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Best Marina Financing Options

It is nearly impossible to obtain finance through conventional bank channels nowadays. However, there are several financial sources to secure marina financing alternatives at fair interest rates and terms. It’s not necessary to have a high interest rate just because you’re making a big buy. Loan providing companies are made up of professionals that are adept at supplying you with the greatest capital interest and financing choices.

What Is A Marina?

A marina is much more than just a location where individuals may rent boat slips. It would be far too limited. In addition to being places to dock boats, they also serve as petrol stations, new boat dealerships, storage facilities, boat servicing facilities, boat rental locations, retail establishments, and even restaurants.

Given the variety of boat-related services available, it would be more accurate to refer to a marina as a full-service, diversified boat-related business whose goal is to meet all of the demands of its customer of boat owners.

Benefits of Owning a Marina

Real estate. Marinas must, by definition, be located on or close to water. As a result, the property they occupy is frequently in a sought-after position that is challenging to duplicate, which can help marina owners reduce the risk of investing.

  • Income diversification.

As previously mentioned, marinas profit from a variety of revenue sources that can assist to even out seasonal fluctuations in visitors and revenue. For instance, while summer may be the busiest time for boat slip rentals and restaurant business, haul-out dry storage and maintenance revenue can assist marina operators get through the year’s slower months.

There may only be one or two marinas close to a freshwater lake or an ocean location, with the exception of the most well-known locations in states like New York and Florida. With less competition, marina owners may set higher prices and improve the likelihood that their slip occupancy will remain high.

  • Credit Risk.

According to the US Coast Guard, households with an annual income of $75,000 or more account for 69.8% of boaters. They therefore tend to be reasonably well-off people who pose a lesser credit risk.

  • Income.

If properly managed, a marina venture should provide its owners with a consistent source of distribution income and a respectable return on their investment.

Economics of Marina Ownership

A marina’s economics are strikingly similar to those of conventional commercial real estate holdings.  The number of rental spaces, the size of the boats they can handle (larger boats are more expensive), and the rental charge for each are the main factors influencing marina revenue. Marinas offer supplemental services such as gasoline, repairs, maintenance, storage, boat sales, and food to augment this income, level out seasonal changes, and meet client needs. It is obvious that these “alternative” sources of income are similarly influenced by the quantity of boats in the marina and the area’s popularity.

Loan Options For Marina Financing

There are marina loan programs that let borrowers buy commercial real estate, whether they want to develop a new marina or buy and expand an existing one. The only loans that let borrowers use the loan proceeds for working capital are SBA 7(a) loans. Additionally, SBA 7(a) loans provide for a maximum loan amount of $5 million and are up to 75% guaranteed by the SBA.

SBA 7(a) marina loans can be utilized to finance both the purchase of an existing marina as well as its renovations, additions, and enhancements. Additionally, under the SBA’s new business purchase policy, borrowers interested in buying a marina can combine 5% cash down with a 5% seller note to qualify for up to 90% financing from the SBA. The precise amount of financing a borrower obtains, however, may vary. Keep in mind that marina lenders who are authorized by the SBA to offer 7(a) loans might not be quite as liberal.

What Is Boat Loan?

An installment loan for a boat has set monthly installments that typically range from one to twenty years. The amount of the loan, your credit score, your income, and whether the loan is secured by the boat or unsecured all affect the interest rates and loan terms.

An unsecured loan has one major advantage over a secured loan: the borrower is not required to put up any collateral, such as the boat they bought, in order to obtain an unsecured loan. Unsecured loans can occasionally reduce the amount of paperwork needed to make a transaction. The bad news is that the lender is taking a bigger risk on the borrower because the loan is unsecured, thus the interest rate will usually be higher.

Typically, durations vary from two to seven years, with annual percentage rates between 6% to 36%. Borrowers who don’t own assets like a car or a house but nonetheless need financial support to buy a boat find these loans appealing.

Bad Credit Loan Option

Even if you have bad credit, many lenders will still give you a loan. You might, however, have longer repayment terms, smaller loan amounts, and higher interest rates. Anything below 630 is typically seen as having a negative credit rating and is more likely to have higher lending rates.

Many lenders accept applications with cosigners or cosign loans. These are loans that require a co-signer with greater credit than yours in addition to you. The person who cosigned for the loan is equally liable for it, so if you miss a payment, it might damage both of your credit reports.


The beachfront locations, variety of revenue sources, relative scarcity, and high net worth clientele provide a strong business case when considering to obtain a marina. However, people who are interested should balance these advantages with the hazards associated with exposure to potentially hazardous weather occurrences and seasonal income fluctuations.

If you are adamant about purchasing a marina, consider special marina financing programs. A marina acquisition may prove difficult to finance because there aren’t many lenders who offer these kinds of services, and the terms will probably be more expensive than a typical loan. In order to ensure that their return goals can be attained, investors must model these conditions as part of their proforma. If the numbers add up, those who choose to invest in marina ownership may discover that it is a distinctive, rewarding, and enjoyable venture.

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