Lombard Marine Finance (LMF) has reported that business
written during the first half of this year’s Southampton Boat
Show has been double that written during the same period
last year – the latest sign that the lower end of the marine
finance market may have begun to move again, after bottoming out at
the start of the year.

The Southampton Boat Show (SBS), a ten day event focused on new
boat sales in the sub-€5 million bracket, opened with optimistic
statements about rises in enquiries from LMF, and from fellow
exhibitor Barclays Marine Finance (BMF).

LMF and BMF have virtually had the UK market to themselves since
the exit of HBOS last year, and LMF in particular seems to have
expanded its market share, reporting business up 6 percent
year-on-year at the end of H1 2009.

BMF, while having written 120 marine mortgages in the first half
of this year – 25 percent down on last year’s first half total of
160 – has recently expanded its sales team, and is taking advantage
of the current boom in the used boat market, with 77 percent of
enquiries relating to previously owned craft.

Yet while Lombard seems to be moving quickly to cover the lower
value range of the marine market, BMF may prove to have greater
reach, with the advantage of strong links to Barclays Commercial’s
Corporate Jets & Superyachts team.

For a full analysis of the outlook for marine finance, see
October’s
Leasing Life. 

Fred Crawley