Canal boats

Promarine Finance has more than a decade of experience in helping its customers find affordable ways to finance the purchase of a canal boats.

We have financed many liveaboard and leisure canal boats so whether you’re looking to finance a narrowboat, widebeam or barge, we can assist you.

There are a few areas you need to be mindful of and pay attention to when purchasing a boat:

  • We always insist on a boat survey and a current boat safety certificate. This might sound the obvious thing to do and we think it is but beware of anyone looking to sell you a boat without this critical information.
  • It’s really important to be sure the vendor of the boat has good title to sell you the boat. Historically, life on the canals has been informal and not all boats have reliable histories to establish who owns the boat and whether they are legally able to sell the boat to you

Our team will guide you through the entire process, and hopefully save you from issues and complications down the line. If you are buying via a broker then they should be able to help with many of the above queries, but we will be on hand throughout to assist you too.

Promarine Finance is one of the only lenders offering finance for liveaboard vessels. As such, we know a thing or two about this market, offering customers our expertise from the get-go.

Liveaboard vessels are becoming a real trend worldwide with many customers taking advantage of the affordability, the lifestyle and the freedom they offer. Many types of boats for sale could be classed as a liveaboard boat. For example, a powerboat or cruising sailboat, houseboats, or barges, even narrow boats.


Owning a narrowboat and travelling the inland waterways of the UK is a great way to relax. So, if you’re looking for ways to see the countryside and lower your blood pressure in the process, a life on the water could be for you. The narrowboat was once a traditional cargo boat, dating back to the 18th century – but today, this watercraft can house any and all of your creature comforts, as well as sleeping up to 12 people.

Narrowboats are an ideal option for families and couples looking to invest in an alternative holiday option they can enjoy year after year – and by realising ownership through finance, you can bypass the upfront payment and get out on the water as soon as possible.

Narrowboat finance is something most lenders are unable to provide. Often, there’s a lack of understanding surrounding the value of boats – and in some cases, lenders will ask for large deposits to be paid and extensive surveys to be carried out at the customer’s expense. At Promarine, we not only have years of experience in lending for these types of vessels, we share our insight with customers to make the finance process as easy as possible.


Widebeam canal boats appeal to a broad range of people – with new designs offering an amazing amount of living space and when compared to property prices, excellent value for money.

Whether you already live on a narrowboat or want to move out of rented housing with the opportunity to own an asset, a widebeam boat can give you more space and loft-style living on the water. Many owners find themselves better off financially living on a wide beam with a marine mortgage, compared to renting or with a property mortgage.

Used wide beam boats usually have a correctly documented history but it’s still important to establish who owns the boat and whether they are legally able to sell the boat to you

Many wide beams can be purchased and financed as “sail away” vessels or as new builds – please see our new build vessels for more information

These are just a few examples of how Promarine can support you through the finance and purchasing stages of your new wide beam. Our team will guide you through the entire process, and hopefully save you from issues and complications down the line.

New builds and Sail-Aways

The option to customise the vessel to make it exactly as you desire through the new build process is an appealing one.

A new-build project enables you to take advantage of the latest technology and tailor your boat precisely to your tastes. Promarine Finance is experienced at working with owners during the boat building process.

There are certain processes that should be followed and actions that should be taken at specific times. We can discuss these milestones with you to ensure issues don’t arise later.

For example, most builders require a build contract that states when and what payment is due during the build phase. We call these stage payments, but they can be called progress payments too. Where stage payments are involved it is important that the build contract states that title to the boat is transferred to you upon payment of the deposit. This gives you some protection should the builder cease trading you have at least got ownership of the part-built vessel.

The build contract will state the stage of the build process when each stage payment is required. We may require you to employ an approved surveyor to confirm the build is meeting the timing stated and is compliant with the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) and other current legislation.

The first payment to the builder is from you. We will make subsequent payments to the builder as per your build contract and surveyor sign off.

At the end of the build you will have a brand-new boat, signed off by a surveyor and a marine mortgage from ourselves as agreed at the outset.

We personally take you through each step, from application to completion, with attention to detail and on-hand advice when needed.