Marine Finance – Different types of boat: different kinds of mortgage?

If you are looking to buy a boat, there are different mortgage options available to you depending on a variety of factors. It’s not just the type even the size of the boat that determines the mortgage options, so here’s a quick breakdown of the different factors that determine the mortgage options that are available for the many different kinds of boats.

What Determines Marine Mortgage Options

Firstly, the financing options can depend on what you are planning on doing with your boat. For example, it might be for recreation purposes only, or it might be the type of boat you can live on and this is your intention, or it could be a business venture such as ferrying tourists or providing tours along a coastline.

Additional factors could also include whereabouts in the world you live and how long you have lived there. Plus, there will be the usual checks required for important information such as what you do for a living and approximately how much you are earning.

There are also many different kinds of boats out there so let’s quickly run through the different designs for which there are multiple mortgage options available.

Boats Used Inland

There are various kinds of boat that can be used inland on rivers and canals that wind their way through the country. Typically, these will include river boats, motor boats, narrow boats, widebeam boats and Dutch Barges. There are flexible financing options available for those who either want to buy one of these boats for recreational purposes, or with the purpose of using it as a home.

Sea Going Vessels

There are four main categories of sea going vessel, which are not all boats (technically) when you include the likes of jet skis and hovercraft. The main factors that determine a boat’s category are the wave height and wind speed that it is designed to encounter and handle. Another important factor is the number of people expected to be onboard which also impacts a boat’s seaworthiness. Adding more people to a boat can change its normal category to one that must be able to handle a much greater weight with less stability.

The four main categories are:

  • Category A – Ocean: covers largely self-sufficient boats designed for extended voyages with winds of over Beaufort Force 8 (over 40 knots), and significant wave heights above 13 feet, but excluding abnormal conditions such as hurricanes.
  • Category B – Offshore:  includes boats operating offshore with winds to 40 knots and significant seas to 13 feet.
  • Category C – Inshore: is for boats operating in coastal waters and large bays and lakes with winds to Force 6, up to 27 knots, and significant seas 7 feet high.
  • Category D – Inland or sheltered coastal waters: is for boats in small lakes and rivers with winds to Force 4 and significant wave heights to 18 inches.

Some of the seaworthiness criteria that come into play the further offshore the vessel is expected to venture include boat construction strength, stability, freeboard, reserve buoyancy, resistance to flooding and deck drainage.

The European standards do not guarantee that an individual boat will be able to handle all the conditions mentioned in its designated category, but they do provide a guideline to help to identify purely inshore vessels from those capable of venturing further away from the shore and thus operating safely in more demanding conditions.

To explore your financing options for buying a boat, contact Promarine Finance who can talk you through the process and arrange a quick chat to discuss the marine mortgage options available to you.

What’s stopping you from getting on the water?


We are happy to help, simply call us on 01432 347770

Decisions usually less than an hour and you can be on the water within days.

Make the most of this Summer on the water.

Bridging Finance for Boats

Have you negotiated a spectacularly good deal for the boat that you just cannot walk away from?

And the only snag is that a part of the funds you are counting on is tied up or held up for a few weeks, the vendor does not want to wait any longer having given you the spectacular deal.

You don’t want to lose the boat!

So what are your options? What will it cost in terms of  lost interest, penalty clauses, exiting long term investments? etc

Promarine Finance has come up with a solution to provide short term marine finance – Bridging Finance for Boats that is interest only.

We agree a monthly interest payment for a set term and the full amount is repaid once your funds are available. If the term needs to extend then the deal rolls forward for a set period.


Contact Stuart to find out more

tel 01432 347770 or email

Motor Boats – Cranchi and Sunseeker are ever popular

We regularly finance Cranchi and Sunseeker motor boats – they appeal to the first time boater and to those looking to upgrade.

Here are few we financed in April – remember a survey is essential including getting the engines checked by a specialist.

Live aboard boats – booming

We have financed more live aboard boats in April than we have in the last year. Why the boom now? We are not sure but we are very happy financing these boats.

We always need a survey from a reputable surveyor and this needs to be commissioned by the purchaser. Before spending any money please get proof of ownership and email this to us.

The most recent boats financed have included new builds, sailaways, refinance and private sales. Some are pictured below including narrow boats, widebeams and Dutch barges.

Most finance is taken over 10 years but we are happy to look at shorter terms if the payment is affordable for you.

Marine Mortgage versus Personal Loan

We are often asked what is the difference between a marine mortgage and a personal loan and most of the time the answers are technical and may seem to offer little difference.
Well we have just seen a classic example where a customer coming to us via our website wanting to buy a £20k boat advertised for sale ebay. A personal loan would have been a simple choice, deal done no questions asked.

Our approach was rather more involved taking less than 24 hours and our customer has chosen to buy a different boat from a reputable broker.

On looking at the boat documentation with a well know marine surveyor, Nick Vass of Omega Yacht Services , we were not able to contact the company who had previously owned the boat which was a company from a tax haven, the person selling the boat was not the organisation that had purchased it and it is now registered in a different name again. Not as obvious as you may immediately think because there were connections and part viable explanations. But not 100% water tight.

VAT also needs to be considered because the boat had been sold from a company registered in a tax haven. Is the boat being sold VAT paid? There needs to be documentary evidence.

All in all a risk not worth taking and one which a reputable broker would not try to pass on. Hence an auction site might appear an attractive source for cheap boats. Boats are not so cheap if they are not as they appear and the VAT man later decides to take an interest.

Our customer is now speaking with one of our regular brokers, viewing the boat at the weekend with a survey scheduled shortly after. All being well they will have their new boat before Easter.


Happy Days – Marine Mortgage Finance works best for a reason.


Contact details Nick Vass

Widebeam Sail-away looking ship shape

Not so sure about the spider in the galley, otherwise smart and toasty

Reflections on London International Boat Show – Iconic, humbug and Excel 2017

Many of you are like me, passionate boaters.  This crazy industry we work in is far more than a job and it is way more than just lifestyle.

We go to work because we get drawn back to the boats that we love being around and we can’t escape the industry no matter how hard we try.

For those that have that passion London International Boat Show is something of an institution that has been part of our annual diary for far longer than the marine industry has been our careers.

None of my family had an interest in boats, but I still dragged my father to Earls Court every year where as a young boy I dreamed of one day being the captain of one of the beautiful yachts on display.

Perhaps it was no surprise that I joined the industry.  My aspirations were a little high and I joined not as a captain, but as a sales man for one of the major French brands and upsold to an Italian counterpart that was sold by the same dealership.

Actually, I joined relatively late in my career.  I stood on the back of a rather nice 42’ Italian flybridge and asked the two directors of the business for a job.  Slightly bemused as to what an IT salesman knew about selling boats I convinced the two bosses to give me a chance by offering my services free of charge for the duration of that boat show and, with some moderate success during that show, for me the rest is history.
That was at Southampton Boat Show in 2002 and so I was destined to work at the last London Boat Show held at the iconic Earls Court.   That January show in 2003 still stays in my memory.  Watching as another tube load of visitors arrived and like a swarm they headed around the hall.  The celebratory exhibitors party was something else, but so was the whole atmosphere.  Earls Court will always be a very special venue for the London Boat Show.


But, then came Excel…
The show had to move, it was bursting at the seams.  But we didn’t want it to and we all huffed and humbugged our way to East London for that first year.

My word it seemed vast!  Two enormous halls with anyone and everyone that dipped a toe in the UK marine industry clamouring for the buyer’s attention.

There is no getting away from the fact that Excel has no soul compared with Earls Court and so we really did huff and humbug, but we started selling boats.  Lots of boats.
Over the coming years the London Boat Show became a place to do deals.  Our French power boat stand went from strength to strength and I know that those of my competitors did equally well.

Yet we still huffed and humbugged and we still reminisced.

Perhaps we are just all old grey and grumpy, but whilst we grumbled about going we all did well.


And then the financial crash came and many of our bubbles burst.  Many of us still here today are here because we changed tack and adapted to the needs of the reducing numbers of buyers.

Inevitably the London International Boat Show downsized.  There is no doubting that it lost some of its “International” flare and I am as guilty as anyone that I blamed National Boat Shows.  “There costs are too high”, “There’s another bloody jewellery stand”…  However in fairness they did a fabulous job in keeping a dwindling show on track and making sure that as many of the buyers out there still came.
We huffed and we humbugged, but we still exhibited and we still sold some boats and we still filled out lead books for the season ahead.


Ten years on from that last “mega show” of 2007 and we have all just recovered from another ten days at Excel.  We are greyer still and now even grumpier and we still huff and humbug about the trek to docklands and our ten days of no daylight.
The same people are full of the same bravado and the same people are full of doom, but we are back and we are still filling our lead books and taking some orders.

For the first time in my marine industry career I was no longer selling boats at the show, but instead I was there firstly to meet the exhibitors and explain a bit more about Promarine Finance and how we may be able help close deals, but my main role was to be available to quote your customers whenever you needed me.
Whilst show footfall did at times feel rather low I was kept busy by a number of you.  Perhaps numbers may have been down, but quality of buyers up?

Being available to come to your stand at a moment’s notice certainly seemed to help in customer confidence and if the number of quotes I did for your customers and the number of quotes that have come through our website is anything to go by your lead books should be bulging and it looks like many of you will have a strong season ahead.


Beyond the number of your customers that I met another gauge of the show for me was how busy the small inflatables and tender stands were.  Tenders are purchased by the owners of larger boats and on one stand, despite a quiet middle few days of the show, the final sales numbers were impressive to say the least.  I couldn’t resist and on visiting the stand found both sales guys busy with customers and another waiting.  Five minutes later the order pad was out.  £800 of inflatable or £800,000 of luxury yacht.  You never lose that buzz from doing a deal!


So, through going grey, huffs and humbugs.  Through rain, snow, tube strikes and man flu, the show must go on.  And so it does.
Promarine Finance can help you close some of those leads you took.

We understand your buyers as we are boaters and we understand you as we have sold boats too.  Most of you know where we excel (pardon the pun) and in those circumstances use us and you may win a deal that would have walked away otherwise.


I very much hope to be of assistance over the coming season and will see many of you before, but if not, …See you at Southampton!


Tom Bettle

Business Director

Promarine Finance