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Harry Monk

Has Anybody Ever Lived On A Boat?

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I have posted before in passing that I'm seriously considering buying a narrowboat in 2016, and just spending the rest of my life and my STR fund cruising round the UK canal network.

Has anybody, or does anybody do this, or know anyone who has or does? I'd be interested in a general overview, hints and tips etc.

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I have posted before in passing that I'm seriously considering buying a narrowboat in 2016, and just spending the rest of my life and my STR fund cruising round the UK canal network.

Has anybody, or does anybody do this, or know anyone who has or does? I'd be interested in a general overview, hints and tips etc.

Boats don't have brakes.

This sounds like a good idea. I would probably hire one for a month or so to try it out first. Then you would get a feel as to whether you want to do it long term without the hassle of going all the way.

I suppose you've thought of this anyway.

I've done some boat hire and a jet ski. Was good fun. Thirsty beasts though. I reckon the diesel could cost you a packet. The jet ski was amazingly inefficient. A global warmalists nightmare.

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One of my friends has one! About 55 foot is a good size. Any shorter and a lot of space gets eaten up by the pointy bit at the front!

Now, the other thing my amigo "Boaty" says, is to get one with an engine room! You think it's a waste of space, but now you have a storage space, and somewhere to dry your clothes! And you can get to the engine! A lot of recent ones have a "marine-ised" van engine under the floor! Change the oil in that!

Remember, you will have to get a boat safety certificate every few years, and mooring fees can be quite expensive!

You will have to get it out of the water, to get her bottom painted (oo arr!!). ;)

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No.

You have not felt "the call of the sea", have you? :o

Obviously canals are not the sea.

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Moorings are hardly ever residential.........and if they are you pay council tax. Without a mooring you HAVE to constantly move or risk the wrath of the waterways authorities who have started to seriously crack down, especially in greater London

Heating costs the same as a house.........(actually more)

Electricity comes as 12voltDC recharged by the engine - red diesel is now very expensive (EEC removed the subsidy)

or 240vAC - from where? moorings plug ins are outrageously expensive generators are very noisy and see above re-diesel

storage is rather minimal

security can be a major issue - anything not welded on will soon disappear

you will lose all your investment very quickly unless you have access to quality buying and maintenance advice

Boat builders, brokers should be likened to estate agents - they seriously lie and rip you off

as said above DO NOT DO IT a house is usually more practical with more room

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My father cruises the canals for extended periods (up to 6 months) - but also has a house. He loves it. And observes that there are lots of happy men living on the canals.

I, OTOH, have a yacht and would find the canals terribly restrictive; tending to agree with the "living in a corridor in a ditch" analogy.

Hire one for a while and see if you like it.

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Canals do not 'call', they whistle seductively.

I love canals! Half speed ahead Number One! And arm the nine inch guns! There's somebody with a painted bucket on their roof! :blink:

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Moorings are hardly ever residential.........and if they are you pay council tax. Without a mooring you HAVE to constantly move or risk the wrath of the waterways authorities who have started to seriously crack down, especially in greater London

Heating costs the same as a house.........(actually more)

Electricity comes as 12voltDC recharged by the engine - red diesel is now very expensive (EEC removed the subsidy)

or 240vAC - from where? moorings plug ins are outrageously expensive generators are very noisy and see above re-diesel

storage is rather minimal

security can be a major issue - anything not welded on will soon disappear

you will lose all your investment very quickly unless you have access to quality buying and maintenance advice

Boat builders, brokers should be likened to estate agents - they seriously lie and rip you off

as said above DO NOT DO IT a house is usually more practical with more room

Wouldn't the house sink though ?

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Boats don't have brakes.

I would probably hire one for a month or so to try it out first. Then you would get a feel as to whether you want to do it long term without the hassle of going all the way.

I suppose you've thought of this anyway.

Yes, although I've been on a few, I've never spent any time aboard, I'm hiring one for a week next August with my girlfriend and boys for a holiday and that will probably be the point at which I make a definite decision although it will at that point still be two years away for various reasons.

However I do live for 5-6 days a week in the sleeper cab of an articulated lorry so I am used to coping with much more limited space.

Thanks for all the input so far.

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Yes, but a house can't travel along a canal. ;)

Like some other people have said, Hire one for a while, and see if you like it! You may have to "downsize" a bit! Not much space in these things! :huh:

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Lived on a 55 footer for twelve years in U.K, Ireland,France,Belgium and the Netherlands.Gave it up in 2004 and changed to a motor caravan.

The U.K seemed too expensive and crowded after the European waterways.I'd say try it but buy a cheap old boat and adapt it to your needs.New boats look horrendously over priced.

Don't do it if you can't fix your own electrics,minor engine and mechanical problems or you will be at the mercy of incompetents.

A few years round Europe in a small Dutch steel cruiser is my recommendation.

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Lived on a 55 footer for twelve years in U.K, Ireland,France,Belgium and the Netherlands.Gave it up in 2004 and changed to a motor caravan.

The U.K seemed too expensive and crowded after the European waterways.I'd say try it but buy a cheap old boat and adapt it to your needs.New boats look horrendously over priced.

Don't do it if you can't fix your own electrics,minor engine and mechanical problems or you will be at the mercy of incompetents.

A few years round Europe in a small Dutch steel cruiser is my recommendation.

Wow! We are all just thinking about this! Would you say a 55 footer is the ideal size? :(

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Had a friend who lived aboard all year round. I think the biggest problem was the cold and damp in the winter. There was a great community of livaboard hippy types though, One boat dweller wanted to get pregnant but her boyfriend was not providing the goods so a few of the other boaties went round with jamjars and she used a spoon as a kind of DIY IVF. I think the idea was if there was 3 or mmore jamjar donors it would be kind of anonymous!

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Wow! We are all just thinking about this! Would you say a 55 footer is the ideal size? :(

There's not really an "ideal size", it all just depends on ones circumstances. You'd want a longer boat if there were three or four people living on it, this one, "Practical Magic", caught my eye tonight, http://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/feature.phtml?id=328420 and that's 48' but I would go down to about 39' as I would mostly be living on it by myself.

Although a longer boat obviously has more space, in general every expense, e.g. mooring, insurance, re-blacking, painting, the annual Waterways licence, is determined by the length, so much per foot. So the right balance is important.

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I have posted before in passing that I'm seriously considering buying a narrowboat in 2016, and just spending the rest of my life and my STR fund cruising round the UK canal network.

Has anybody, or does anybody do this, or know anyone who has or does? I'd be interested in a general overview, hints and tips etc.

I posted a link to this when you mentioned a narrowboat in another thread.

http://www.venetianmarina.co.uk/uploaded/documents/Guide-to-Getting-Afloat.pdf

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I posted a link to this when you mentioned a narrowboat in another thread.

http://www.venetianmarina.co.uk/uploaded/documents/Guide-to-Getting-Afloat.pdf

To be honest, Venetian Marina have a very bad name among boaters, akin to the very worst type of estate agent. "Avoid at all costs" is the general advice given on the canalworld forum.

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I love canals! Half speed ahead Number One! And arm the nine inch guns! There's somebody with a painted bucket on their roof! :blink:

Some of us get quite excited when boats go by the allotment. You can see them in early spring but by late summer they're almost hidden by the trees.

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To be honest, Venetian Marina have a very bad name among boaters, akin to the very worst type of estate agent. "Avoid at all costs" is the general advice given on the canalworld forum.

I wasn't recommending Venetian Marina just wondered if anything in the document might be of interest. Until I read it I didn't even know what 10/6/4 meant.

Given your time on the roads, why are you going for a boat instead of a motorhome? Is it the idea of not paying for moorings?

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Given your time on the roads, why are you going for a boat instead of a motorhome? Is it the idea of not paying for moorings?

It's more the idea of travelling at 3 mph rather than 56 mph ;)

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You do have the advantage that you could buy a lorry trailer then buy a half built one and put it on the trailer and work on it at weekends fitting it out exactly as you want. There's quite a few things I'd have done differently if I had fitted mine myself.

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One of my friends has one! About 55 foot is a good size. Any shorter and a lot of space gets eaten up by the pointy bit at the front!

Now, the other thing my amigo "Boaty" says, is to get one with an engine room! You think it's a waste of space, but now you have a storage space, and somewhere to dry your clothes! And you can get to the engine! A lot of recent ones have a "marine-ised" van engine under the floor! Change the oil in that!

Remember, you will have to get a boat safety certificate every few years, and mooring fees can be quite expensive!

You will have to get it out of the water, to get her bottom painted (oo arr!!). ;)

You would be able to suck the oil out of the dipstick, or some other, hole - I'm not kidding.

It's the sides below the water line you need to get it out to paint (hull blacking) you don't bother painting the bottom. It seems corrosion problems are actually worse when you're mostly in a marina - which isn't something I'd considered.

If you do think you might ever want to sell I'm not sure stuff like engine rooms and trad sterns wouldn't put off a lot of the best financed potential buyers.

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