Living on a narrowboat named by a folk singer, watching sunrises and sunsets and practicing a bit of canal side crafting. It’s a simple life for Christine and Anton. Would it suit you?
Christine & Anton
We decided after having a boat that we wanted to live on one full time as we love the concept of narrowboat living.
Song of the Waterways. It was called that when we bought it and it belonged to the late folk singer, Jeff Dennison who had named it that.
4 years with our first boat called Alcantara and 9 years with Song of the Waterways
Deposit and then Boat Mortgage and a loan to do renovations.
We both retired in April 2011
It can be tough sometimes, when it is quite a long walk along the towpath with heavy gear, we were on the cut during the very bad weather and we were needing to run the engine or generator to provide enough electricity to run pumps,lights, tv, laptops. Needing to be able to get water, emptying the toilet when frozen in.
Travelling to different areas, meeting like minded people, living so close to nature and the seasons, seeing beautiful sunrises, sunsets, watching the rain on the canal. Being in the open.
We are happy with the boat, we did a lot of research, went to Crick boat show looked at a lot of boat layouts and talked to lots of people who lived on their boats, before we bought our boat and it had exactly the layout we would have had built.
Anton walks to nearby shops, this can involve several trips with heavy items (beer or wine) or use bikes.
We have a washer/dryer on board which we run when we are travelling. We can dry things in the hold or in the engine room if we have travelled. In the boatmans cabin if the back fire is lit.
We had a macerator toilet fitted in 2011, with a holding tank which we can use as self pump out. It was great for about 6 months but then started to smell. We’ve been back to the fitter who has put new pipes on to rectify things.
Answer here… We have a 3 mobile dongle, yes happy with the service most of the time but signal can be iffy in places.
We love the Macclesfield Canal, where we moored both of our boats for a long time. We have moved round onto the Shropshire Union and were based in a marina for the winter. We also have been down to Stratford and loved that too, in fact we really love it all with the challenges different canals bring.
Engine and gas powered generator. We have a Victron inverter/charger. We have to generate enough for all pumps, including our Webasto heating system when we need to run that. In the winter it is more of a challenge if we are in all day, as we need lights on as we have portholes. We also like our tv or listening to music and both use laptops, so the system can be thirsty for power. I cannot use a high wattage hairdryer or iron on the boat unless we are plugged into the mains.
Have a holiday on one first, not only in the summer when it looks idyllic, but also other seasons of the year. Read website articles like this one, talk to people who live on their boats. When we had our first boat we used to spend weekends on it and spent several Christmas ‘s on it through the snow, so we had a good idea what it was like in cold wet weather.
Warm. We have diesel fired central heating, with radiators. We have used electric heaters to boost the warmth when we have been in marinas with electric, in the very cold weather. We did have a coal fire in the saloon but removed it as it was not reliable (it would go out if we had been out all day). When we first moved on the boat we were both working
Christine is a cardmaker and crafter, so her blog includes crafty things. You can read it here. Anton has many leisure interests as well as canals – which you can read about on his blogsite – http://nbsongofthewaterways.blogspot.co.uk/
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.
the late folk singer, Jeff Dennison who had named it that
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