Learn about life afloat the easy way

Life on a narrowboat can be as peaceful as it is idyllic BUT you need to understand the pros, cons, highs, lows, and day to day logistics in living on England's inland waterways. Let me help you find out all you need to know before you commit to what could be a very expensive mistake.


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A Case Study Of Liveaboard Narrowboat Blue Moon

Mike Barrett cruises the waterways using his narrowboat as a floating office. The canal’s tranquility enhances his creative spirit for the work he does as a graphic artist. His blog reflects his desire to design. I love it! {{{0}}}

Who are you? (and your significant other and, of course, your dog if you have one)

Mike Barrett

Mike Barrett

I am Mike Barrett, age 67 happily partnered to Kerry. We live in Hebden Bridge

Tell me a little about yourself and why you decided to live a life afloat

I decided to experiment with living on a narrowboat initially just for the summer. Our children have left home and I wanted to find a creative space. Kerry was not too horrified so I went ahead and bought Blue Moon in April with the possibility of selling her in September. Kerry, friends and family will be visiting at various times throughout the summer and I will occasionally return home for work meetings and to play gigs with my band the Peace Artistes.

What is your boat called and why did you decide on that name?

Blue Moon – she was already called this and I like it

What is your boat style and length

40 ft Traditional

How long have you been a narrowboat owner?

6 years

How did you finance your boat?

From savings

Are you still working? (If so, what do you do?)

Yes, I’m a graphic designer

What do you like least about narrowboat life?

Too early to say – but it would be nice if it stopped raining.

What do you like most about narrowboat life?

Freedom, closeness to nature, semi-outdoor existence.

If you could change just one thing about your boat, what would it be?

Paint the roof – by magic.

When you are cruising how do you resupply (How do you get to the supermarket without a car)?

I walk to a shop with a rucksack – I’ve never had a car.

Narrowboat Blue Moon

Narrowboat Blue Moon

How do you do your washing when you are cruising?

I wash my smalls by hand and hang them about. I save the bigger items for a launderette.

What type of toilet do you have on board and are you happy with it?

Pump-out. It’s OK but he fees are a bit expensive (nearly ?20 last time).

How do you connect to the internet when you are on your boat and are you happy with the service you receive?

I have a 3 dongle which is pretty good most of the time but there’s no good connection in the deeper cut on S.Oxford Canal. My iPhone usually gets a signal with O2

What is your favourite canal or section of canal?

I’ve hardly started! I set off from Baunston where I bought the boat and have reached Lower Heyford on the Oxford Canal. I’m heading towards Oxford to meet my son. It’s lovely!

How do you generate electricity when you are cruising and how much do you use?

Blue Moon has 3 domestic batteries. I have not switched the fridge on yet but have to keep my laptop, camera, Wacom screen and radio supplied from a 300w inverter. I don’t have a TV. and use minimum LED and fluorescent lights. I run the engine every day. So far I’ve not run the batteries dry.

 

Mike has a unique approach to blogging. You can read it here.

Are you one of the lucky few who lives the dream on board your own narrowboat full time? Would you like to share your experience with some of the thousands of potential floating home owners who visit this site? If you can spare the time to answer a few simple questions, I would love to hear from you. Just let me know so I can email the questions to you. I’ll create a post like the one above complete with a link back to your own blog or web site.

 

Useful Information
Entertainment
Summary
Paul Smith
 

After six and a half years living on a narrowboat on England's inland waterways, Paul and his wife Cynthia now wander Europe by motorhome during the winter, and on the Dutch and French waterways in the warmer months on their 32' Dutch motor cruiser.

Comments
  • bsp2215 Thursday,14 June, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Oddly enough, I’ve been living and working aboard my narrowboat for 2 months now – I’m a graphic designer – and she’s called Blue Moon……! If it’s of interest I’ve been using 3G – but have an external aerial that connects to a wireless router (it takes any 3G sim). Not the fastest or cheapest but has proved very reliable and it means I can connect my iMac, Laptop, iPhone etc… Really enjoying living (and working) aboard.

     
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