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  • Short Term Rentals

    "Float to Let" - Marina Air B n B



    We made our annual pilgrimage to the Southampton Boat Show today, and coined a new phrase "Float to Let"!

    In various discussions about alternative investments to bricks n' mortar, I've mentioned a new concept for Air BnB/holiday lettings where you can let out a floating home.

    The marina homes have been developed by Marina Boats, founded by Aidan Pragnell, who appeared on Channel 4's "My Floating Home" when he built a bespoke marina house for his father.

    Since then, Aidan and his business partner, Daniel Fowler, have developed a range of marina houses of various different sizes.

    With prices starting around £95K and a nightly rental of circa £150.00 per night over weekends, these could be a high yielding option for investors looking for an alternative to standard BTL.

    The boats sleep 4 in two double cabins and have all mod. cons including shower wet room.

    Guests enjoy a lovely location and of course stunning water views, making these floating homes very attractive for a relaxing weekend break with a difference!

    We visited Aidan and Daniel on board one of their marina boats to find out more:


    Some considerations:

    >  You would need to find a marina that accepted this type of letting activity, or you could find an unused mooring on a lake, river, canal, or the sea and offer to rent it.  There will be fees associated with this that need to be factored into your number crunching.

    >  You can get specialist marine finance for these boats up to 75% LTV.

    >  You would need specialist insurance.

    >   You would need to have a management company in place to clean the boat, change the bed linen etc.  Marinas often supply these services.

    >   You can advertise for guests via the Air BnB portal of the yachting world, Beds on Board. 

    Another point worth noting:  If you wished to use a marina boat as an office, there are no business rates to pay because it is a "moveable" dwelling!

    This type of lettings activity is in its infancy, so there are a few snags to sort out, and, of course, due diligence is advised, as always.

    SEE ALSO  -          Futurist landlord thinking

    UP NEXT -              Income needed to retire from day job

    DON'T MISS -         Alternatives to BTL

    NOW WATCH:

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    The next business will be extending BTL mortgages to house boats - and taking out a floating charge.

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    Forgot to mention, years ago my wife worked for a company who had converted a house boat into office space on the river. She loved it pp in the summer but winters got a bit rough as it was on a tidal river.

    I am sure over night stays on boats in good locations would be very attractive to many. Also for investors who could move the boat around to different places to take advantage of rent differentials. Provided of course moorings were a available. 

    Its always great  to read your tribes as apart from being very informative  and helpful does provide room for thought.

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    Thank you for your kind feedback Douglas.

    What interests me about these marina houses is the yields.  Where else can you buy something for under £100K that could bring in a monthly income of £900 pcm, assuming you only ever let it for two weekends per month.

    I suspect the occupancy would be much higher, and, when Daniel had his ones in Shamrock Marina, they were hugely popular and renting out far more than that.

    As you say, they can be moved around either by road or water, so you could optimise your rentals by changing location - moorings permitting.

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    I have an idea, who wants to join me in buying a ferry- the big passenger ones. We can find a place to put it, plenty of UK coastal towns and rent out the rooms. Like to see the councils try and  classify that as an HMO.

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    Heh! Heh!  In Gibraltar, due to lack of space, there is a yacht hotel moored in the marina - a giant floating holiday home. There is also one on the Thames at Excel in London.

    ​The hotel industry is ahead of landlords in terms of using water homes as serviced accommodation or holiday lets. Smile

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    Would you not be worried about your investment "sinking" in value?!

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    Not really, coz a rising tide raises all boats!! Smile

    Seriously though, it is unlikely that these boats will appreciate like bricks n' mortar has the potential to,  and there is currently no second hand market for them, so no idea how much they might depreciate.  The fact that they are relatively low cost does reduce the risk of depreciation imho.

    They are very novel and I certainly enjoyed sitting on the settee and enjoying the ever-changing view.  The bedrooms are situated in the floats and are very cozy.  As someone who loves motorhomes, they are a bit like a floating motorhome!

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    Funnily enough a mate of mine took a similar approach i.e. no bricks and mortar style capital growth,  but low cost and invested in holiday chalets in Norfolk at around 15 grand a pop.

    Amazing cashflow he gets from it too !


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    I think this would be my chosen route. Less maintenance etc., ok, not much resale value but I think you have to look at these as X years investment on a depreciating asset.

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    I think it's ok as an additional investment I.e. better than having cash earning zilch in the bank, but core portfolio should always be bricks and mortar houses.

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