Twirly

Narrowboat Living?

17 posts in this topic

I am thinking of living on a narrowboat. There are moorings in the Mounmouthshire area.

Anyone else thinking of living on a Narrowboat?

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[quote name='Twirly' timestamp='1312212375' post='3071394']
I am thinking of living on a narrowboat. There are moorings in the Mounmouthshire area.

Anyone else thinking of living on a Narrowboat?
[/quote]
I heard that the costs of the licence, berth fees and maintenance should not be underestimated!

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Second best thing I ever did.
Selling it was the first.

There is no way I'd do it again without a top spec, solid hulled* boat on a full residential morring with water, electricity and severage disposal.
In fact, I'd want a wide-beam.





*goes without saying you would think, but lots of people buy old Springers and hope for the best.

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[quote name='Timm' timestamp='1312215104' post='3071446']
Second best thing I ever did.
Selling it was the first.

There is no way I'd do it again without a top spec, solid hulled* boat on a full residential morring with water, electricity and severage disposal.
In fact, I'd want a wide-beam.





*goes without saying you would think, but lots of people buy old Springers and hope for the best.
[/quote]

Oooh Timm tell me more, how long did you live on it? Didnt you like it? Why not?

I wouldnt go without residential mooring anyway, the fees look quite reasonable.

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[quote name='Twirly' timestamp='1312212375' post='3071394']
I am thinking of living on a narrowboat. There are moorings in the Mounmouthshire area.

Anyone else thinking of living on a Narrowboat?
[/quote]


I am thinking of doing exactly the same, but I am looking at spending time here and in France over the next few years. I am lucky, I have retired so I won't be wanting to stay in one place. I would strongly advise you to join [url="http://www.canalworld.net/"]http://www.canalworld.net/[/url] and use there forum. A wide beam narrow boat is I feel better than just a narrow boat, however you must check that you can pass through all the locks etc. There are plenty of boats for sale on [url="http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/"]http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/[/url] with wide beams on [url="http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/listings.phtml?cid=72"]http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/listings.phtml?cid=72[/url] . I lived on a steel sailing boat for 7 years, steel boats rust on the inside mainly; and that's hard to treat without ripping the insides apart. Living costs are covered on [url="http://www.canaljunction.com/boat/liveaboard3.htm"]http://www.canaljunction.com/boat/liveaboard3.htm[/url] which is also a very good site. You only get one lif, go for it.

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[quote name='Tim Miller' timestamp='1312219454' post='3071498']
I am thinking of doing exactly the same, but I am looking at spending time here and in France over the next few years. I am lucky, I have retired so I won't be wanting to stay in one place. I would strongly advise you to join [url="http://www.canalworld.net/"]http://www.canalworld.net/[/url] and use there forum. A wide beam narrow boat is I feel better than just a narrow boat, however you must check that you can pass through all the locks etc. There are plenty of boats for sale on [url="http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/"]http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/[/url] with wide beams on [url="http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/listings.phtml?cid=72"]http://narrowboats.a...gs.phtml?cid=72[/url] . I lived on a steel sailing boat for 7 years, steel boats rust on the inside mainly; and that's hard to treat without ripping the insides apart. Living costs are covered on [url="http://www.canaljunction.com/boat/liveaboard3.htm"]http://www.canaljunc...liveaboard3.htm[/url] which is also a very good site. You only get one lif, go for it.
[/quote]

An old mate of mine (who actually now deals in letting out properties after jacking in IT job) in Cambridge bought one of those huge euro-barges and rents it out chugging around Mid-Sarf France when he isn't using it.
(Like the one Rick Stein did his France on a barge trip)
It was always amazing how many volunteers there were (in our local) to go and work on it for the long summer. Great boats to live on - tough in French winters though!

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[quote name='erranta' timestamp='1312220739' post='3071516']
An old mate of mine (who actually now deals in letting out properties after jacking in IT job) in Cambridge bought one of those huge euro-barges and rents it out chugging around Mid-Sarf France when he isn't using it.
(Like the one Rick Stein did his France on a barge trip)
It was always amazing how many volunteers there were (in our local) to go and work on it for the long summer. Great boats to live on - tough in French winters though!
[/quote]


I was planning in mooring up the boat for the two coldest months of the year and travel to warmer climates. I am interested in talking to your mate, there might be a deal to be had for both of us. Could you arrange this?

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I posted this a couple of years back:



"A friend lived for 2 years on a 35 foot narrowboat. (only 6ft wide)

It worked out very well, about 20 years ago & he was only 20 at the time. He was a student and rather than pay rent, at about 60 per week (3000 per year)he borrowed 1500 from his dad & bought a narrow boat outright. Did it up, lived on board whilst at college & sold it for a profit so his total accomodation costs at Uni were negative.

It was fvcking cold in winter mind. No shower but a small wood burner. Had to do a weekly 'log run' i.e. emptying out loo at specified place along canal (Grand Union near St Albans/Hemel Hempsted ).

I think it took some bottle, you are not allowed to stay in any one place for more than a couple of nights but he just moved down the canal through a different lock every few days. communication was a problem in those days before mobiles "



suggest you do a search on this site for 'canal boat', 'houseboat' etc

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I've sailed all my life, and although I've never lived on a narrowboat I've spent a few extended periods as a liveaboard in a sailboat, including a period on the Thames and on the Medway.

It sounds romantic, and for brief moments it genuinely is romantic, but overall it's a pretty bleak and uncomfortable existence. Even a very big boat is dramatically smaller than a very small flat, so you have to prune your possessions back to the barest minimum. And lack of everyday facilities like a decent sized sink or a washing machine (although I believe one or two houseboats are now getting washing machines) means that you face quite a logistics challenge just staying clean and mildew free.

But the biggest issue is this, a boat afloat (even in an inland marina) is in constant motion and in a hostile and corrosive environment. It really helps to know how to maintain your vessel yourself and to understand when she's comfortable and when she's at risk, if you don't you'll be plagued by anxious thoughts (most of which, like electrolysis and boat pox, you've probably never yet heard of...but you'll find out all about them the day after you buy a boat!) that your floating investment is about to rot and go to the bottom.

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I did it for a couple of years - would highly recommend it. Hard work, cold etc but the freedom was fantastic (would spend summers moving it every weekend and mooring up near railway stations to commute to work), and I liked the simplicity. Fully agree with silver surfer that you need to learn how to maintain the boat, strip the engine etc. Not for everyone but I loved it.

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[quote name='sarahleyburn' timestamp='1312444361' post='3074077']
I did it for a couple of years - would highly recommend it. Hard work, cold etc but the freedom was fantastic (would spend summers moving it every weekend and mooring up near railway stations to commute to work), and I liked the simplicity. Fully agree with silver surfer that you need to learn how to maintain the boat, strip the engine etc. Not for everyone but I loved it.
[/quote]

Sarah why did you leave the narrowboat, just curious?

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[quote name='Twirly' timestamp='1312456310' post='3074325']
Sarah why did you leave the narrowboat, just curious?
[/quote]

I sold the boat when I left the country. I'm now back and considered buying another boat but decided I wanted a house (main factor being to have a garden / some land) - so here I am, waiting for the HPC :)

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[quote name='sarahleyburn' timestamp='1312462083' post='3074462']
I sold the boat when I left the country. I'm now back and considered buying another boat but decided I wanted a house (main factor being to have a garden / some land) - so here I am, waiting for the HPC :)
[/quote]

Yep thats the impression I get from a lot of ex boaters. Sometimes I think narrowboating would just be a stop gap.

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[quote name='Twirly' timestamp='1312463080' post='3074488']
Yep thats the impression I get from a lot of ex boaters. Sometimes I think narrowboating would just be a stop gap.
[/quote]

If you buy a boat you might regret it, if you don't buy a boat you will probably always regret it.

Having had a steel boat, don't buy a rust bucket and remember it's the inside rust that matters, not the outside rust. .

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I started to consider narrowboat living again. I got excited about it and started researching. I thought about spending 70k and getting a wide beam one all kitted out.

But I am now haunted by thoughts of depreciation and rust. I had not previously considered the issue of depreciation.

Its the thought of depreciation that bothers me the most. I can maintain the boat to take care of the rust. But what if in 10 years time I change my mind and want to sell the boat, the boat could be worth half of what I paid for it???

What then? By then I may have no options.

Sometimes there seems to be no alternative to this housing farce. :angry:

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[quote name='Twirly' timestamp='1316975601' post='3128744']
I started to consider narrowboat living again. I got excited about it and started researching. I thought about spending 70k and getting a wide beam one all kitted out.

But I am now haunted by thoughts of depreciation and rust. I had not previously considered the issue of depreciation.

Its the thought of depreciation that bothers me the most. I can maintain the boat to take care of the rust. But what if in 10 years time I change my mind and want to sell the boat, the boat could be worth half of what I paid for it???

What then? By then I may have no options.

Sometimes there seems to be no alternative to this housing farce. :angry:
[/quote]

What about a mobile home? Looking at prices of old vehicles they seem to hold value quite well (if they can sell them at that).

You wouldn't have to pay mooring fees but would pay to charge up at a campsite once or twice a week or someone's house?

Fuel is getting more expensive but that depends how far you want to travel.

Instead of buying a coach built one you could convert a van.

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