The fall boat-show season has kicked off and marks a milestone next week with the opening of the enormous, 53rd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (Oct. 25-29). Already, Sport Fishing editors have heard about several new-boat introductions and lots of new gear and electronics.
We’ll be reporting from the show to help you with your shopping list. But, if you’re not looking to buy a new boat or equipment, you might consider refinancing your current vessel.
Interest rates are the lowest they’ve ever been in the marine-finance business, says Tom Smith, president of Sterling Associates, which will exhibit at the Lauderdale show. Those rates hover around 4.5 percent for fixed-rate loans and as low as 3.21 percent for adjustable loans.
To consider refinancing, Smith says anglers first need to know the value of their boats. In fact, used-boat prices, like housing prices, have stabilized and even show some appreciation, Smith says. Refinancing is a valid option for those who have equity. Once you determine your boat’s value, Smith has a few other suggestions:
Boat refinancing like house refinancing fits certain people in specific circumstances, but if you feel you have equity in your boat and the benefits might outweigh the costs, talk to a lender and find out for sure.
To whet your appetite, see our coverage from last year’s show here.