What a wonderful way to start the week. I was asked to collect a boat from Wigram’s Turn marina at Napton Junction and bring it back to the engineering workshop at the southern end of our Locks marina.
The weather was beautiful on Monday. A weak autumnal sun was trying to break through a grey mist over the water. There wasn’t a breath of wind. Just half a dozen mallards disturbing the quiet with their slow mocking quacks and about a dozen juvenile swans gliding aimlessly up and down the canal.
Wigram’s Turn marina is less than a mile along the canal from Calcutt but the trip took me just under two and a half hours by the time I had checked an unfamiliar boat and its engine before I set off, cruised along the canal, negotiated the Calcutt flight and then turned into the marina where I moored the boat and shut it down.
For the rest of the week I’ve been blitzing the lock cottage garden. The lock cottage adjoins our office, reception and chandlery and is home to marina manager Martyn Tylson and his wife Sue. They’re not really into gardening so the area’s upkeep has been transferred to Calcutt Boats’ grounds team, Pat and I.
Pat has been busy digging a 200m long 12″ deep trench for a new power cable for the moorings above the top lock this week so I’ve had the pleasure of attacking the garden on my own. The garden contains quite a few productive fruit trees. There are apple, pear, damson, cherry and a rather impressive walnut tree.
The garden is also home to a rather unusual feature. There’s a full size lock running along the inside of the black and white iron railings which separate the garden from the canal footpath. This additional lock was originally used to weigh cargo carrying narrowboats when they left the Grand Union and entered the Oxford canal. I haven’t been able to find out when it was last operational but it’s probably safe to say that its only use has been as a garden water feature for at least the last century.
I’ve now reduced the height and spread of the apple and pear trees, removed a truck full of dead reeds from the lock’s stagnant water, leveled the ground around the lock by removing some rather large ant hills, removed some well established willow from the lock wall, dug out six inches of earth and matted roots to reveal the original brick lock edging, removed half a dozen stands of self seeded buddleia and strimmed the garden to within an inch of its life. The garden looks a little bare at the moment but, if you approach Calcutt Boats from Napton Junction next spring, as you reach the top lock glance over to your left. I’m sure the garden will be a thing of beauty.
As you probably know, I had my wooden cabin over plated with steel in November 2011. The original wooden front, side and rear doors were removed, as were the side and rear hatches. The boat was returned to me with new hatches and doors in unlined steel. Bare steel conducts heat out of the boat very quickly so as soon as possible I had the front and the side doors lined with ply and then painted. I didn’t line the doors in the engine room.
The original engine room door panels were painted with “roses and castles”. Roses and castles is the name given to the artwork adorning many traditional narrowboats. The panels had suffered irreparable damage after years of water running down them from a warped and leaking hatch so I had to throw them away.
No one knows the true origin of the elaborate artwork adorning traditional narrowboats but the practice became commonplace when working boatmen were forced to move their entire families on boat with them as a result of plummeting wages as the canal carriers tried to compete with a rapidly developing railway network and the boatmen’s inability to afford cottage rent.
If you think there is very little space to live on a narrowboat these days, spare a thought for the family of an average working boatman on board a narrowboat. The entire family lived full time in the “boatman’s cabin”. This cabin was at the very back of a working narrowboat just behind the engine room and would offer a maximum living space of roughly six feet by ten feet.
In sixty square feet the boatman and his wife had eat, sleep and keep all of their worldly possessions. Their water supply was kept in a can on the roof which could be topped up at standpipes along the canal. Clothes washing was done in the canal itself and hung up to dry on a washing line over the cargo area once the cargo had been discharged. Their toilet facility was either a bucket, a convenient hedge or over the side of the boat into the canal. Think about that next time you use a slightly smelly but very convenient pump-out loo.
Boating families were looked down upon by the majority of Victorians living in homes on dry land so they did everything they could to smarten up their boats to show the pride they had in their tiny living space. They decorated the inside of the boat’s rear doors then folded them open for the world to see. They painted hatches, poles and planks, water cans, cupboard doors and food bowls. They created intricate crochet lace trimmings, ornamental and practical ropework and added highly polished brass fittings.
The more I learn about traditional narrowboats’ decoration, the more tempted I am to add as much as possible James. I have to be practical though. Although James is thirty six years old, the boat doesn’t have the traditional engine room/boatman’s cabin layout so much of the old canal art would just look out of place. I’ll have to stick to a couple of rather fetching rear door panels.
Shortly after the boat was delivered back to me after the new steel shell was added I asked Mel Jeffs, wife of our carpenter Roger at the time – now retired an living an idyllic existence as a continuous cruiser – to paint some canal art on my new rear door panels. She agreed, and she made an excellent job of it.
Unfortunately they didn’t end up on my boat at the time.
I don’t know what went wrong. It was a classic case of miscommunication. Mel finished painting the panels for me at the same time I left the marina to visit my family in Australia for two weeks. As soon as I returned to work I asked her husband Roger if the panels were ready. He said that they had been ready for two weeks but, because I hadn’t paid for them on time, Mel wasn’t happy to give them to me.
I don’t know who to blame for the misunderstanding. I suspect we both had a hand in it but the end result was that Mel kept the two panels on their narrowboat, Beam. Time passed, Roger retired from Caluctt and the pair left the marina to realise their lifelong dream of cruising the network. As the couple left, so did my chances of getting my hands on the beautifully painted door panels.
Earlier this week I spotted Beam moored near Caluctt Top lock. Later in the day I spoke to Roger when he walked his dog past where I was working in the cottage garden. Coincidentally, a few days earlier I had asked another retired carpenter who moors at Caluctt to fit some door panels for me. The panels had been decorated by a well meaning but inexperienced budding “artist”. To tell you the truth the end result looked like an accident with half a dozen yoghurt pots. I was keen to have the panels fitted to help retain the heat and combat the draught in the engine room but I would have probably painted over the artistry.
So I was delighted to see Roger and delicately touched on the subject of the panels his wife painted two years earlier. He had good news and bad news for me. The good news was that he still had them, carefully wrapped in a spare dog blanket and stored under their dinette table. The bad news was that, just four days earlier, they had offered the two door panels for sale on eBay.
Roger agreed to speak to his wife to see if she was (A) prepared to sell the panels to me after our previous misunderstanding and (B) withdraw the listing from eBay.
I saw Roger again the following morning. Mel was happy for me to take them off her hands so, as there had been no bids placed, she had already removed them from the auction site. I paid her as soon as could race back to James, find £120 in cash and hurry back to Beam.
The panels are now mine, and I am absolutely delighted with them. They are as good as an example of traditional narrowboat art as you will find anywhere. The photograph below is of a traditional narrowboat at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere port. The photo above is of one of my own door panels. As you can see, both panels have the traditional romantic “castles” scene on a raised panel at the top, the “roses” art on a sunken panel in the middle and a lower blank panel.
I’m going to have the panels fitted next week. I can’t wait to get out on the cut and casually pin the doors open when I’m moored up to show them off. I would have liked Mel to paint panels for the two pairs of side hatches too, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I told her that I was going two write about her artistry in this week’s newsletter and asked if I could publish her contact details for anyone who was interested in asking her to paint for them.
Mel explained how difficult it is to paint the panels on a narowboat where two people and a rather large and clumsy rottweiler are living full time. They could just about manage it when Roger was away at work for five days a week but since he’s retired having freshly painted panels dotted about the boat just isn’t practical. Maybe I’ll just have to ask young Stuart to refine his yoghurt pot approach.
Last week I told you that I fitted polycarbonate panels to four out of the boat’s ten windows. I also told you that one of the panels had fallen off the frame. This week, I rather embarrassed to report, another panel has headed south.
I know the reason. It’s partly because of the varnished and highly polished mahogany window surrounds but also because of the screws holding the surround against the Parana pine cladding. The round headed screws – fourteen to a frame – stand proud of the woodwork so stop the adhesive steel tape which hold the sheets in place from adhering to a flat surface.
I spent a couple of hours yesterday removing all of the screws, countersinking the holes a little deeper then replacing them again. Now all I need to do is lightly sand the varnished mahogany while I wait for the replacement steel tape to arrive.
Earlier in the week I phoned Access Plastics to tell them that they had sent me the wrong colour tape. They agreed to send out three replacement rolls (after they had asked me to check the tape again just to make sure that I knew the difference between brown and white). They also asked me to package the incorrect tape ready for collection on Friday. The wrong tape has now been collected but the right tape has yet to arrive. The replacement tape was promised on Friday morning. I guess the Christmas post is to blame.
I’ve been champing at the bit to record my first video. I was waiting for a mini tripod for the camcorder before I could start. The tripod arrived on Friday. Circumstances have conspired against me since then.
There was a question asked on the forum a few days ago about the practicality of downsizing from a house to a boat. I thought that a quick video about a narrowboat’s internal storage space was in order. Sally persuaded me otherwise as I set up the camcorder. “What are you doing?”, she asked suspiciously. I told her. “You must be joking! The boat is a mess.” I disagreed. I think we have a very tidy boat. I disagreed until Sally pointed out that she had just done the washing.
Sally works long shifts as a carer at a nearby nursing home. She had just worked forty eight hours over four days and now had three days off. On her days off she’s like a whirlwind going through the boat. She uses some of her free time getting the washing done. The twin tub does a pretty good job of washing and then spinning the water out of the clean clothing but it then needs to be hung up to dry. There’s very little space to hang anything out of sight on a narrowboat, so the washing is usually hung from the curtain rails near the fire for twenty four hours. Sally had been working the twin tub to death ffor a full day before my intended video session so there was washing hanging everywhere. I could see her point.
Sally is also in the process of sending one of her regular tea chest sized packages back to her family in the Philippines. They don’t have much money for anything else other than food, so Sally does what she can to make life a little easier for them. Old clothes and unused electrical devices, mismatched sets of crockery and cutlery, battered old shoes… Anything which could possibly be of use is packaged and dispatched.
My planned video session coincided not only with Sally’s mission to rid the boat of dirty clothes, but also with one of her let’s-get-rid-of-everything-you-don’t-wear sessions. There were piles of old clothing everywhere. I had to agree. It wasn’t the best impression we could have given of a tidy and organised boat.
I was still determined to make a video for the site. If I couldn’t use the camcorder inside, I would have to take it outside instead.
I need to make an introductory trailer for both the site and for my new YouTube channel. I thought the perfect location would be standing on the grass covered peninsula next to James, overlooking the marina and with a scenic view of James on its mooring. I spent ten minutes experimenting yesterday before I gave up in frustration.
Yesterday was very windy, especially around midday when I foolishly tried to use my lunch break from work to do the recording. The tripod was promptly blown over. I weighed it down so it wouldn’t move and recorded for five minutes. Back on the boat, I played the video back. It was hopeless. I couldn’t hear a word I said over the exaggerated howling of the wind.
Still, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sally’s back at work for four days from tomorrow. I’ll have the boat to myself so I’ll upload the first of the videos by mid week. Please do me a favour though. If you see any items of intimate apparel hanging to dry in the background don’t tell Sally.
I’ve been writing regular newsletters for a couple of years now. During the first year they were every two weeks or so. To be honest, the frequency was a bit hit and miss. My New Year’s resolution, and one that I’m delighted to say that I’ve kept, was to send out a newsletter every Sunday, rain or shine. The hardest part of the process isn’t the writing itself, it’s constantly thinking of new content. The trouble is, I don’t know what you want to read. I think I keep the newsletters reasonably interesting but I don’t know for sure. That’s where I need your help.
Can you let me know what you would like to read in the future? Are there any areas of narrowboat life you don’t think I’ve covered enough or areas which I’ve missed completely? Please let me know what you want to read about. Thanks for your help.
I created the site just over three years ago to provide a source of information for anyone interested in narrowboats and the possibility of living on one full time. The site has grown to encompass a comprehensive listing of inland marinas in England and Wales, dozens of articles, a forum and regular newsletters. I’ve already created (below) indexes of the site articles and the more popular forum posts. I thought it was about time I created an easy to use index of the newsletter content. Here’s the index so far.
Fitting secondary double glazing – Fitting the panels is a simple operation for those with the most basic DIY skills, something which I sadly haven’t developed. As you might expect then, the fitting didn’t go as well as it should.
Narrowboat videos – I launched the Living On A Narrowboat YouTube channel
Secondary double glazing for your boat – The pros and cons of double glazing on a boat and why secondary double glazing is a much better bet and a fraction of the cost.
Living on a narrowboat vidoes – My first hesitant steps into the world of video production for site content
Can you either live or holiday on a narrowboat if you have a disability? – Here’s what you need to know.
Winter fuel allowance – Do you qualify for one if you live on a boat?
Case Study – NB Progress. Kim Wainwright recorded her journey on the forum from nervous anticipation to current liveaboard boat owner. Here’s her story.
Narrowboat central heating – I don’t have any. All that is about to change. Here’s the system I’m going to install and why I’ve chosen it.
Narrowboat running costs – I compare my own running costs to those of a prominent YouTube video blogger and detail my exact costs for October 2013
Popular narrowboat terminology – Hundreds or words or phrases used to describe parts of boats and the waterways they cruise through.
The wind chill factor – How strong the wind is blowing and which direction it’s coming from can determine how difficult it is to heat your boat. Here’s what you need to know.
Case study – Another couple from down under living the dream on the inland waterways.
20th October 2013Condensation. It’s a common problem on boats. Here are a few suggestions how to keep your boat’s interior dry.
A new organisation for liveaboard boaters
On demand water heater problems – Discover a common fault with these water heaters and what you can do to resolve the problem.
Know your firewood – Not all timber burns well. Find out which is best and which to avoid.
Managing your boat’s water supply. You can use your water supply as and when you need it when you live in a house with all mod cons. You can pretty much do the same when you’re on a marina mooring with a water supply just a hose length away. It’s a different kettle of fish when you’re on an online mooring.
Liveaboard case study – A prime example of mooring without a water supply on tap.
The folly of using unseasoned wood as a fuel – Here’s essential information if you plan to use logs you find to heat your boat for free
Creating lasting memories of your cruises – Slightly off topic, but please bear with me. You’ll have some wonderful adventures as you travel throughout the network. They’ll be adventures worth remembering but will you remember them? I have a very poor memory but instant and total recall of all my cruises is just a click away.
A tragedy at Calcutt. Sudden Oak Dieback hits our 1,500 twenty year old oak trees
Forum private messaging – Now you can email other forum users from within the site
Managing your water supply
An American blogs about his travels
Solving engine room leaks – A simple solution to a dripping stern tube
All about the weed hatch – Removing debris from your propeller
A disaster – I inadvertently deleted this week’s newsletter and there wasn’t a backup on the server. What a shame. It was all about the damage you can do to your boat if you don’t watch what you’re doing in a lock. You would have loved it!
Effective fly killers for boats
The downside to living on a narrowboat
Liveaboard Case Study – American Richard Varnes has taken a year out from work to cruise the canal network and write about his adventure. Here’s his case study and a few stories from his journey so far.
CART Guide Approval – The waterways’ governing body is now promoting the information packages available from this site. Yippee!
Narrowboat Insurance – A summary of insurance quotes from the major narrowboat insurers
Liveaboard Case Study – Keith and Nicky downsized their property in Jersey, used the released capital to buy their 57? “go anywhere” narrowboat and now live on their boat full time while they continuously cruise the canal network. They’re ridiculously young to retire, and I’m very, very jealous
Downsizing from a 3 bed semi to a narrowboat – What do you do with a lifetime’s accumulated possessions?
A free download – Living On A Narrowboat: 101 Essential Narrowboat Articles
Narrowboat tips – Handy hints from experienced narrowboat owners
The cost of a continuous cruising lifestyle – How one liveaboard boater manages on a shoestring
The perfect narrowboat washing machine? – It’s low cost and doesn’t need plumbing in, but does it actually clean clothes?
The cost of a continuous cruising lifestyle – How much does living the life of a water gypsy really cost?
The cost of living on a narrowboat – An article in the Daily Mail… and why most boaters disagree with what they said.
Hire boat expectations – Fully understanding what facilities will be available to you is essential if you’re going to enjoy a narrowboat holiday. Here’s what not to do.
Fenland river cruising – Another boater’s maiden voyage to whet your appetite.
Anticipating winter weather – You may well be enjoying unusually warm winter weather but the winter will be with us all too soon. Now is the time that you need to plan for the cold weather ahead.
Keeping your stove glass clean – Maybe you think it’s an odd subject for the summer but you can’t trust the English weather. Late June and the stove was still on now and again. At least now I have a crystal clear view of the fire I shouldn’t need to light.
Traffic chaos caused by Braunston’s historic boat rally – On a day with high winds and a canal full of working boats returning home after the rally, I had the pleasure of taking some very nervous hirers out on the cut.
23rd June 2013 – The cost of a two week cruise. If you live on your own boat, what’s the real cost of taking it away for a two week break?
Case Study – Mary Anne swapped dry land home rental for floating home ownership. Now she loves life afloat and works from home.
Life as a continuous cruiser – The Holy Grail of narrowboat ownership. The ability to travel where and when you like. Peter Early tells all.
The Ashby canal cruise part two – We spent a bit more time on the Ashby before heading south again, joining the Coventry canal, this time following it into Coventry’s rather depressing and disappointing city centre, then retracing our steps back to Calcutt
Most popular narrowboat names – Here’s the definitive list of the top 200 most popular narrowboat names and a resource you can use to find out if any other boat has the same name as yours
Considerate boating – An article prompted after a near head on collision with another boat trying to avoid a fallen oak.
I was on holiday for the first two weeks of June. Sally and I cruised from Calcutt to Braunston, north along the north Oxford where we joined the Coventry canal briefly before taking a very sharp right turn onto the Ashby canal. Here’s a daily report of the first week of our holiday.
An encounter with two poorly prepared holiday boaters and my own impending two week cruise encouraged me to put together a pre cruise check list
Laptop hacking – An update on the problems I encountered after buying a brand new laptop which I suspect was tampered with before I bought it.
Diary of a new narrowboat owner – Frequent forum poster “Our Nige” finally moved on to his new floating home. Here’s his story
My comments about an encounter on the Oxford/GU section between Napton and Braunston sparked a debate about the pros and cons of wide beams on the cut.
Keeping dry – You don’t really need to limit your cruising to sunny summer days. There’s something very special about standing on the back deck in the pouring ran protected by a set of bomb proof waterproofs.
Do you really need a car? Living on a narrowboat is all about enjoying a simple and stress free life. Sally and I had a car each. Mine cost £2,000 to run in the previous 12 months so I decided to get rid of mine to see if I could manage without one.
An encounter with a wide beam boat and why they aren’t suitable for much of the canal network
An interview with the Trust’s head of boating. Sally Ash talks about the Trust’s approach to the thorny issue of residential moorings
Narrowboat fuel tanks – How much do they hold
Meet one of your legless canal side companions
The canal network’s largest floating hotel
Narrowboat blogs – My own first cruise, Our Nige takes his new home on its maiden voyage and a chance for you to have your very own blog section on this site.
The Trust target illegal moorers but just what does the Trust consider to an illegal mooring?
Identity theft – The ongoing saga of my hacked laptop
RCR engine servicing – River Canal Rescue (RCR) are well known as the waterways equivalent of the AA but did you know that they will also come to your mooring to service your boat?
The perils of exceeding your monthly broadband data allowance. Learn from my mistakes.
Narrowboat security – A spate of burglaries from boats and a break in at my former family home encouraged me to write this article
Case study – You need to committed to sell your home to fund the purchase of your narrowboat. That’s what Mick and Marlene have done.
Case study – Sarah lives on wide beam Antioch on the Leeds Liverpool canal. She can do man things with her hands. Here’s her story.
Be inspired – There are always reasons why you don’t make the move from bricks and mortar to steel and water. Here’s an anecdote which demonstrates once and for all that there really aren’t any worthwhile excuses.
Here’s an example of what happens when you really don’t understand how your narrowboat works.
Essential boating equipment – Here’s a low cost item which has paid for itself over and over again.
Whilton marina boat sales – Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be. This alleged fact about the boat sales at Whilton has come to me from several different sources.
Where can you find residential moorings? Here’s a great place to start
Getting rid of unwelcome visitors – Geese used to regularly disturb a peaceful night’s sleep where I moor. Not any more. Here’s my solution
Know your narrowboat costs – Detailed costs for my own boat for February 2013
Half a dozen boaters now have access to their own blog section on the site. You can too. Here’s how.
James’ upgrade – Adding solar panels and replacing carpets with oak effect laminate flooring
Stove fuel test – What works best; coal, wood, briquettes or something else entirely – Here’s my own take on a Waterways World test
Essential stove maintenance – Here’s what you need to do to make sure that your stove always performs well.
Internet connectivity – I use the internet four or more hours every day. This is the setup I have on my boat to make sure that I’m always connected.
Detailed running costs for my own boat for January 2013
The real cost of going cheap. An in depth look at the cost of my 36 year old boat, and how much I spent (and still need to spend) before it will be a comfortable full time cruising boat.
Case Studies – I put together 21 of the best case studies and analysed and summarised the data in this low cost guide. If you want ton save yourself hundreds of hours of research and costly mistakes, you need to read this guide.
Case Study – Mike’s circumstances are similar to my own. He moved onto his boat after a failed marriage. He’s upgraded from a 27? GRP cruiser to a 50? narrowboat
Narrowboat electrics part 2 – The concluding article from Tim Davis
I asked newsletter subscribers to send me detailed breakdowns of their bricks and mortar expenses so I could compare them with the cost of running a narrowboat. Quite a few subscribers obliged. I added the breakdowns to my narrowboat costs guide and the budgeting application.
Understanding narrowboat electrics – Another excellent article from Tim Davis
Satellite television for narrowboats – Information from a system installer
Low cost narrowboat ownership – A low cost solution to the problem of funding your first narrowboat
Solar power – All you need to know about installing solar panels on your boat. Written by the inland waterways most popular solar system installer
Case Study – Mr. Solar Panel Tim Davis writes about life on board his own narrowboat
First tests and reviews of the budgeting application
The best aerial for a narrowboat television
The first release of the new spreadsheet based narrowboat budgeting application
An unscheduled dip in the marina prompted me to write about safety on the waterways
Living on a narrowboat – Through the eyes of a young lady who would clearly prefer to be somewhere else
I started to develop the narrowboat budgeting software. This newsletter detailed the concept and the progress to date
Practical flooring for narrowboat dogs
Case study – Mike and Mags use a double redundancy payment to pay for their new floating home
The best tip for a wannabe narrowboat owner – Advice from existing boat owners
I published my guide Living on a Narrowboat: The REAL Cost of a Life Afloat. When this newsletter was published it was only available as a Kindle edition. Now it’s available in both Kindle and PDF format and is bundled with Narrowbudget, the site’s bespoke narrowboat budgeting application.
VAT on narrowboat sales
Dealing with pests on a narrowboat – spiders and swans
Posh boats – My personal favourite: S.M. Hudson
Repeat prescriptions, diesel heating systems and solar panels
Survey – Do you want a forum on the site? (You already know the answer to that!)
How to clean your stove glass – One of the real pleasures of a living fire is watching the flames on a cold winter’s eve. Here’s what you need to do to ensure you can actually see the fire.
Smoking on board – An alternative to smelly smoke
DIY narrowboat painting – I’ve broken down the complete cost of painting your own boat and
Dealing with wind on the river – A guest article from liveaboard narrowboat owner Alan Cazaly
DIY narrowboat painting – I spent three weeks in April painting my boat. Here’s the first of my progress reports
Life on the river Cam – A guest article on the pleasures of river life by wide beam liveaboard Luther Phillips
Case Study – Freelance writer Anne and her South African farmer partner John reveal all
Case Study – Toni cruises constantly with ex husband Allan. They cruise together but they live apart… on separate boats
As a result of the article about the downside of living on a narrowboat published in the 18th March newsletter, I asked liveaboard narrowboat owners to complete a survey to give a balanced view of the issues raised by Pauline. Here are the survey results and a much more positive article by liveaboard narrowboat owner and frequent forum contributer Peter Early.
The downside of living on a narrowboat – This was a very controversial post. Liveaboard Pauline Roberts wrote about the less pleasant aspects of life afloat… and attracted a storm of comments
Case study: The Woodsman – Pauline Roberts again giving an insight into the life that you may think she doesn’t like.
Reviewed: The Liveaboard Guide by Tony Jones. A great guide to living afloat
eBay Narrowboat scam (and a little bit of flack for me from another forum)
Case Study: Author Toby Jones on his own liveaboard narrowboat
A review of Debdale Wharf marina
Two more case studies. One of them waxed lyrical about life on the waterways and enjoyed every minute of her life afloat. Now (April 2013) she’s selling up to follow another dream in Spain.
The first four narrowboat case studies published
I’ll start with myself; Paul Smith, living on my own, moored in a marina and working full time. Narrowboat James case study
Meet Peggy. She has a husband and two small children, works full time and cruises the network during the summer months. Narrowboat Violet Mae case study
Fancy spending your retirement cruising the waterways of England and Wales? Meet Barry and Sue Horne. They’re living the dream! Narrowboat Adagio Case Study
Here are another working couple. Lina and Warren cruise the cut with their two cats.Narrowboat Olive Rose case study.
Article – Living on a narrowboat in winter
Dealing with the coldest winter on record
Digital reading – A detailed review of the Kindle, the perfect solution for book loving boat owners
There are dozens of helpful and interesting articles on the site, but have you found them all? I thought you might appreciate a list of the more popular articles that you can glance through and click on the ones that take your fancy. Here it is.
There’s a wealth of information on the site in general, but if you’re struggling to find the answer to a particular issue, the forum is the place to find it. I’ve listed some of the more popular posts below but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask your question on the forum. If you don’t know how to create a post, or if you can’t log in, please let me know. I’ll be more than happy to get you up and running.
Living on a Narrowboat: The REAL Cost of a Life Afloat – Narrowboat costs explained in detail. My own maintenance and living cost on narrowboat James for a full year. Use this information to work out your own costs.
CRT (Canal & River Trust) maintain the waterways. Here’s their site.
Find out what parts of the canal are closed and for how long. Essential cruising information for you.
Do you need to find a home for your boat? Here’s a comprehensive list of the narrowboat friendly marinas in the UK
Do you want to see where these marinas are on a map? Here it is.
Here’s a map of all the canals on the system to help you plan your route.
Newsletter Archive – Browse through a wealth of useful content in the newsletters over the last year.
Find out more about narrowboat central heating costs here.
Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”
That’s interesting about the lock in the garden. I’ve been through Calcutt many times and thought you were talking about the old narrow lock alongside the existing lock but having looked on Google Earth and Bing I can see what you are talking about. The Google pictures show how overgrown it has become.
Living retirement in the slow lane.
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