits with others are in the future too. wink.gif There are some AWESOME deals out there right now. 18.5' boats with 150's on them for just under $21,000. BUT, my wife is DEAD SET against getting a boat until next spring. I've tried and tried to convince her to buy now, and I better quit trying before things really get outta wack. smirk.gif The Lund Fisherman is one of those boats that is in our crosshairs. The boats with jump seats are the ones we are primarily looking at. My wife seems to think the kids would be better of in the regular seats and not jump seats (although the jump seats would be the smoothest ride in the boat I believe). My thought would be to keep 3 seats in the cockpit and then have one at the bow. We also are liking the captains chairs they make. My wife is huge on that idea.

As for making more wages in the future, I do have opportunity to make quite a bit more in the future (near future). But you're right, kids and medical costs will certainly get higher.

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