Boat Loans

We’ll help get you out on the water by comparing boat loan interest rates and boat specific personal loan features right here. Start comparing now!

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Boat loan comparisons on Mozo - last updated 4 March 2024

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    Unsecured Personal Loan

    Fixed

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    6.75% p.a.to 26.95% p.a.
    6.75% p.a.to 26.95% p.a.based on $30,000
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    Fixed

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    5.76% p.a.to 24.03% p.a.
    6.55% p.a.to 24.98% p.a.based on $30,000
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    Fast, easy and 100% online, this is a low cost loan with no ongoing fees or extra repayment penalties. It's perfect for savvy borrowers with great credit. If you’re over 18 and earn above $30,000, you could qualify (other eligibility criteria may apply).

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  • Express Personal Loan

    Secured

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Monthly repayment
    14.95% p.a.to 27.95% p.a.
    29.30% p.a.to 42.8% p.a.based on $10,000
    over 3 years

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    interest rate
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    Monthly repayment
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Hit the deck with a brand new boat - you’ll need a personal loan first

When we talk about personal loans for vehicles, we often talk about car loans and motorcycle loans, forgetting about one of the most sought-after vessels around - the boat. If you’ve got the itch to take to the open seas (or perhaps just float on the harbour), you might be looking to set yourself up with a brand new boat.

The reality is that buying a boat can be restrictively expensive, and for many, a boat loan will be the only way to make that dream come true. 

But just what is a boat loan, and what does it involve? We’ve got you the rundown to help get you in ship shape. 

What is a boat loan?

A boat loan is similar to a car loan, in that it is a sum of money borrowed in order to purchase a boat, which is repaid over time along with any interest accrued. 

You will be able to borrow a set amount of money over a predetermined period of time (the “term” of the loan), paid back in instalments. These are usually monthly payments, but many loans will allow you to adjust repayments to a weekly or fortnightly schedule. The payments will also incorporate any fees (some loans have a monthly service fee, for instance) and interest, charged at a fixed or variable rate as determined at the establishment of the loan. 

There are different types of boat loans, much like with any other type of loan. Let’s look a little deeper into that!

What types of boat loans are there?

As a boat loan is just another way of categorising a personal loan, it can fall into all of the categories that other loans can fall into. Some types of boat loans you might see include:

  • Unsecured loan: An unsecured loan is not held against anything - it is dependent on your credit score and a risk assessment of the lender. These loans tend to have higher interest rates, but also don’t put your property at risk. Borrowing limits for unsecured loans tend to be lower.

  • Secured loan: Secured loans come with generally lower interest rates, but they use an asset as collateral. With a boat loan, these will generally be secured against the boat, meaning that if you default on payments, your boat can be repossessed.

  • Fixed interest rate loan: If you choose a fixed interest rate, your interest rate will stay the same for the life of your loan. This is an attractive option if you're worried about a rate hike down the track, but these do tend to be attached to higher interest rates and more rigid conditions.

  • Variable interest rate loan: Variable interest rates are subject to change over the course of the loan. These rates are generally lower and have more flexible features (like early repayments and redraws), but can rise over time. 

Can I use my boat loan for other marine vessels?

It might be called a boat loan, but don’t feel restricted by this loan variety. Your options are fairly open with the type of vessel you can purchase with a boat loan, unless it is secured and requires a specific vehicle as security. 

Some options include:

  • Fishing boats

  • Dinghies

  • Jet skis

  • Yachts

  • Sailboats

  • Jet boats

  • House boats

  • Catamarans

Basically, if it floats, you can use a boat loan! Within reason, of course.

What are the pros and cons of a boat loan?

As with taking on any kind of credit, there are pros and cons to boat loans. 

Pros of a Boat Loan

Cons of a Boat Loan

Allows you to afford the high upfront expenses of a boat or watercraft

The borrowing amount plus interest charges and any fees paid over the course of the loan can end up costing you much more over time

Can help you build or repair your credit score with regular repayments

If you are late on repayments or default on your loan, can impact your credit score and future borrowing power

Many types of loans available so you can find one that suits your needs

There are lots of costs involved over the lifetime of a boat which may not be covered by the amount you take out as a loan

What features should I look for in a boat loan?

As with any loan, there are features you can look for that could make one boat loan stand out to you over another. Some of these features you may want to keep an eye out for include:

  • Extra repayments: The flexibility to be able to make extra repayments can allow you to pay off a loan earlier, which will in turn allow you to pay less interest. Sometimes these may not be allowed, they might be limited or they might have a fee attached.

  • Redraw facility: If you have been making extra repayments but find yourself in need of the money for unforeseen reasons, some loans will give you access to a redraw facility. This allows you to dip into any extra repayments made and take it back out.

  • Flexible repayment frequency: A loan with a flexible repayment frequency can be extremely convenient if you get paid on a different schedule or breakdown your budget in a particular fashion. These loans may allow you to make repayments monthly, weekly or fortnightly. 

Other loans may allow you to waive fees in other areas of your banking, or give you access to an offset account, where others may have fees in unexpected places (like late fees and monthly service fees). Be sure to have a close look before you commit!

Are there any other costs of buying a boat?

There’s an old joke that “a boat is a hole in the water you throw money into.” While something being pricey doesn’t mean it’s any less worthwhile, it’s important to make sure that you’re aware of the costs that come with boat ownership. 

Some of the many, many costs to consider in your aquatic adventures include:

  • Safety equipment: before setting sail, you’ll need to be equipped with flares, life vests, fire extinguishers, radio equipment, ropes, and more.

  • Upkeep:It’s important to keep any vessel in good working order, and exposure to the elements means that the more you use a boat, the more expenses you’ll incur with upkeep. 

  • Mooring or parking: You can save on mooring if you have your own storage, but storage in a dry stack or rack for a boat can be expensive, and parking at a marina will vary largely in cost depending on location. Factors to take into account include location, whether a facility is public or private, whether storage is covered or uncovered, and whether you are wet or dry storing your boat.

  • Fuel: With the fuel prices soaring, taking your boat out can be a costly affair. Impacting the cost of fuel will be the size of your boat (and the resulting size of your fuel tank), how often you use it, how far you travel, and the conditions you sail in.

  • Insurance: like any vehicle, it’s a major risk to pass up insurance on your boat. After all, a boat is an expensive investment to risk damage or loss from on and offshore incidents. Consider boat insurance like car insurance - a must-have.

  • Registration and licence: Similar to owning and operating a car, boats over a certain size require registration and a valid licence to be operated. See your state government’s requirements for relevant laws, but these don’t come cheap: In NSW a boat licence costs $65 for 1 year and a personal watercraft (PWC) licence costs $197 for 1 year. Boat registration costs vary depending on the size of the vehicle.

While it’s easy to feel dissuaded from boat ownership thanks to the staggering fees that go into it, don’t be discouraged. If you’re a keen sailor and dream of taking to the open seas, then the dollars spent could be earned back tenfold in personal fulfilment. Just make sure you’re doing your research and staying informed so you don’t find yourself adrift without a life jacket!

How do I compare different boat loans?

This could be a great starting point for your boat loan comparison, as we compare over 200 personal loan products at Mozo. There is no individual product that is the best for everyone, and the right product for you will be different to the next person, so you will want to weigh up the options to make a careful decision.

Make sure to consider how loans will change over time (especially if it is a variable rate loan), and how your finances may also change. If this is a long-term loan, you’ll want to be as happy with it at the end as you were when you took it out. 

Find a selection of loans that stand out with Mozo’s best personal loans



How much can I borrow with a boat loan?

The price tag of a new boat can vary a lot depending on what kind you’ve got your eye on, from a two-person fishing dinghy, all the way up to a luxury yacht. That’s why the borrowing limit on boat loans varies as well - they often have a minimum borrowing amount, which can be as low as $1,000. Some also have a maximum amount you can borrow, though there are plenty of options without this limit.

How much you’ll be able to borrow depends on a few different factors, including your credit history, income, whether you’re securing your loan and which lender you’re applying with.

How can I snag the best boat loan rate around?

Just like with any other kind of personal loan, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you’re going to get the best possible deal when shopping for a boat loan, including:

  • Keep your credit in ship shape. Quite a few personal loans come with different rate tiers, depending on a borrower’s credit. If you have excellent credit, you can often snag the lowest boat loan rates around. If your credit is not so good, well… not so much. So make sure you keep your credit report looking healthy by managing your other credit sources wisely - for example, always meeting home loan or credit card repayments.
  • Look outside the box. As we mentioned above, some personal loans are for buying boats only, others are more general. So don’t think it has to be labelled a “boat loan” to be right for you - other personal loan options might be a better choice. Similarly, only considering your current bank or the big four when it comes to getting a boat loan can really limit your choices - by looking at smaller lenders, online lenders or peer-to-peer platforms, you may find a tonne of other great low rate boat loans.
  • Ask for a better deal. There’s a simple trick to scoring a better deal on your boat loan - ask for it! Not everyone is comfortable with haggling, but sometimes all it takes to get a better interest rate or have a fee waived is asking for it. One trick is to compare boat loans beforehand, so that you can ask your lender of choice to price match a better offer from a competitor. Some lenders will also offer discounts if you bundle other products with them as well.
  • Compare your options. Finally, the top strategy to finding the best boat loan rates around and snagging a great deal is to thoroughly compare your options. If that sounds like a lot of work then don’t worry - that’s where Mozo comes in.

What should I look for in a boat loan?

There are a few key features that you should keep a weather eye out for when choosing a personal loan for your boat purchase, such as:

  • Low interest rate. One of the most important factors in how much you’ll pay on your boat loan is the interest rate. There can be huge differences between the highest and lowest personal loan rates, and making sure you’re on a good deal can mean thousands of dollars in savings.
  • Low fees. The other big cost associated with a boat loan is fees. These can include upfront application fees, ongoing service fees, late payment fees and even break fees if you pay the loan off early. The good news is there are plenty of loan options available with few or no fees attached, so make sure you search them out!

TOP TIP: Check the comparison rate. One super useful tool to work out the ‘true’ cost of a loan is the comparison rate. This is a percentage rate which takes into account interest and fees to help you compare loans on even footing. So make sure you check this rate while doing your comparison.

  • Handy features. You might also want to opt for a boat loan with a few extra features to help you pay off your loan faster and save on interest. Being able to make fee free extra repayments and have access to a redraw facility are a couple of the most common features you might want to look for. The chance to choose monthly, fortnightly or weekly repayments might also help you fit repayments into your budget.
  • Loan term and amount. Boat loans are often available for terms between 1 and 7 years, and sometimes have minimum and maximum amounts you can borrow. These are important things to keep in mind when narrowing down your shortlist of suitable loans.

Are there any traps to avoid when choosing a boat loan?

Before you get carried away by dreams of sailing the world and lazing around on the deck of your new yacht (or tinnie) take a minute to consider some of the pitfalls of a boat loan. Being prepared for these potential mistakes is the best way to avoid them, so make sure you don't get caught:

  • Sticking with just the big banks. While it may be convenient to stick with one of the big four banks when searching for a boat loan, chances are that’s not where you’ll find the best value. So don’t get stuck in the trap of the big banks, and make sure you check out competitor lenders before signing on the dotted line.
  • Paying early repayment penalties. Making fee free extra repayments and paying off your loan quicker is a great way to save on interest - but beware, some loans include break fees that apply when you pay the loan out early. So if you’re planning to do this, make sure you weigh up the benefits of saving on interest against the cost of any fees involved.
  • Taking on a huge loan amount. If you’re in the market for an expensive boat, the price tag can stretch to hundreds of thousands of dollars - and the bigger your loan amount, the more interest you’ll be racking up. So when you’re working out how much you can afford to spend on your new boat, make sure you crunch the numbers using a boat loan calculator and account for interest in your budget.
  • Not budgeting for extra costs. So your budget will cover the monthly repayments on your boat loan? Great! But have you thought about all the other costs that come with owning a boat, like boating equipment, maintenance, insurance, fuel and docking fees? Failing to account for these costs and having to put them on your credit card or missing loan repayments because your budget is tighter than expected is a major pitfall, so be sure to think your expenses through before committing.

TOP TIP: Don’t forget the exchange rate. If you’re buying your boat from outside Australia, don’t forget to factor in exchange rates into the cost of your boat and plan for that when you crunch the numbers on how much you can borrow.

I’ve got bad credit. What boat loans are available to me?

Having a bad credit history can put a damper on securing a boat loan, but depending on just what your credit history looks like and which lenders you approach, you should probably still be able to snag a loan. The downside is that generally, the worse your credit score is, the higher the interest rate you’ll pay and the trickier it will be to get approval.

If you’ve got bad credit, here are a couple of steps to consider before applying for a boat loan.

  • Check that your credit report is accurate. The first step should be to get a free copy of your credit report, and go through it to make sure there aren’t any mistakes that may be leaving a black mark against your name. Mistakes aren’t super common, but it’s a good idea to check on your credit every once in a while anyway.
  • Reconsider borrowing - for now. If you have bad credit, taking out a boat loan might not be the best idea, especially if you have doubts about being able to meet the repayments. You might need to put your boating fantasies on hold for a year or two while you work on getting your credit score back on track. A few tips for doing this include paying off any loan defaults, and make sure you’re meeting repayments on other loans or credit cards.

Can I use a boat loan calculator to crunch the numbers?

Yes! If you’d like to crunch the numbers on personal loan options from the Mozo database, all you need to do is scroll up to our personal loan comparison table and enter your loan amount and term. This will show you the estimated monthly repayment on each option listed in the table.

Or, you can head over and use our personal loan repayment calculator to work out just how much your brand new boat could stretch your budget. And if you’re tossing up between two options and not sure which one will save you the most, check out our personal loan comparison calculator to crunch the numbers on both side-by-side.

Curious about other vehicle specific loans? Check out bike loansnew car loans or even car refinance loans.

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Commbank has a great reputation, good customer service and app is excellent, very convenient experience.

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Commbank has a great reputation, good customer service and app is excellent, very convenient experience.

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I find securing an unsecured personal loan is easy, but that's because the interest rate is alot higher and the more desperate you are for fast cash, the unsecured loan is the option due to urgency I feel banks play on this factor. With secured personal loans they don't give you a great option as your car has to be 5 years or less old to snatch a great secured loan rate. It sets us middle class people strapped for cash vulnerable and limited which plays in the banks favour.

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I find securing an unsecured personal loan is easy, but that's because the interest rate is alot higher and the more desperate you are for fast cash, the unsecured loan is the option due to urgency I feel banks play on this factor. With secured personal loans they don't give you a great option as your car has to be 5 years or less old to snatch a great secured loan rate. It sets us middle class people strapped for cash vulnerable and limited which plays in the banks favour.

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great bank with loans easy to consolidate- online processess are easy

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great bank with loans easy to consolidate- online processess are easy

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Customer service
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Convenience
10/10
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