UK house boat hotspots

Living on a house boat has been growing in popularity in the UK thanks to a variety of factors, primarily involving the possible reduced living costs that living aboard a boat involves. Despite the lack of marine financing options being one of the main factors actually holding back the growth in this area, the fact that cities are becoming increasingly expensive to buy homes in means more and more people are seeking out alternatives.

Mooring a boat is usually necessary to gain financing and that can add significant costs to house boat living, but many people are still finding it a much more preferable means of living than trying to save up for a house in or near a city.

Best Permanent Mooring Spots In the UK

The best permanent and residential moorings will feature the fresh water, electricity, pumped drainage, telephone landlines and Wi-Fi, but these can be expensive to acquire. The most expensive of these will be found, unsurprisingly, in the capital.

London is by far and away the most popular permanent mooring destination and the prices reflect this. The costs get more expensive the closer to central London you get, but you can find cheaper moorings in the surrounding areas around the main hub of the city.

UK’s Best Temporary House Boating Hotspots

Travelling up or down the Grand Union Canal can take you into the heart of England’s most beautiful scenery. Whether you’re travelling up from London or heading south from up north, you will discover many fantastic places to moor your boat along the way.

Particularly notable are the reservoirs at Marsworth and the Cosgrove Aqueduct. Marsworth is a village in Buckinghamshire northwest of the Greater London area, and features some fantastic sights for anyone looking to see old fashioned Britain without straying too far from the capital. The navigable Cosgrove Aqueduct is a little further north than Marsworth in Northamptonshire in the East Midlands. Here you can find moorings on the beautiful Great Ouse river.

Financing Options for Buying a House Boat

Figuring out where to moor your boat is the final piece of the puzzle, but before that you will need to consider what kind of value and term you can manage for the mortgage you will need to fund the purchase of the boat, assuming you cannot just buy one outright. Thankfully Promarine Finance can talk you through the whole process.

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.

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