BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

July 22, 2011 09:26 ET

BMO: Beat the Heat This Summer

BMO Offers Financial Tips to 'Float Your Boat'

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 22, 2011) - According to industry reports, more than half of Canadians will be taking part in recreational boating this summer. In fact, Canada's boating industry accounts for approximately 1.8 per cent of the world's total expenditures, with statistics showing more than 2.5 million boats taking to Canadian waters each year – double the boats per capita in the U.S.

To assist water-bound Canadians, BMO has compiled a list of money-managing tips to keep track of your finances while pursuing high-sea adventures:

  • Set a budget that 'floats your boat': Before setting sail, set a budget that establishes all costs related to boat ownership, including the initial purchase price, fuel costs, insurance, ongoing maintenance and costs related to off-season storage.

  • Keep your money in mind: Boats can be financed just like a car with down payments generally around 20 per cent of the retail sales price. Boats can also be quite affordable; entry-level boats can cost as little as $200 per month. BMO offers personal loan plans that can provide $10,000 or more to purchase or refinance a boat up to 10 years old.

  • Don't leave insurance until the last minute: Once you decide to buy a boat, immediately obtain a quote. Whatever your policy, make sure it covers complete costs of marine-related work including salvaging, wreck removal and environmental damage.

  • Shop around: Do your homework and compare rates on-line. As with any major purchase, make sure you know the market and what type of product you should expect at what price.

  • Think ahead/Think long-term: Buying new or used can each be advantageous, as long as you've assessed long-term costs. Compare monthly payments and interest rates versus the cost of repairs for a used model. Keep in mind long-term maintenance costs and consider a marine survey before purchasing used. Like a home survey, a professional marine survey assesses the condition of your boat and can keep you from purchasing a money sinkhole. A marine survey costs approximately $8-10 per linear foot.

  • Plan your pump stops: Remember, convenience comes at a premium. Make sure to fill up on the road and before you get to the marina where costs can be much higher to fill up your tank.

  • Hitch it up: Nothing is as cost-effective as storing your boat trailer in the driveway or backyard (check local bylaws). Added advantage: you can use your boat any time, anywhere. If you do use the marina keep in mind that rates vary, but typically you'll be charged according to the size of your boat.

  • Keep it 'low maintenance': Boat upkeep doesn't have to break the bank. Regular maintenance minimizes long-term wear and tear and keeps emergency expenses low. For technical services such as oil changes and winterizing, expect to pay what you would for your car on an hourly basis.

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