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Old 06-08-2006, 08:00   #1
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Financing Older Boats

I have read reports in various places by old boat owners that the difficulty of financing/insuring old boats is an old wives' tale. My partner and I recently encountered some resistance when applying for a loan for a '72 boat, in spite of the fact that it is in awesome shape, very well maintained and refitted. Can any owners of older boats recommend finance/insurance companies with which they have had good luck?

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Old 06-08-2006, 16:09   #2
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How old do you mean when you say "Older"?

I recently purchased a boat that was built in 1984. I had no trouble insuring it. I got quotes from 2 Insurers: Club Marine & Nautilus Marine. Both Insurers requested a recent survey and a recent rig survey by a certified rig surveyor (surprisingly, most marine surveyors are not certified to survey your rig), but because I was buying the boat, I was getting the boat and the rig surveyed anyway, so it really wasn't a hassle.

A freind of mine bought a 1981 boat last year, and his expereience was pretty similar to mine.

I should point out that we are both in Australia, and we have a perception that America is more litigious than elsewhere, which might explain some of the difficulties that you are experiencing.

It is worthy of note thatthere are certain things that do make a boat harder to insure. Probably the most common one is that it can be very hard to insure a ferro-cement boat. I won't go in to the reasons why this is the case (for fear of starting a flame-war ) but it is definitely the case that FC boats are hard to insure.

It is also hard to get insurance if your standing rigging is more than about 10 years old (even if you have a recent rig survey). But, frankly, most people would recommend replacing standing rigging after no more than 10 years anyway.

Finally, it is hard to get insurance if your standing rigging is rod, rather than wire. Rod rigging is relatively rare, and can always be replaced with standard stainless wire. The rod rigging is hard to insure because when it ages it can fail caastrphically, without showing any previous signs.

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Old 06-08-2006, 18:15   #3
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I understand that there is not a real problem getting money for a older boat as long as it is n ot made of wood. I called about a loan for a 1955 Feadship that was made of steel and they said no problem. Insurance is another matter, after 25 years boats get harder to insure.
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Old 06-08-2006, 18:17   #4
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i've never financed a boat, but it was my impression that if you have it surveyed and value established close to loan, have the credit and have some sort of decent down payment age wasnt really a deal.

Either that or just sell your sole, come on it will be worth it!
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Old 15-08-2006, 06:24   #5
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Thanks for the encouraging responses, but we have aleady met with resistance from boat financing companies. They say their banks will not consider a 70's era boat, period. Naturally, we will have a thorough survey done before closing the deal, but there is little point in doing that if it will be impossible to get financing. Has anyone had experience with a specific company that will consider older boats?
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Old 15-08-2006, 06:56   #6
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I suggest you try contacting Al or Gary Golden at IMIS (800-541-4647 toll free in USA & Canada). They have been very good about arranging insurance for our now 20 year old boat--with a good insurance survey--and may have sources for financing as well. The problem with older, larger, boats is that its very difficult to re-sell them which makes it hard for a lender to accept them as security for a loan. You might find, as we did, that you own bank, with whom you (hopefully) have established a banking relationship, will be more receptive provided you have a reasonably good credit rating. As an alternative, you might also allow your lender to cross collateralize your loan with a lien on your home. Not ideal but doable.

Good Luck!

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Old 15-08-2006, 07:08   #7
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I had no problem getting a loan for a 25 year old boat from Trident Marine in Annapolis. I think that you need to focus on dedicated marine lenders rather than the 'banks'. I did have to have a survey but as long as the insurance company accepted the survey, Trident was fine. I had no problem gettinginsurance from BoatUS except that BoatUS had the boat on Port Restriction, until I could rectify the propane system and 120V electrical system issues.

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Old 15-08-2006, 15:44   #8

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Myths abound...

Well, they are not exactly myths, just based on people's individual experiences, which are necessarily limited. Where it gets dangerous is when people extrapolate from an N of one to a general rule....

When I bought my boat in 1999 several finance companies told me they would not work with a boat older than 15 years. Others would not finance a liveaboard boat. I did not do an exhaustive search, I ended up borrowing the money from a family member, always a dangerous thing, but in this case it worked out.

On the other hand I had no trouble getting insurance. I dealt with a local broker who represents many firms so he had a choice of underwriters. I am sure there are some who would rather not deal with older boats. When first insured they insisted on a full, detailed survey, and repairs of any serious items found. Fortunetly I had one just completed as part of the purchase, so it wasn't a big deal.
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Old 16-08-2006, 15:27   #9
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Just this summer the local marine lenders decided not to loan on boats over 10 years old. It has created a huge problem for brokers. It was one of those idiotic decision from the top that ignor survey, condition, etc....just an arbitrary age decision. I could not finance my boat in today's market. I assume someone will step in and fill the void, but it killed a lot of deals and forced determined buyers to use other methods (redi equity and 2nd mort on house) Prior to this brain storm, most lenders seemed to be okay with up to 25 years old. My boat is 28 years and seaworthy. We had some trouble, but had two lenders offer. You may need to be willing and able to put down more $ and finance less.


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Old 06-08-2008, 16:10   #10
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Hey Jeff, does Trident Marine have a website?

How can I get in contact with Trident Marine Financing? Got a website address?
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Old 06-08-2008, 16:34   #11
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Talk to local brokers in your area. You will need to locate specific lending firms that will deal with older boats and there are plenty out there. The brokers know who they are and will direct you with no problem. BTW, if you have access to any credit unions they are sometimes a good source.
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Old 06-08-2008, 20:41   #12
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abcboatloans can finance boats up to 30 years old. You will have a really hard time getting a 1970 done..But a 1978 is possible
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:55   #13
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6 years ago Boat/US insured my 1966 36' wood boat for an agreed hull value, in hurricane country. Wasn't cheap, but only a few hundred a year.

3 years ago I had to try 3 places before finding someone who would do a loan on a 1982. Key Bank in Florida was very good to deal with.

I think that with some looking around you should be able to insure anything that will pass a survey. Not saying it would always be affordable, just possible. A loan would probably be a little more difficult to find as it gets older. But this is no different than the loan/insurance situation on cars.
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:36   #14
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IMHO, if you need to finance a boat, you can't afford it. Especially and old boat. Between boat payments, insurance, upkeep, and moorage, you're already dead in the water (so to speak).

But good luck in finding a loan.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:30   #15
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I have a 1977 Morgan and got the same guff from a local insurance company so I called Sea Tow Insurance. Filled out the form, I'm on year two. No problems! You can get the info from Sea Tow online. And I'm certain there are others providing the same service!

A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again.

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