Canalboat question

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  • I have a friend who wants to buy a canalboat to live in but as he doesn't have a house to sell (or fantastic credit) what are his options for financing it? Don't canalboats cost like...loads?


    Thanks in advance guys :D

  • I have a friend who wants to buy a canalboat to live in but as he doesn't have a house to sell (or fantastic credit) what are his options for financing it? Don't canalboats cost like...loads?


    Thanks in advance guys :D



    I looked fairly extensively in to this about 6 years ago. That was well before the financial world went tits up, and banks were still more than happy to lend anybody anything.


    I was in the same position, with a less than average credit rating (although not seriously bad), and no other equity to fund the purchase. I started out looking at boats around £55k. Indeed, I even went to view a few thinking that since my mates had easily got mortgages on 120 grand houses, I could very easily get a marine mortgage on a narrow boat at 55k.


    My old man is a financial advisor who specialises in mortgages, so I got him on the case, but the verdict was that I had absolutely no chance without a substantial deposit (at least 20%) and a squeeky clean credit rating. That was in the good times, so I'd suggest there's even less chance these days.


    I wasn't deterred though, so I shifted my expectation and started looking at cheaper boats. I went to view a £16,000 narrowboat, and although it needed some tidying up, I was happy to do it and got all excited that this was going to be my new home. I got chatting to the marina owner (and independently another chap) and he told me to stay well clear since it's need a lot of substantial hull work as it hadn't been lifted out in many many years.


    Basically, a decent narrowboat that needs some tidying up is going to cost about £30k upwards. That's what the market dictates, and so anything being sold for half that is going to be a bit of a mess. Now, I've since owned quite a few boats and have a lot of experience with them and I can honestly say that you don't want to be buying project boats. Honestly, I promise it's a bad idea. Project boats are the reserve for people with LOTS of experience, and LOTS of free time, and LOTS of money.


    In conclusion, unless your friend has got the money they should give up on their narrowboat dream until such times.


    Your friend might find this interesting: It's the first post I ever made on my blog in 2008. http://onkudu.com/uncategorized/introduction/


    Heh. I've not read that since I wrote it. I've just noticed the last line "The question is, can this 25 year old software analyst actually pull it off? We shall see". It seems that 25 year old software analyst did manage to pull it off, because he's 28 now, and has amassed more stories, friends, and experiences in the last three years than in any other period of my life. Aww, warm nostalgic feeling :p

  • we have friends, a couple in their 40s, who wanna sell up and buy a NB - they need at least 10% unsecured deposit.
    old NBs are like old cars - some have been maintained well, some haven't, some need cosmetic work but are sound, some need both - you are gonna find problems in any boat, no matter what price, what age, what stern, it's the steel you want to look out for.
    electrics, water, gas, heating can all be retro-fitted, and layouts can be changed, as can insulation and lining.
    but if you get a shit steel hull - you still have a shit steel hull (mid-80s to mid-90s or thereabouts. british steel that is.)

    and there are loads of clauses attached to marine finance - we have a neighbour caught up in it just now on a 65k boat which is no better than ours (32500) or anyone else's we know.

    be careful!