to consider living in a canal boat?

(109 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.

canalrivertrust.org.uk/boating 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

nellynoo13 Wed 08-Apr-15 09:43:53

Hi. Do any mums live on canal boats on here? We are looking to move onto a widebeam with my two little ones so am looking to connect/chat with other mums who live aboard. Thank you :0) xx

rembrandtsrockchick Wed 08-Apr-15 11:21:09

Hello Nelly. I'm a mum who lives on a boat though my kids are are now in their forties and have their own boats.

I think you are going to love it! There will be lots of other parents doing the same thing.

Whereabouts are you based?

CuttedUpPear Wed 08-Apr-15 11:42:25

Checking in to look at Seeker's boatsmile

5Foot5 Wed 08-Apr-15 13:29:47

"Aga. Posh bathroom. Insulation. Mains electricity.*Clavicord.*"
^
Does that come as standard?

5Foot5 Wed 08-Apr-15 13:30:39

The query was about the clvicord not the aga. Blooming bold didn't work.

loveareadingthanks Wed 08-Apr-15 13:51:11

I spent a whole year living crammed in one small room with all my possessions. It's amazing what you can do without when you don't have space to fill up. This is the perfect time for something like this. It's not forever...if you don't like it, sell up.

expatinscotland Wed 08-Apr-15 13:54:21

Sounds fantastic! I'd do it in a second.

nellynoo13 Fri 10-Apr-15 14:54:19

Hi remsbrantrockchick
We are not on board yet but hope to be on the Avon and Kennet canal once we have found 'the' boat. Did your children move onto their own boat because they were brought up on one? I'm desperate to hear others experiences :0) x

londonrach Fri 10-Apr-15 15:01:23

Got a friend living on a canel boat. Its amazing life. Canel fork are very friendly. I never forgotten sitting on their boat and it was raining outside but we were snug as a bug in a rug. Go for it!

rembrandtsrockchick Sat 11-Apr-15 20:00:50

Ah...the Kennet and Avon. We spent the winter of 2013/14 at the Cain Hill marina. We traversed the K n A twice and are now in the fens. Lovely canal but some of the locks are hard work.

We moved onto a boat when the boys were 16 and 18 but had spent many years with sailing boats prior to that.

I know several couples who live aboard with children and most of them love it.

It helps if you actually cruise the boat too, rather than just treat it as a house on the water.

The elder boy now lives on a beautiful dutch sailing barge (no children yet) and the younger one lives ashore but has a sailing boat (three very young children).

You will need to be adaptable, inventive with problem solving and willing to go with the flow!

Enjoy!

PS...if you get the chance to do the Cain Hill Flight do so. They are the easiest locks on the whole canal, there is lots of help if you need it and it's great fun too.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now