Boat Loan Refinancing

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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A full-service marine loan company will be able to meet your needs for underwriting the purchase of a new boat or refinancing your current boat. The best marine financing companies will refinance up to 100 percent of the value of your present boat so you can take full advantage of low interest rates. The best time to refinance is, in fact, when rates are low so you lock in favorable rates and save lots of money on lower monthly payments and lower interest totals.

With a good safety record, your current boat will still have top value. If you have had accidents and the boat has been damaged, refinancing companies will take this into account. Because 70 percent of boating accidents are caused by operator error, the United States Coast Guard and boating organizations always emphasize safety procedures and equipment. Even if you took a safety course before you bought your boat, refresher courses are an excellent idea, if only because new information and procedures are developed all the time.

Some Sobering Statistics

BUI--boating under the influence--is on the upswing, as is carbon monoxide poisoning. These two preventable problems are being publicized by the Coast Guard, which is responsible for the enforcement of laws, regulations, and procedures that affect boating and water safety. Naturally BUI is illegal, but sun/water/alcohol seem to go together in too many boaters' minds.

Alcohol is involved in more than a third of all recreational boating fatalities, and the number of deaths rose to 750 in 2002, which reversed a downward trend. Fatalities involving alcohol also rose, from 34 percent in 2001 to 39 percent in 2002. In an effort to educate boat operators about the dangers of BUI, the Coast Guard has launched "You're in Command," which emphasizes the reasons for using safety equipment, such as life jackets, and avoiding alcohol, drugs, and prescription drugs while operating a boat.

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