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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JetMeg1 – the beginning of a new life.

In the Steel yard

In the Steel yard


IMG_1167I was reading a blog about a couple who had sold their house & bought a liveaboard, following the husband’s brush with cancer. I could have written it myself!

In February 2011, Chris had (we were told later) 48 hours before a tumour on his spine severed his spinal chord, which would have led to his demise. It seemed so unfair; after fighting rheumatoid arthritis for a number of years, he was finally in remission – only to be hit by the big C. It’s true what everyone says. Surviving something like this is a life changing experience. We were living in a lovely country cottage.. but on the top of the Pennines.. & it was built over 4 floors. Too much for Chris. When we bought the house in 1993 we had a choice between that & a narrowboat. So we just reverted to Plan B.

After 2 years of angst selling the house, our boat – JetMeg1 (named after our 2 late border collies) – is currently in the build stage & hopefully we will be able to move onto her early December. She is 58′ x 13′, & you can see the hull in the attached photo. We are living in a caravan at the moment & can’t wait to start our new life.

 We looked at used boats & decided that, as this was going to be our home, we wanted our own build. We visited a few boat builders & Burscough Boats offered us what we wanted. “It’s your boat – you tell us what you want”!
So here’s the technical bit:
JetMeg1 will have hydraulic steering,  provision for tiller;  bow & stern bow thrusters; the jury is still out on whether we have Vetus 65 or Barrus Shire 70 . .. the latter has more torque at tickover, but the Vetus would use slightly more revs (better for the engine); both engines have ample power for the boat when on rivers. She will have a 3KW Victron inverter, 4 1×35 amp leisure batteries, 1 starter battery & bow thruster batteries. Pump out toilet, 1 bedroom, Morrso Squirrel stove, & Webatso diesel heating; Kingspan insulation, Dog Box & she will be  reverse layout.

Also still under consideration is Sonos wireless stereo system & Gomax satellite system. If anyone has experience of these, we would be very interested in your comments. After reading other boater’s blogs on here, we have plumped for 3MiFi.. & in the caravan it is currently working brilliantly, where TMobile & o2 dongles were useless.

Initially we will moor at Scarisbrick Marina, & intend from Spring 2014 to cruise wherever we fancy, whilst we can, & when we want. We are open to advice, help, support & more importantly – making new friends………

Chris & Vivien H

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Retired, waiting to cruise!