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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?

Raebeech Fri 15-Mar-13 22:21:46

The idea sounds lovely, but you need to consider the practicalities of it. Contact the Canal & River Trust to find out about moorings in your area and the cost of them. Many places you can only stay for certain periods of time would you want a permanent mooring or to be a 'continuous cruiser' moving every week or so. They will be able to give you costings of boat licences, mooring etc and possibly some marinas where you can moor on a longer term. Also details of where sanitary stations are for the fun jobs of pumping out the loo tank etc...

Some boats are positively luxurious, others well, not so much. Think how you would cope with a winter like the last one on a boat. Personally I'd love to have a nosey round one with a nice little wood burner.

Another idea is to check out the boating publications, Towpath Talk, Canal Boat World, Waterway World etc, they should give you an insight into the living on a boat. is probably a good starter on research.

Hope that helps some.

As for rats - a cat!

Theas18 Fri 15-Mar-13 22:32:41

My friend does. She's got no heating and has been freezing all winter. It's also perpetually damp. I think she's bonkers - well she always has been but I loves her anyway! ( disclaimer I've not been to her boat and she only over here in the autumn. She's saving for a wood burning stove!)

VerySmallSqueak Fri 15-Mar-13 22:37:33

I agree with Saggy in that I would need to know the maintenance costs involved.

And I would definitely not consider it without a woodburner - a house without heating is cold and damp enough so I imagine a boat would be very hard going.

MsWetherwax Fri 15-Mar-13 23:53:40

I work at a marina with residential moorings. We also have a brokerage department if you're interested - feel free to pm me if I can help OP.

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 23:57:17

Not a wood burner if you can help it- too much like hqrd work. An oil fired Aga is the way to go. You just have to shut your eyes and hum while you pay the oil man!

VerySmallSqueak Sat 16-Mar-13 00:02:38

There's something lovely about woodburners though seeker (though I agree they are bloody hard work). Can't say I'd turn my nose up at an oil fired aga,mind you.

You hum,I'll chop grin

edam Sat 16-Mar-13 00:12:10

ooh, I'd love to live on a narrowboat. Spent many a happy holiday on them. My little sister and I had big plans that when we grew up we'd have a narrowboat and butty with a craft shop in the butty and the boat just for us. Only thing is an actual narrowboat is just that, only 6'10" wide - OK for a holiday but would take some adjusting to for a long term option. A barge on a river or wide canal might be a better option.

I wonder where people get these bizarre ideas about communal showers and similar nonsense from?

edam Sat 16-Mar-13 00:12:42

(maybe they have somehow managed to confuse 'canal' and 'camping'?)

cumfy Sat 16-Mar-13 01:14:55

Seeker, that's a fucking ship! Cooool.grin

Selks Sat 16-Mar-13 02:33:52

Seeker your boat is amazing! smile

Xiaoxiong Sat 16-Mar-13 13:18:00

Yes seeker she is a beaut - now I want to put pictures of mine up too and have a beauty contest wink ours has a black hull, red uppers, hammerite silver rails and wooden decking on the stern deck. Skylights so it's lovely and bright inside.

We don't have an aga, just a woodburner and electric heaters on timers. Our neighbours have diesel central heating and it wasn't insulated well and stank to high heaven.

Maintenance and costs are nothing compared to a real house...since moving onto dry land I think our expenses have tripled!

VerySmallSqueak Sat 16-Mar-13 14:00:27

That is encouraging to know Xiaoxiong.

Now I just need to somehow get the money....

ivykaty44 Sat 16-Mar-13 14:05:23

if you don't have a residentail mooring - which cost a bit - then you will be of no fixed abode, this is fine but for things like driving licence, insurance and banking it can be a problem not have a fixed abode.

If you can get someone else to say you live at their place and use their address you will be fine

Radigund Fri 11-Apr-14 21:49:37

I'm a single mum looking to change life and live on a canal boat with my 12 year old son. My only concern is how would my son go to school as though he is in Secondary School year 7 we need to move 30 miles to start this new lifestyle and will have no permanent address to register, can any one offer advice on this .....

fedupandknackered Fri 11-Apr-14 21:53:53

pm'd you

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