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The REAL Cost Of Living On A Narrowboat
Discover ALL the costs of narrowboat life. Can you afford a life afloat?
Friday,20 July, 2012
8:31 pm
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I’m often asked questions about the costs of living afloat; is it cheaper than living in a house or a flat? Do you have to pay council tax? How much does a decent liveaboard narrowboat cost? What are the licensing fees, insurance and maintenance costs? How much fuel is required to run the engine or power the heating? How much does electricity cost on a shore line, or generated from the boat engine? Are “green” power sources effective and how much do they cost to buy and run?

Over the last couple of years I’ve been answering all of these questions – and more – from my own experience and from the experience of other liveaboard boat owners. Now I’ve documented it all in aeBook and made the information available to site and forum visitors. I’m confident that it’s the most comprehensive and detailed information that you’ll find anywhere, either on or off the internet. If you are considering living on a narrowboat it really is an essential read.

Just complete this very short form to start receiving the information immediately.

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Monday,24 September, 2012
5:16 pm
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Hello Paul,  thanks for the really useful emails you sent about the cost of living on the canals.

 

Just a couple of queries :-

1.    Is the licence fee capped at all, because I get the feeling that every time the CRT need to raise more money then they’ll just hike the cost of the annual licence.

2.    Do canal boats qualify for lower-tax red diesel, and if so do the marinas generally pass that lower cost on to users.

 

Keep up the good work,

 

Richard.

Monday,24 September, 2012
6:11 pm
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Hi Richard. Welcome to the forum. 

No the license fees aren’t capped but what other expense that you face in life in general is capped. Yes, the license fees probably will rise, but I’m sure that the rise will be reasonable. If the trust increase the cost as you suggest, less people will be able to afford to run their boats so there will be less boats on the system and less money going into the Trust coffers. I wouldn’t worry about it too much!

With regard to the cost of diesel, there is a discount of sorts available to you. Any diesel that you put in your boat for propulsion is charged at or close to the price that you would pay for your car. Diesel that is used for heating is free of duty so is about 50p per litre less than the propulsion price. As many boats draw their heating diesel from the propulsion tank, it’s very difficult for the vendor to establish what you are using for propulsion and what you are using for heating.

The solution is to charge you for a combination of the two. The standard combination is a 60/40 split (i.e. 60% of the total diesel you put in your tank will be charged at the propulsion rate and 40% will be charged at the heating rate). However, some vendors allow you to state your own split. You have to sign a declaration that is passed on to Revenue and Customs so in theory the government can track you down and ask you to justify the split you have declared. In reality they don’t. They have bigger fish to fry.

Because you are able to determine your own split, it is possible (and not terribly unusual) to claim that you are using more diesel for heating than you really are. Some boaters take this to extremes and claim that they use 100% for heating. Of course they aren’t and they’ll probably get away with it. What you declare is between you and your conscience

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Tuesday,25 September, 2012
3:44 pm
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Thanks Paul.      The problem with having an arbitrary split rate cost for diesel is that it can so easily be changed at the stroke of a politician’s pen if they suspect widespread abuse, just like recently when VAT was imposed on mobile homes, although hopefully they’ll have learned from the u-turn they had to make on the hated ‘pastie tax’.

   

Thursday,11 October, 2012
12:22 pm
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Just finished reading http://livingonanarrowboat.co……arrowboat/ and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone thinking of buying and essential for estimating what my annual costs might be.

One question, please (I am sure I will have many more). Assuming a fairly new boat, how much do you think engine servicing and painting the engine bay would cost and how often would they need doing (service is presumably annual). I know you said £25-£40 per hour but how many hours?

I also suggest you look again at your internet costs (and update the costs in your book – 12 month account you mention appears to be no longer available – 24 month 15gb is £18.99).  Can’t you put it in your partners name?  If not a monthly 5GB costs £15.99. If you have a smartphone you can get unlimited internet on your phone for £12.90 per month (incl 200 minutes and 5000 texts) and unlimited tethering for £25 per month (incl 2000 minutes and 5000 texts).  This is on Three and when I was on the K&A last week there were very few occaisions I could not get internet access on my iphone.  This is an area of importance to me as when I live onboard I will require daily internet access.

Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther

Days without name and hours without number

http://thelovelylisanarrowboat.blogspot.co.uk
 
Friday,6 December, 2013
10:14 am
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apparently the site’s paypal is down so its not possible to buy the pdf.

Friday,6 December, 2013
10:17 am
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darkjenso said
apparently the site’s paypal is down so its not possible to buy the pdf.

Can you tell me which link you tried?

 

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Tuesday,5 August, 2014
9:40 pm
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Hi – just found this great site!

 

I have tried to get the PDF book but also got yhr message that the vendor’s paypal account is down.

 

Rod

Thursday,7 August, 2014
6:38 am
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rodrod1 said
Hi – just found this great site!

 

I have tried to get the PDF book but also got yhr message that the vendor’s paypal account is down.

 

Rod

Hi Rodrod1. Welcome to the forum. Can you please tell me what where you saw this message? As far as I am aware there are no issues with my PayPal account so maybe it’s just a link which needs fixing. Let me know and I’ll investigate.

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Friday,10 October, 2014
5:52 pm
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I have a quick question regarding costs –  I have recently ripped out my old boiler onboard my narrowboat.  It was an electric heater that consumed so much energy and MOST OF MY MONEY! I need a new heater for this winter and would just like any advice on what sort of heater I should be looking for.  It needs to be relatively low cost and easy to resource.  Any help would be much appreciated from anyone thank you. KissLaughCool

Friday,10 October, 2014
6:22 pm
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Continuous Cruiser
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Are you talking water heater, central heating or background heating?

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

Friday,10 October, 2014
9:31 pm
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we have a diesel fired eberspacher for water and heating up 5 radiators as well as a multifuel stove which burns logs and coal.  we set the ebespacher for the mornings to come on so it is warm when we get out bed as it takes the chill off the boat when we are getting to ready togo to work and the lad to school, and then we use the stove in the evenings as it is easier to run when someone is around and able to keep an eye on it.    A lot of it seems to be based on your daily pattern.  the retired couple three boats down run the stove from when they get up, but they are around all day.  most of us who have to work seem to follow the diesel heater route or oil filled radiators in the morning and stove at night.

Saturday,11 October, 2014
5:59 am
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I have a solid fuel stove with a back boiler which feeds three radiators. Very shortly I will have it on twenty four hours a day. A bag of coal briquettes lasts me about two and a half days at a cost of £11 a bag. The stove does not provide me with hot water. Hot water comes from my calorifier which is powered by my shore supply when I’m on my mooring and by my engine when I’m out cruising.

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Monday,13 October, 2014
1:27 pm
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Stocking up on food and water, finding that quiet spot and mooring fees on the opposite bank for a few days is what I’m thinking about..If you want to know actual cost of living on a boat. you can find all the related information regarding this.LaughLaugh

Monday,13 October, 2014
1:31 pm
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liverpoolmarina said
Stocking up on food and water, finding that quiet spot and mooring fees on the opposite bank for a few days is what I’m thinking about..If you want to know actual cost of living on a boat. you can find all the related information regarding this.LaughLaugh

Oh no you don’t. I have removed the link to your site. If you want to advertise on here, please email me personally.

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Monday,3 November, 2014
7:49 am
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Hey really is it true…

Would surely prefer narrowboat but may I ask you what is difference in other boat and this one?

Is it used for boating also or not whether boat cover is also required?

Please reply… 

Thank You

Monday,3 November, 2014
6:44 pm
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karenhenry04 said
Hey really is it true…

Would surely prefer narrowboat but may I ask you what is difference in other boat and this one?

Is it used for boating also or not whether boat cover is also required?

Please reply… 

Thank You

I’m not sure what you’re referring to as the “other boat”. Can you elaborate?

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Monday,10 November, 2014
11:29 am
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Hey Paul,

Other boats here means life boat, model boat, river boats etc is different from narrowboat or not?

If I am wrong please correct me and give answer. :)

Monday,10 November, 2014
1:26 pm
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The information relates to boats you can live on on the inland waterways of England and Wales, so life boats and model boats are excluded (unless you’re very, very small).

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Monday,7 March, 2016
4:29 pm
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Hi Paul,

I bought your Real costs of Living on a Narrowboat several years ago. Now, with retirement imminent in August, and buying and moving onto a narrowboat following that as soon as we can, I was wondering if you have any information on the up to date costs.

Just doing a bit of number crunching so we’ll have more of an idea. (Its going ahead whatever Laugh )

 

Thanks

 

Marie

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