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Lease finance for commercial boats & buses

(2 min read)

Arbutus provides financing in spite of vicarious liability concerns

“Yes” is in our DNA

We’re regularly asked if we finance boats and buses – assets few lenders are willing to finance due to liability concerns.

The concern with these assets is the lessor can be held vicariously liable in the event of an accident.  To be held vicariously liable means to be held responsible for the actions of the operator.  Behind the daily tragedies found in the news involving vehicles and individuals are lawsuits, which leasing companies can be drawn into, sued, and remarkably, found liable.  Consequently, it’s not surprising why leasing companies are unwilling to finance these assets.

 At Arbutus we always try to find a way to get lease finance deals done. “Yes” is in our DNA and so when a challenging deal like this crosses our desks, we immediately get to work on how to solve it.

How Arbutus works around vicarious liability concerns

In the case of a boat or bus, Arbutus will typically structure a sale-leaseback on a different asset to provide the funds to purchase the desired asset. It’s a solution for the customer that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

The deal looks like this:

  • We write the sale-leaseback agreement for the amount required to finance the boat (or other asset)
  • We get the invoice for the boat (or desired asset)
  • The client signs a letter directing the sale-leaseback funds to pay in full for the asset.
  • We take the asset as collateral. 
  • Arbutus is now in the position of the lienholder, rather than the registered owner, and avoids the liability concerns altogether. 

Lease finance solutions

Learn more about our process here. And, read our recent Done Deal describing an Arbutus lease finance solution that used a split lease tactic to solve a finance solution that minimized turnaround time and maximized working capital generated.


At Arbutus Capital, we always try to find a solution for our brokers and their customers.  Contact us today to see how we might be able to approve your deal.




Photo credit : Alex Lesik on Unsplash

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