raising a child on a houseboat?

(15 Posts)
pod3030 Sun 17-Mar-13 20:05:37

wonder if anyone out there has done it and could give advice. i'm seriously thinking of buying a narrowboat with mooring to live on. i split with my exp several months ago, family home etc is all in his name. the area we lived in is expensive to rent, i am tired of struggling to keep up appearances. i want to simplify, get a bit more real. i have a 16m dd, very active. are small children on liveaboards a no no?

RenterNomad Sun 17-Mar-13 20:39:58

Not sure about the safety aspect (I presume you're worried about falls overboard?). Would a static caravan be a similar outlay, or are they not picturesque enough? (Nothing wrong with not wanting to live somewhere ugly, BTW. As my name indicates, I've moved around, and very few rentals are "lovely". Our last place was pretty ugly, actually....)

pod3030 Sun 17-Mar-13 20:53:54

i like the idea of the community feel of live aboarding, and it is more picturesque i suppose! there are some lovely conversions. and you would have the option of changing scenery if you wanted to. but yes, it is the safety aspect/room to grow for children i am concerned with.

I don't think I'd live in a house with a pond (uncovered) with a 16month old, never mind on a river.

I guess in the past, families lived on working barges etc, and the children lived to tell about it, but it would freak me out personally.

MajaBiene Sun 17-Mar-13 20:56:06

I know a few people who have had children while living on boats, but all have moved once the child is 18 months-2ish due to space, wanting a garden, wanting to be able to let the child play without constant supervision.

simpson Sun 17-Mar-13 20:58:37

I know people who live on a houseboat and their DC are 7 and 4.

They love it but are now buying a house as the kids need more space. But they have lived on the boat since before they had DC.

Tertius Sun 17-Mar-13 21:00:26

I know someone who did this for a few years but it wasn't sustainable with children.

A small gardenless flat is hard enough (and I speak from experience.)

pod3030 Sun 17-Mar-13 21:01:40

thanks, that's what i imagined, once dd is more adventurous i'll be worrying about her safety. hmm, needs more thought.

thingamajig Sun 17-Mar-13 21:02:37

You will have very little space, no washing machine, heating will probably be wood fuelled, loo will need emptying, water refilling, no generator on after 8pm (so all lights will need to be battery operated), and you and she WILL fall in. My brother lives on a canal boat and he falls in sometimes. Depending on parking, everything will have to be carried along a muddy towpath (no spare hand for your dc) If you really want to do it and go in with your eyes open then fime, but don't expect it to be idyllic - the sense of community is great, but I guess you would need to pick an area where you go carefully.

RenterNomad Sun 17-Mar-13 21:08:16

Hmmm... have been thinking, and you could rig up a railing with a trailing harness?! Or fence the deck? But do take advice from people more experienced (probably) than we are! smile

GoSuckEggs Sun 17-Mar-13 21:12:51

I live on a narrow boat, feel free to PM me

simpson Sun 17-Mar-13 21:19:15

You also have to be careful if you do fall in as the water is very dirty and you can get quite ill from swallowing it (nothing a strong dose of ABs won't sort out though).

montage Sun 17-Mar-13 21:30:20

I would guess that it would be easier to have a child who had spent their early life on a boat, than to have to teach an active toddler to adjust to new limitations and new dangers very suddenly.

Xiaoxiong Sun 17-Mar-13 21:33:29

Depending on the size and type of boat you can go from what thingamajig describes to what we live on, which is nothing like that!! We have loads of space (57 feet long), washing machine and dryer, electric heat as well as a wood burner, mains loos, shower and bath, water tank does need filling every 2-3 weeks but from standpipe approx 4 feet away so you just turn the tap on on a Sunday morning, mains electrics and broadband, never fallen in even when coming home trollied and never heard of anyone on our entire mooring falling in in 40 years (according to our senior resident, I did ask once when I was worried pre-DS).

Our neighbours have 2 teenagers who were born and raised on their barge, they've turned out fine. We have rigged up netting all the way around for DS (15 months) for when we are aboard but we usually have him on reins on deck and keep one hand on him at all times. The weather's not so nice that we are up on deck for long - usually he is in the sling when we come on and off the boat on the way to the park. The one thing I would be careful of is coming down a gangway with a buggy, slings are definitely safer as you have both hands if necessary.

Basically a boat has a lot of the same pros and cons as living in a flat, but a lot more pros than cons smile

pod3030 Sun 17-Mar-13 23:33:16

hey thanks for the replies smile i've been looking at more modern interiors, so with mod cons (washing machine etc) it's good to hear other people are raising children aboard. I know there are more gated moorings where you have a keycode to get through. then the people who have moorings along towpaths for instance . i suppose i've got to do some more in depth research with regards to knowing what is a good boat to buy,.

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