Q&As

Is it possible to take security on the hull/fittings of a house boat?

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Published on LexisPSL on 12/10/2018

The following Banking & Finance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is it possible to take security on the hull/fittings of a house boat?
  • Nature of the houseboat
  • Security if houseboat considered a ship/vessel
  • Security if houseboat not considered a ship/vessel

Is it possible to take security on the hull/fittings of a house boat?

Nature of the houseboat

The type of security that may be taken will depend on the nature of the particular houseboat (ie whether it is considered a ship or a chattel). Under section 313(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, the definition of a ship ‘includes every description of vessel used in navigation’. It is not clear from the information received whether this applies to the particular houseboat. In considering the position, you may also find the cases of Environment Agency v Gibbs and Chelsea Yacht and Boat Co Ltd v Pope helpful, as these look at the definition of a vessel and the status of houseboats.

Security if houseboat considered a ship/vessel

The UK Ship Register is maintained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and is divided into four parts:

  1. Part I—merchant vessels and pleasure vessels or yachts over 24 metres in length

  2. Part II—fishing vessels (either by 'full' or 'simple' registration)

  3. Part III—small ships

  4. Part IV—ships that are bareboat chartered to persons qualified to own a British ship

A ship will only be registered in one part of the register and ship mortgages can only be registered on ships that have been registered in Part I or Part II (if registered with full

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