We have a mortgage on our boat. Our budget
did not allow for us to buy a Nordhavn, even used, with the cash we had, and we didn't want to settle for a really old, lesser quality brand. We bought a brand new 43.
We feel like we made the right choice for our situation. We took 2 years off to circumnavigate the world. Had we waited and saved to pay cash, we likely would have never gone because we would have lost
most of our savings when the stock market crashed in 2008. Some things to note:
Boat loans require a minimum of 25% down.
While we do have to pay interest, it is tax deductible.
If you have a mortgage, you have to buy the most expensive insurance
coverage, so you will likely pay more in insurance
if you do not have a mortgage.
In the last 5 years, our boat has depreciated about 10% (as costs rise for the manufacturer, new ones are becoming more expensive, so our used one is retaining a lot of its original value). Our house, however, has depreciated by 30%.