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Boat loans in Australia

Written by

Shaun McGowan

A boat loan is essentially a secured personal loan product used to purchase a boat, Jet Ski, or other watercraft.

And that means...

  • Lower, fixed rates
  • Flexible terms and repayment options
  • No deposit required
  • Simple and quick approvals

How do I compare boat loans?

Take the time to compare all your options and make sure you can comfortably afford the repayments over the lifetime of the loan.


Boat loan fees may include establishment fees, early termination fees, and other charges.

Make sure you know how much you’ll pay by checking the boat loan’s Product Disclosure Statement and comparison rate (a single rate that includes both interest and fees).

Interest rates

Interest rates are the biggest cost of almost any boat loan, so keep an eye out for a low rate if you can find one.

But you should also keep in mind, the loan with the lowest interest rate isn’t always the cheapest - you need to look at fees, loan terms and loan features to accurately compare your options.

Loan term

Specialist boat loan lenders usually offer longer terms, up to a maximum of 10 years.

Try to choose a loan term that balances repayment affordability with interest and fee savings.

Loan features and flexibility

Different boat loan features may offer flexibility, or make your loan easier to repay.

For example, some allow fee-free early repayments, which could make it easier to pay your boat loan off quickly and save on interest.

Others may allow you to borrow more than 100% of the boat’s value to buy boating equipment.

What lenders are looking for

Lenders love boring, or should we say, consistency!

They love it if you've had the same job forever and have been at the same house since you first left home.

Here's an example of how your employment history can influence your approval.

employment history applicant

How lenders view credit history

Here is how your credit history can influence your ability to be approved.

credit history applicant

Find the best deal on boat loans


Secured vs unsecured boat loans

A secured loan uses the boat you purchase as “security”.

In other words, if you default on your payments the lender has the power to repossess the vessel to recoup their losses.

This makes a lender more comfortable with lending you the money.

In return, you’ll usually get longer loan terms, lower interest rates and can borrow more money for your boat.

An unsecured loan means you don’t have to risk your boat as security, but the lender will be more cautious in lending the money.

This usually means higher interest rates and more fees, lower amounts you can borrow and a shorter loan term.

Of course, the main upside to this is that you can use the funds however you want, and borrow more than the price of the boat itself.

If you’re looking for a full package deal, this means you could also use your loan to buy the equipment you need for fishing or water sports.

Boat Loans with Money Matchmaker

Are you eligible?

You can generally qualify and apply for a boat loan in Australia if you’re:

  • 18 years of age or older; and
  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident; and
  • Employed, with a regular source of income that you can demonstrate

If you meet the basic eligibility for a boat loan, you will then need to compare lenders and assess their individual approval criteria.

Lenders like stability, find out what that means with Money Matchmaker

What documents will I need to supply?

During the application process you may need to provide the following documents and information:

  • Proof of identity — e.g. passport or driver licence
  • Proof of income — e.g. payslips, bank statements
  • Details of any current debts or other loans

If you’re using a boat as security on the loan, you may also need to provide details about the vessel including its age, where you bought it and the type of vessel it is.

Boat Loans with Money Matchmaker
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Money Tip: Most lenders offer boat loans with terms from one to seven years, with a few specialist lenders offering 10-year terms.

Here are the most popular questions people are asking about boat loans

Do I need to use my boat as security to get a boat loan?

In most cases no. Many lenders offer unsecured boat loans but these may have higher interest rates and lower maximum loan limits than secured boat loans.

How much can I borrow?

Each lender has different credit criteria and lending policies and the amount they lend to you will depend on their assessment of your ability to afford repayments. Maximum loan limits for boat loans can be up to $200,000 or more.

How long can I borrow the money for?

Most lenders offer boat loans with terms from one to seven years, with a few specialist lenders offering 10-year terms. Keep in mind that a longer term may mean lower repayments, but it’ll also mean you pay more interest and fees over the life of the loan.

How much will I need to borrow?

Secured boat loans usually only allow you to borrow the purchase price of the boat, which means you may not be able to borrow extra funds to buy equipment.

Unsecured boat loans can generally be used to fund your boat purchase and anything else you might need - e.g. boating and safety equipment, paint, or vinyl decals. When applying, consider what extra costs you might need help covering:

  • Boat maintenance: a rule of thumb is that maintenance costs up to 10% of the boat’s value per year.
  • Safety equipment: you’ll need a personal flotation device for each passenger, an anchor, and other safety equipment. This can cost anything from $500 to $5,000.
  • Boating equipment: you might want fishing gear, watersports equipment or other boating equipment to use with your boat. This can cost anywhere from $100 to $10,000+. The most important factor to consider when working out how much you need to borrow is your regular repayments.

You should always work out your regular and total repayment amount before borrowing and be absolutely certain that you can afford them easily.

Can I get a boat loan if I have bad credit?

Most lenders will not offer you a boat loan if you have bad credit so it may be better to apply for a bad credit loan instead.

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About the Author

Shaun McGowan from



Shaun McGowan

Shaun is the founder of and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded and Lend.

*Information about comparison rates Comparison rates are designed to allow borrowers to understand the true cost of a loan by taking into account fees and charges, the loan amount and the term of the loan. The comparison rate is based on an unsecured fixed rate personal loan of $10,000 over 3 years. WARNING: Comparison rates are true only for the examples provided and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.


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Money Pty Ltd (trading as provides information about credit products and is authorised to do so as the holder of Australian Credit Licence 528698. does not compare every Lender in Australia. We are not a broker or credit provider and when we provide information via this website, we are not providing you with a recommendation or suggestion about a particular credit product. When you apply for a credit product via the website, you are not applying with us, you are applying directly with a Lender Partner. Before entering into any credit product from one of our Lender Partners, you should confirm the rates and product information with the Lender. All information on this website is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this advice is right for you and we encourage you to seek independent financial advice.