My initial thought was to not finance, get a smaller (<32 ft) boat and learn the ropes while saving. Looking at the cost of keeping it I realised that it would take a significantly longer time to get a bigger boat to do some real cruising.
So we shot big and financed. Reality works out a bit different to what we thought and we're going to end up paying the load off six months later than we had imagined - and have been living a poorer life in the meantime. This is because it turns out that boats are expensive to upkeep.....
Despite this I'm very glad we played it this way. Learning
the boats systems takes time and learning
on the boat we're really going to need to know is perfect.
Remember that whatever boat you buy the ticket price
is not the end of it. There are fees
for hauling it out, basic initial love, mechanics are expensive ($100 per hour) unless you know someone or how to do things yourself.
Seeing the amount of money
we've given to the bank, even with our short term aggresive payments is depressing though.