If we all had plenty of money then we could go out and buy our dream boat without worrying how we are going to finance it, but, sadly for most of us this is not the case!

Many of us buy a car with a personal loan and a house with a mortgage, and buying a boat comes somewhere in between because you can do both.

In this article we are going to concentrate on the companies that specialize in Marine Finance or boat loans for both Residential and Pleasure Craft although you can raise finances through another means such as a normal Bank or Building Society Loan and you can read other articles on this site about financing different ways.  You could also approach normal mortgage lenders but I’m not sure what sort of response you would get.

OK then, let’s get started.  Firstly we will look at Lombard Marine Finance and see what they have to offer for boat loans.  What follows is information taken from their website explaining more about their services.

Lombard Marine Finance

Finance is available from £2000 upwards – with no upper limit. And normally, the only security required is a charge over the boat. For advances over £25,000 a deposit will be required.

To suit your cashflow, we can be flexible on the period of the mortgage. And with our marine mortgage there are no penalties for making lump sum payments at any time or settling in full after the first year.

Lombard can exclusively offer you our Mortgage Certificate. The concept of the Mortgage Certificate is to agree a level of funding available to you, before you make a choice of vessel. This initiative from Lombard gives you the flexibility and freedom to choose the right boat for you, safe in the knowledge that finance has already been arranged.

Do I need to have a survey and valuation?

You do not need a survey on a new boat. For used boats a current ‘out of water’ survey and valuation is normally required when we advance in excess of £25,000. Your chosen surveyor should hold suitable Professional Indemnity Insurance. If your advance is less than £25,000 we would still recommend a survey on a used vessel for your own protection.

The vessel will need to be comprehensively insured with an UK insurer and our interest as the mortgagees noted on the policy.


We do not usually require the vessel to be fully British registered under Part 1 of the Merchant Shipping Act, unless the craft is to be kept outside UK waters or the level of the advance is particularly large. Full information on registration is available from our office.

Next up is Collidge & Partners who specialize in Residential Craft so this could be of interest to many looking for a boat loan.

Collidge & Partners

Our Residential finance division is accepted as the leading source of finance by most people in the industry. Our experience is greater than any of our competitors and our service is legendary.

·         No charges for Collidge & Partners Services

·         Quick Decisions – usually within 24 hours

·         No obligation to accept the facility offered

·         Loan Terms – 2 yrs to 15 yrs

·         All vessels must have a residential / permanent mooring agreement.

·         Out of water survey and valuation required in all cases (other than new craft)

·         Stage payment agreements available for the purchase of new craft through approved boatbuilders (BMIF contracts).      Please enquire for full details.

·         Vessel must be inland waterways based (Canals, rivers and estuaries) and be of an approved type.

Whatever the type of residential boat you wish to purchase, be it narrow boat, Dutch barge or houseboat, we can help make the process plain sailing.

Collidge & Partners with over 15 years experience in inland waterways finance and insurance are able to offer a wide range of finance facilities for residential purposes through RoyScot Larch, a Royal Bank of Scotland company.

We offer Inland Waterways Loans for sums in excess of £5,000 and can therefore provide the ideal means to buy the boat of your choice.

For residential use we can also advance 80% of the purchase price with repayment periods of up to fifteen years with the comfort of fixed interest rates for the full term of the agreement.

Our personnel will be happy to explain the features of our residential finance schemes over the telephone and will provide written quotations on request.


This is very much a residential friendly company and I would guess they have a lot of experience in arranging finance for Residential Boaters although they seem to be limited to Inland Waterways which is a shame if you’re after purchasing a 50′ Yacht !!

Last but by no means least are Mercantile Credit which are now known as Barclays Marine Finance.  Yes that’s right, Barclays Bank.  Here is briefly what they offer to us boaters for a boat loan.


Mercantile Credit / Barclays Marine Finance

Our goal is the same as yours – to get you onto the water as quickly, easily and cost effectively as possible.

Therefore our service is straightforward, the advice is objective as well as professional, there are no administration or set up fees and we have a choice of financial options – loans or mortgages – to meet your needs exactly


    * Ideal for purchases of up to £15,000.


    * Our even Spread repayment method is always a popular option.


    * No deposit is required, so we can fund up to 100% of the cost of your boat and any additional equipment you may wish to buy.


    * No security is necessary, as we do not place any charge upon your boat.


    * No arrangement, documentation, survey or valuation fees are required, so there are no hidden costs.

Three Months Deferred Payment
Barclays Marine Finance gives you the opportunity of deferring repayments for the first three months of your loan or mortgage. This allows you to fund the additional items you wish to buy for your new boat, while we simply extend the period of your loan or mortgage.


    * The perfect solution for purchases from £15,001 to £750,000 (with more available if necessary) through our Even Spread option.


    * Funding can be available for up to 80% of the cost of your boat.


    * Your home remains unencumbered, as we use the boat being purchased as security.


    * There are no acceptance or setting up fees to be paid. However, any registration fees that might be applicable can be added to your mortgage, so the cost does not have to be found at the outset.


What can I use a Barclays Marine Finance loan for?
In general, just about any type of craft, for sea or inland waterways, is acceptable to us, including wooden hulled boats. We are also happy to provide funding for additional or replacement equipment and refitting. Unfortunately, however, we are unable to lend against highly specialized or extensively modified craft.

Is a survey necessary?
We require a satisfactory survey and valuation when we are advancing more than £15,000 and the boat is over one year old.

As with any substantial investment, it is wise to ensure that you are receiving good value for money, via a valuation. Better still, we would recommend a consultation with a qualified surveyor. To this end, we can provide the names of reputable surveyors and organizations in your area.

How important is insurance?
It is vital that you insure your boat to protect your investment. In fact, if you borrow more than £15,000 from Barclays Marine Finance, we require the boat’s insurers to note our interest.

Whilst you are free to choose insurers, do consider the options very carefully. We require you to insure your boat with a recognized marine insurance company. We work closely with one of the country’s largest boat insurers and can provide you with their details, so you can quickly and easily receive a quotation.
How can I register my boat?

There are three main methods of registration.

      1.     Full Registration (Part 1)
This gives you absolute title of ownership. A Certificate of Registry is issued by the Registry of Shipping and Seamen, providing the best possible protection for your investment. Registration is a requirement of most countries and with it your boat can be used as security against a marine mortgage.

It is easy to arrange for used boats, which have not already been registered, as it is for new boats, as long as evidence of ownership can be established for the last five years.
      2.     Boat Mark
Boat Mark provides a register of boats that have a unique number imprinted on their transoms. This enables us to register our interest in the boat. However, it is not proof of absolute title, but helps to establish ownership.
      3.     Small Ships Register
This is the simplest form of registration. It is also one that complies with the laws of countries such as France, which insist that boats using their waters carry a certificate of origin and ownership. For a small fee, certificates are available by post from the Registry of Shipping and Seamen. It is important to note that they do not provide proof of ownership or enable the boat to be used for security.

For your convenience, we would be delighted to arrange any one of these methods of registration for you.


OK, so you have finally got to the bottom of the page then… but I bet you learnt a lot about Marine Finance !!  Well I hope so, all these companies give a good deal of advise on the complexities of Marine Finance so if you are looking to buy your first liveaboard boat click on the Links to take you to the company websites for more information about financing your new boat.