What are you waiting for?

It’s all very well me saying there’s never been a better time to buy a boat but if you don’t have the cash to splash, I might as well be shouting in the wind. After all, with things as they are, nobody’s going to lend you money to buy a boat without charging some hideous amount for the privilege?

Wrong on both counts. The companies I spoke to have money to lend and at much lower rates than this time last year. I made the mistake of popping onto Lombard’s stand at the London Boat
Show to see what it would cost me to borrow £120,000 and pay it back over the next ten years. What started as a hypothetical exercise nearly ended in me rushing over to the Paragon stand and placing an order for one of their gorgeous new 25s. That’s because the answer to my question was just £496 per month.

Admittedly, that was for the first three years on an interest-only basis, after which it would revert to £1,694 per month for the remaining seven years of the loan, but it was enough to set me thinking. Even on a standard £120,000 15-year loan, the monthly payback cost would be less than £950 a month and provided I had the disposable income to cover the repayments, the money was there for the taking – well, borrowing anyway. That’s because marine mortgage rates have plummeted from around 9% this time last year to less than 5% at the last count. In fact, Lombard’s latest mortgage offering is pegged to the monthly Libor rate, so it may go lower still.

In other words, provided you’ve got enough for a 25% deposit – let’s call it £40,000 for argument’s sake – that gives you a total spending power of £160,000 for less than a grand a month. In the current market that buys you an awful lot of boat. It’s a win-win situation. Not only do you get more boat for your cash but the cost of borrowing that cash is cheaper too. By my calculations, you can now get roughly twice the boat for the same
monthly outlay as this time last year. Or to put it another way that mint Fairline Targa 40 that was way out of reach last
season suddenly looks possible now.

Well, what are you waiting for?