Storm clouds clearing for marine industry and boat buyers

Boat buyers have faced an uphill battle in recent times. Tightening credit markets have made it more difficult to access credit, while certain financiers have withdrawn from the Australian market altogether. Compounding the turbulence has been the rollercoaster ride of the Australian dollar. Yet blue skies are beginning to appear and certain smart buyers have been taking advantage of the bargains, while the manufacturers and dealers have reported a higher level of enquiry resulting in stronger sales.

After speaking with Mark O'Donoghue, principal of finance broker firm Finlease, the funds are out there, you just have to know where to look and how to apply. To avoid disappointment, Mark advises that it's a good idea to get a finance application in place before you go shopping. Set a price for a hypothetical boat and get your finance approved. Then when you come across the right make and model, you're in a stronger position to negotiate.

The boat manufacturers and distributors are feeling more confident as well. Sales at Sanctuary Cove were better than many expected and the Sydney International Boat Show promises to show even greater results. Steve Howe of specialist pilothouse yacht builder Buizen commented, “We have noticed a definite increase in enquiry from prospective clients particularly in the 2nd quarter of 2009, and in the last month commenced a new 48 for a customer. We also have expectations of another sale in the next month or two.” Similarly, Stephen Milne at Riviera reported, “At Sanctuary Cove Riviera recorded 11 sales across the full Riviera range valued at around $17 million. Since the show, we have achieved a further 5 new boat sales. Our expectations of Sydney International Boat Show are positive, it appears that confidence is returning to the luxury boat market as we head towards the new boating season”.

To make things even easier, Finlease has introduced a marine finance product that goes further. The new ‘SPS Finance Package' saves you money with an interest 1% lower than comparable marine finance products and also includes the peace of mind of a 3-month complimentary membership with Sea Tow, the breakdown service on the water.

Right now, interest rates are at 50 year lows, which will make that next boat purchase even more affordable. However it is more important than ever to make sure your finance application is handled correctly, with all the information the financier needs correctly presented. You can't afford a slip-up as a finance refusal can torpedo your chances of returning to that financier for a second attempt. You should also be aware that only certain financiers are lending against boats right now, so a broker with specialist knowledge in marine finance will not only oil the wheels of the transaction, it may be vital to ensure that the deal goes through at all.

So work through this simple check list and get your ducks in a row before you go to the financiers. This article has been provided by Finlease, further information can be found at or you can visit the Finlease houseboat, on the northerly corner of the marina adjacent to Pyrmont Bridge at the Sydney International Boat Show.

Jeanneau JY60
M.O.S.S Australia
M.O.S.S Australia
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