Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-21-2015 Thread Starter
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Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

Not a sailing question per se, but thought folks in this group might have some info. Building a floating home in NYC and looking for financing/insurance options for this hybrid residence. Having trouble locating a bank willing to give anything other than a personal consumer loan for this, and also tough to find insurance. We have a marina willing to host the project already. Appreciate any/all recommendations! Thanks a ton

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post #2 of 18 Old 10-21-2015
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Re: Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

House on a barge? Liveaboard boat? Boat that does not leave the dock?

What code/standards is it built in compliance with?

Insurance and finance companies have probably already asked these questions.
If there is no reference standard what are they financing or insuring and for what occurance?

Last edited by Ulladh; 10-21-2015 at 05:29 PM.
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Re: Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

I would contact others in marina to see what they do

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post #4 of 18 Old 10-21-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

House on a barge, that could leave the dock via tug, but will likely stay put for a while. I can't personally answer the code/standards question but the architect is NY state licensed and will be working with an engineer.

Banks/insurance companies I've talked to in NY area thus far just dismiss this category of residence all together so looking for names of banks/insurance providers that others know of that may be open to a discussion before I make any more cold calls.

I've found several that offer these services in northwest for floating homes but I'm not in the northwest...
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Re: Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

The problem is whether you'll be permitted to liveaboard and keep it tied up in any particular marina over the long term. Unfortunately, it's a nationwide trend to restrict liveaboard access.

That means, to the bank, the collateral could become worthless, if it can't go elsewhere. The sad truth is, there is already such a limited market that it's probably not going to be worth what it costs to build.

Insurance would be a different problem, but they may also tune into the risk of not having a secure port. For them, however, it probably focuses more on how they can wrap their actuarial heads around what risk they are taking for a one-of-a-kind.

Where in NYC? Big place.


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Re: Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

I don't know if NY or NYC have a code for this type of house but your architect and engineer should be able to answer that question.

Before trying to get financing or insurance request the architect/engineer provide a preliminary plan, construction cost estimate and reference standard, including a preliminary contract agreement for the marina or other location that will provide utility connections.

You are more likely to get some interest from banks or insurance companies if they have more confidence in the end product.

Developers request this package of information from me at the early stages of most land based projects.

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Re: Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

You are probably right that this information would cause them to think a little deeper about the project.
I figured that information would need to be provided at some point, but that there would be no use providing it to someone that off the bat gives me a big NO about mortgaging/financing this kind of residence (no matter what the details are).
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Re: Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

We had one towed into a local marina here a couple of years ago. Its use was an unregulated and the owner lived aboard for a couple of years. When he tried to unload it he couldn't find a buyer for a few years. The unit was finally lost in Sandy. The owner is currently suing the marina operator for $millions for their having rented dock space unfit for its intended use.

I don't remember but the name of the barge may have been Chutzpah.
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Re: Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

Put an outboard motor on the back, build it to ABYC standards, call it a house boat and apply to a marine insurance broker.

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Re: Financing/insurance recs for floating home in nyc?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
The problem is whether you'll be permitted to liveaboard and keep it tied up in any particular marina over the long term. Unfortunately, it's a nationwide trend to restrict liveaboard access.



Where in NYC? Big place.
I think this may well be the issue. There are lots of marinas that will allow you to live aboard your boat unofficially, but a house barge is kind of flaunting it. At least two marinas I have been to say "they do not allow liveaboards as it is against the law, but lots of folks do spend a lot of time on there boats." Make sure you have the slip approved, and that they will run the necessary sewer lines, as this will be required. I think I remember there was a post of someone here trying to sell a house barge in NYC, and they were unable to. Sure in the North West it is common, but not here, our winters are way worse, weather less predicable and variable, and we are in the hurricane path, though we don't get hit by a lot it seems to be becoming more common.

Keep in mind as well if you don't have a contract that states that you can live aboard you could be found to be violating the rules (or perhaps a law that gets passed in the future that disallows it) and you may be given 30 days to get the barge out of the marina. Where will you take if if no marinas in the region can take it? You may have a contract for it now, but there is no guarantee that you can renew it. So yes it is fraught with risk, and likely one you may have to self insure. Don't be surprised if they require a large bond to move in.
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