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 Miss George

After testing the lifestyle by taking a narrowboat holiday in the depths of winter, Jaks and Andy have now lived on their own narrowboat for four years on a rustic farm mooring on the cut with no facilities.

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

Jaks & Andy , with Bruno 9 and Freddie 4, the 2 mad staffies who bark at most boats who cruise past our mooring on the Ashby.

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

We were caravaners to start with, then had a boating holiday in February cheap off ebay. It was cold with cat ice on the cut but we loved it, a few years later we found Miss George on eBay not far from our house and with the kids doing there own thing we did it.

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

George on the north OxfordShe was called Miss George when we bought her, we would like to know why!

Do you have a permanent mooring?

A farm non towpath linear mooring which came with the boat. we have no facilities.

What is your boat style and length

A 1984 62 ft Peter Nichols trad, with a very unusual offside engine with lots of pulleys to the prop. we would love to know more about her!

How long have you been a narrowboat owner?

4 years

How did you finance your boat?

A loan

How much time do you spend on your boat each year?

More than we do in a house

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

Both work for a agency have done so for a year, but planning to cruise some of the network next year!(we work 6 days 6am- 2pm) in a warehouse, we go to bed early which saves on electric!

What do you like least about narrowboat life?

This year has quite bad our engine ceased and we had to buy and fit a second hand one, the gear box coupling is broken at the minute,which Andy is hopefully going to fix next week as we are on holiday. condensation in the winter, no long lingering hot baths.

What do you like most about narrowboat life?

The out doors and simple life,  the boating community take you back to a time gone by when you could leave your back door open and borrow a cup of sugar!

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

Nothing really, we are easy to please and have a cosy cottage style boat!

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

Plan ahead, walk you are never far away from a shop.

How do you do your washing when you are cruising?

We have a full size washing machine, as we have a generator, powered by the engine.

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

Pump out with macerator, and back up Porta Potti.

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

Orange dongle, yes and no, would like better.

What is your favourite canal or section of canal?

Anywhere. when we not a work, home is nice.

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

When be bought the boat it had been upgraded by rose narrowboats, we have 4 leisure batteries,inverter, mastervolt charger, and a on board generator, we are sensible we only use high power equipment when the engine is running,we plug in phones laptop etc only when we put engine on, we try and be organised with rechargeable stuff. we do have 2 old small solar panels and are planning to upgrade. we also have some led lights which help.

How warm is your narrowboat in the winter?

In the last few very cold winters we were warmer than in our house, and it was cheaper as we burn anything and everything.

What advice can you offer someone considering living on a narrowboat?

Try before you buy in cold weather, go to boating pubs or chat to boaters

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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 website.

 

 

12v sockets. Something I’m hoping to resolve pdq.

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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.