Boat Buying Guide: How to Buy a Boat and Apply for a Boat Loan

Man on Sailboat


There are few things better than enjoying being out on the open water during a bright summer day. With so many options in boat types and configurations, it can be challenging to decide on what’s right for you. We’ve decided to break down the possibilities, from watersports to sailing the ocean waves or pleasantly cruising the lakes, there’s an option for you.


Types of Boats

The first step to choosing a boat is figuring out how you’re going to use it.


1. Bowriders

For water activities and cruising generally, bowriders are a great choice, usually averaging 18’-26’. These boats lack fancy features to specialize for a specific watersport, making up for versatility.


2. Runabout Boats

Another option for watersports, albeit with more power, look no further than runabout boats. Typically ranging in length between 16’-33’ and fitted with either an outboard engine or a sterndrive engine, these boats feature an open bow with seating and various pricing options.


3. Pontoon Boat

Another versatile option is a pontoon boat. Ideal for socializing with their wider flat surface, there’s plenty of entertaining room. While they are not built for withstanding waves, they are perfect for a day at the lake, and with the right engine, pontoons can be used for water sports.


4. Cruisers & Yachts

If water travel is your wish, then cruisers are the boat for you. This boat type is excellent for the everyday explorer with the range to voyage to new destinations and overnight accommodations. They range in sizes from 25’-45’ for cabin cruisers, with larger ones considered yachts.


5. Freshwater Fishing Boats & Saltwater Fishing Boats

For the avid fisher, a fishing boat is an obvious recommendation. But first, decide if you would prefer to fish in saltwater or freshwater. Freshwater fishing boats have wider hulls and fins to handle flat waves and shores. In contrast, saltwater fishing boats are designed to handle corrosion and are better suited for rougher water conditions.


6. Sailboats & Sailing Dinghies

Dreaming of romance or adventure but want to be powered by nature? Sailboats are a great class to consider, with a variety of designs suited to specific functions. Small sailing dinghies can be used on lakes or to learn basic sailing, while larger ships could take you around the world. Sailboats vary significantly in size from 10’-100’. Modern sailboats are very strong to withstand the elements and provide a range of amenities while being light enough to be propelled by the wind.


7. Personal Watercrafts

Don’t forget that boat loans can be also be used to purchase personal watercraft. Easy to store and transport while being perfect for fun water activities, Jet SkisWave Runnersand Sea-Doo’s are all common name brands of Water Scooters. These watercraft offer various configurations depending on whether you prefer sitting v. standing up or prefer storage over speed. Whatever you choose, these personal watercraft are great for an adrenaline-filled recreation weekend.


Boat financing

The best way to finance a boat is to work with member service representatives you already know and trust, so you know exactly how much you can spend while keeping in mind your overall financial health.


Luckily, Carolinas Telco Federal Credit Union has excellent financing options for boat loans. With competitive rates and flexible terms available, how long you can finance a boat depends on you and your lifestyle. Boat loan approvals are subject to credit and income factors, and individual qualifications may vary.


Contact us at Carolinas Telco FCU, apply online or stop by a branch today to see how we can help. We’ll have you out enjoying the water in no time!

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