to consider living in a canal boat?

(90 Posts)

OH and I are saving and saving to buy land and build (and maybe for me to set up a business) and he would like to move from our rented house to a canal boat (we live near a lot of canals).
It would definitely save money though there would be certain sacrifices but I can't help but think that it would be a bit of a laugh...
We're in our mid-twenties and don't have any responsibilities, it could be a lot of fun (?)
AIBU to seriously think about it or have I got some extremely rose-tinted glasses on?

akaemmafrost Thu 14-Mar-13 21:22:23

STOP IT coat <<shudders>>

coatonarack Thu 14-Mar-13 21:25:09

It's not the nose.

It's the.....

TAILS

Going to do the ironing now. Byeeeeeee

akaemmafrost Thu 14-Mar-13 21:31:13

I hate spiders too. My dog eats them. I can't have him near me for hours after he has crunched them up with obvious delight. So grim!

cardibach Thu 14-Mar-13 21:33:44

What's that about communal showers? Nobody I know who has lived on a narrow boat has ever used those - they all have their own aboard! (I've known quite a few).
Rats prevalent everywhere.
Boats really warm and cosy in the winter.
Do it! My neice has just moved off hers (because she has moved to somewhere with no canals) but she loved it.

freddiefrog Thu 14-Mar-13 21:36:33

DH and I lived on a narrowboat for a couple of years pre-children

Tbh, it was a bit wasted on us, it was just a cheap place to live really

piratecat Thu 14-Mar-13 21:39:56

seeker, your boat is amazing. wow.

op ex dh and considered this too, before we had a baby, really fancied it for a while, then i got pg and i wanted real walls lol.

looks like the biggest cost is moorings - About £2,000-£2,500 a year in my area. Seems a lot...

BumpingFuglies Thu 14-Mar-13 22:28:57

It is a lot Op, but consider the offset in utilities. Seeker wanna buy my SeaRay 39 EC? grin

BumpingFuglies Thu 14-Mar-13 22:35:47

Sorry, meant that genuinely, twas my Dad's boat. Love it to bits, just can't keep it on. Gah, shuttup me.

Xiaoxiong Thu 14-Mar-13 23:11:21

Seeker I have a Humber keel!! Lived on it 2 years pre DC, and now stay there weekends & holidays.

Xiaoxiong Thu 14-Mar-13 23:21:11

And I've never even seen a rat on the river, let alone had one on board our barge. Or a spider. Now we have a real house we have rats in the garden and spiders in the bathroom hmm we also have a postcode, broadband, pay council tax, have a regular toilet, etc. it's no different to a house except for a little less room and the gentle rocking when the tide comes in.

Much prefer the look of a barge to a narrowboat. But where do you moor a barge? Spent the whole evening researching moorings in the midlands and there are no residential ones at all!

LadyPessaryPam Thu 14-Mar-13 23:34:37

I know someone who lives on a canal boat with her Mum and her Mums BF. It's shit, fucking cold and cramped and mostly muddy. I would never do it if I had a choice after hearing her story.

squeakytoy Thu 14-Mar-13 23:38:55

One of my friends has just moved onto a river boat to live.. I am so envious. I would absolutely love to do it.

Xiaoxiong Thu 14-Mar-13 23:57:57

SeventhHorcrux we are in the Thames. We're one of the smallest boats on our mooring at 57 ft long and 15ft beam. Try looking on rivers, estuary waters or old industrial docks/piers for larger moorings.

Pam it sounds like their boat was just uncomfortable, overcrowded and poorly maintained, just like there are flats and houses that are small and cold and damp and miserable - but they wouldn't put you off living in flats or houses in general would it?

Xiaoxiong Thu 14-Mar-13 23:59:28

*on the Thames, not in hmm

Bit worrying if you were in the Thames grin

Can't find anything for residential moorings really, nothing at a reasonable price anyway!
I'm giving up and going to bed for now - I will dream of boats and rats!

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 15-Mar-13 00:05:21

Id love to live on a boat. Ive been to Whilton Lock and looked round the yard. Its lovely. Rats dont bother me.
What does concern me is maintenance costs. How often doe a canal boat need its hull scraping and repainting/rustproofing? Theres a smallish lightship moored near us, and they said every 5 years and about £50k! Its a lovely boat though, the cabins are beautiful. All fitted out in teak!

BeCool Fri 15-Mar-13 00:14:12

My colleague lives on one. It's a lifestyle choice and there is a lot of work involved with it. He has a lovely barge - but he doesn't use the loo except in an emergency and never for # 2s shock. He showers etc in gym. If you aren't plumbed into the mains dealing with waste is a pain.

I've never heard him mention rats though and the community of river dwellers seems v nice and interesting.

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 07:24:33

There are nasty, cramped, cold and dirty houses too- presumably that doesn't put you off houses!

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 07:25:48

If anyone is thinking of doing it though, remember that lovely boats are two a penny. Moorings, particularly secure, residential moorings, are like hen's teeth.

Xiaoxiong Fri 15-Mar-13 08:14:51

Agree with seeker - we bought a boat that came with its mooring, found it through apolloduck though it was also listed on riverhomes. The mooring lease approximately doubles the value of the boat.

And you can have a hot shower OR bath on our barge. We do try and use as little toilet paper as possible but that's just common sense wink

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 08:37:51

You can have a shower or a bath on ours too. And cook hot food on the Aga. Oh, and if it gets chilly, you can turn up the central heating. You can also go to the loo.

Don't you just love a Humber Keel? So incredibly british looking-none of this fancy foreign looking pretty nonesense!

VerySmallSqueak Fri 15-Mar-13 21:51:25

I would absolutely do it if I had the money.
I would happily raise my children on a boat - what a great way to grow up.

MrsSparkles Fri 15-Mar-13 22:17:51

Do it, do it! My parents have a canal boat (not to live on though) and we have spent so many happy holidays on it.

Have never seen a rat, and the boat is warmer and cosier than my house - too hot at times. Also never had to use a communual shower, and the loos are much improved.

I would happily live on one if I didn't have so much stuff thats taken over a 3 bedroom house

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