The majority of people who received boat loans in 2017 — 91 percent — were 45 or older, according to new data from the National Marine Lenders Association. The information was gleaned from survey respondents who did aggregate marine sales of more than $3.1 billion last year.
The age of boat-loan recipients increased substantially from 2016, when 30 percent of loans were made to people age 35 to 44. In 2012, only 7 percent of loans were made to people under age 45, according to the report.
“I think the marine financing industry has some work to do to serve that market better,” said Jim Coburn, founder of Coburn and Associates and a board member at NMLA.
“On the one hand, you have the affordability issue, and that’s where the RV industry is kicking the marine industry’s butt. It’s easier for young families to get into those types of units and enjoy recreation together.”
Meanwhile, the average price of a 21-foot boat is in the $75,000 range, Coburn said. While there are less expensive boats, overall prices have seen a large increase over the past decade, he said.