Saturday, June 26, 2021

Moving onto a narrowboat

An increasing number of people are turning to canal-living as an alternative mode of living - but is it right for you? This is the kind of lifestyle that you don’t want to rush into, and it is probably true that it also requires a particular kind of personality in order to make it work and for it to be enjoyable. But if you are considering this change, there are a few things that you are going to want to be aware of first and foremost. Let’s take a look at some of the essentials of moving onto a narrowboat.

Pic Credit - CCO Licence

Decide On Your Optimal Boat Length

Once you start to look around at narrowboats, you are immediately going to discover that there are actually many types of them to choose from, and it is going to be necessary to compare and contrast them as well as you can. One thing you need to decide upon is what length you want - around 40ft is probably the minimum you would want, and suitable only for a solo individual, whereas if there are two or more of you, it might be better to look more at around the 55ft-60ft mark. Ultimately, it’s up to you.

Bear In Mind The Maintenance Costs

Living on a narrowboat is generally going to be a lot more affordable than renting a home, but there are still maintenance costs that you will need to prepare for. It is best to work out your likely annual budget for each of these and then divide it by twelve, and put aside that money each month. You need to consider the cost of diesel for the engine, coal or wood for the fire, and the cost of having the boat surveyed and blacked every three years. Likewise, there might be other costs to consider, depending on what your specific situation might be.

Get Breakdown Cover

You might not have been aware of this, but you can get breakdown cover for boats just as you can for cars, and it is definitely a wise move to make sure you have this before you move onto your boat. Such cover can protect you and get you back to a safe place should you break down, and often these policies will come with an annual engine service too. You could avoid a lot of boating accident injuries this way, so it’s definitely something to budget for.

Pic Credit - CCO Licence

Permanent Mooring Or Continuous Cruiser?

You’ll also want to decide whether you are going to be moored up somewhere permanently or a continuous cruiser. If the latter, you have to follow the rules around how much you can stay in one place. Generally, you can stay somewhere for 14 days, after which time you will have to move around 20 miles. But if you prefer, you can get a private mooring - this costs you an annual fee, but still nowhere near as much as rent on a house.

Those are the major things you need to think about if you are going to move onto a narrowboat.

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

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