Trend sees younger people opting for ‘life afloat’ #BargeLife
Leading marine finance lender, Promarine Finance has seen a near 40% year-on-year increase in the number of finance deals for liveaboard vessels from January 2021 to date.
These customers are also borrowing more with a higher loan to value (within the 80% maximum Promarine allows) compared to the same period in 2020, indicating a new and younger demographic entering the market.
Liveaboard vessels are becoming a real trend in the UK with many customers taking advantage of the affordability, the lifestyle and the freedom they offer. Many types of boats can be considered a liveaboard such as a powerboat or cruising sailboat, houseboats, or barges, even narrowboats.
Promarine Finance offers fixed and variable rate marine mortgages for new and used RIBs, motorboats, sailing yachts and canal boats over periods of two to 15 years and is one of only a few finance providers for liveaboard vessels in the UK.
In March, there were 35,130 people with boat licences for rivers and canals– compared with 34,435 last year and 32,490 in 2012. The Canal & River Trust states that surveys put the proportion of liveaboard vessels on the water at around 25% (a rise from 15% in 2011) nationally.
Stuart Austin, Director of Promarine Finance, comments: “Our Q1 performance this year has been our strongest to-date. We’ve noticed a surge in demand for boat finance particularly for liveaboard vessels. The ‘race for space’ fuelling the housing crisis is pushing buyers to consider alternative and more cost-effective living arrangements. Customers opting for liveaboard vessels are also getting younger. Liveaboards such as canalboats are no longer considered an option for just the retiree, instead drawing people who are seeking alternative lifestyles with freedom from the traditional housing options.”
He continues: “There are approximately 4,700 miles of navigable canals and waterways in the UK. With so much to explore, it’s no wonder people are opting to have freedom. The canals are certainly calling!”