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.
We would like some suggestions, as to who to go to, to get quotes for a live-aboard new build. It may well turn out to be a “sailaway + bits fitted” for us to finish ourselves but we want the basics to be right for us and we don’t think we need/can afford a complete “bespoke” build.
We have already visited;
Wharf House narrowboats – very impressed
Tristar (Jeremy Greenwood)
While I’m managing to post this, maybe you can advise on the relative costs of buying a secondhand boat and getting it altered/sorted to suit us?
Not much more to report.
We are visiting the Crick show on Sunday, to see more boats and hopefully get more ideas for the “fit out”.
If any of you are there, look out for us – we’ll have our Ginger Cockerpoo pup with us, she loves going on boats already, including going up ladder and down into shells at the builders!
Please say hello to us!
Let me introduce ourselves to you;
I’m Rob, I work as a teacher/outdoor education instuctor in a special school for “naughty boys” (I’m not allowed to say that, so please don’t quote me!) it’s officially classified as SEBD, basically boys who for whatever reason have had no boundaries put in place! I was originally trained as a musician and worked professionally for several years.
I met my wife – Manda at music college in the late 70’s, so it’s 30 years marriage this year and time for a life style change with our new puppy Molly. The boys have more or less left home, so there’s no excuse not to fulfill our wishes!
We have always loved walking/cycling by canals over the years and are not averse to popping into canal side pubs for the odd pint or two.
So, I now need to explain the need for a wide beam; Manda would be fine with a 6’10” but I’m not sure I could cope! I worry that family and friends would not want to visit/stay due to the intimate nature of the vessel, also I have plans to earn part of my living on board so room is needed for that. We will also need space for the odd impromptu music session with friends old and new.
This evening we visited our second boat builder, Jeremy Greenwood, wow! his craftsmanship and ideas are superb, he has almost convinced me about a 6 footer! he also showed us a hybrid wide beam/dutch barge shell he’s about to start, now that’s got some room for a band! but unfortunately beyond our finances and it maybe a little too big for British waterways. We came away very impressed by Tristar Boats.
Perhaps anyone reading this could help us with advice on choice of size of boat, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m new to “blogging” so not sure if you can post here?
We’re off to Crick in 10 days time, to try to finalise our choice of boat but maybe a weekend aboard a narrow boat with my son and his girlfriend would inform our decision?
It’s so refreshing to meet so many friendly/genuine people, can’t wait to move onto a boat!
Will keep posting as we progress
BTW, we visited A to Z boats last weekend and were equally impressed by Laurie’s boats, there’s going to be a lot of hard decisions heading our way.
Any advice and tips are welcome.