Boats come in many shapes and sizes to suit a wide range of personal budgets and to give the owner access to specific recreational activities -- say, fishing, sailing or racing. Many banks, credit unions and other traditional lenders lend money for boats, and boat dealerships can often arrange a loan through their preferred lending institutions.
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Many lenders that finance boat loans belong to the National Marine Lenders Association. According to the NMLA, the average term for a boat loan is 10 to 15 years. The actual length depends on the amount financed and the interest rate. They also recommend preparing to spend 15 to 20 percent of the total cost for a down payment, though not all dealers or lenders require this.