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.

Find out more

Steppin’Out; Second viewing, surveys, and questions.

Hi everyone a rather nervouse entry on my blog tonight. I hadn’t got round to telling you I saw a boat two Sundays ago which I sort of took rather a shine to. After a little negotiation we have agreed a price which is the top end of what I can afford and I shall be going to have a second look tomorrow with a friend of mine who will give me his honest opinion of what he thinks to her. It’s a fair trip up to Manchester from here, about two hours and hopefully through Derbyshire which will be beautiful with the snow.

She’s twenty years old, 50ft with a cruiser stern but no front well deck as the cabin has been built right up to the gas locker. This gives a little more space inside but less out. You can’t have it all ways with only 50ft to play with. First impressions were that she was very clean and tidy, cleaned up ready for selling by a private seller, but looks like she has been well looked after and maintained. So tomorrows job is to take her out and see how she runs and as Paul has said to me turn everything on that can be turned on to make sure it works. Obviously to make sure I still like it and my friend to help make sure my glasses aren’t too rose tinted. I have noticed when looking at boats in Marinas like Whilton etc that some of the boats seem quite unclean which I find quite odd as for the sake of a days cleaning the boat would be much more saleable but that’s what I’ve found anyway.

Nice dinette but the sofa would go.Providing tomorrows viewing goes well I shall leave a deposit and we shall arrange for a survey. I’ve already spoken to one who surveyor who sounds quite good and at a reasonable price. He’s going to do a full prepurchase survey for me which takes in the hull and then the engine, central heating and other things which will be of interest to me. For the little bit extra he’s charging above the hull survey it makes sense to me to know more or less where I stand with all things then hopefully no little surprises for the first year or not too many.

A couple of pictures of the saloon and kitchen. All wood floors through out and look like they’ve been waxed regularly.

has a nice feel.

Plenty of storage in the kitchen but not too big.

Depending on where you’re coming from regarding buying a boat this is quite a scary time. I don’t have spare cash lying about but I need somewhere to live and fancy a change in life style very much. But for any of you out there thinking about what you’d like to do my advice is to look at your life style and ask yourself where you’d like to be in 5 years time. Only you can answer that and you may think it’s too big a task but look to break it down into small tasks that you can complete one at a time. Each one will bring you more confidence. A nice boating analogy is “Ships are safe when they are moored in the harbour but that’s not what ships are for”. Whatever your dreams are they will not happen if you never try and you never take any risks.

I may live to regret offering this advice when in 6 months |I’m crying in my bilge water and wishing I was still a land lubber. Who knows the secret of the Black Magic box? Rambling at such an early age, is there any hope for me at all. Nurse fetch the screens.

Good night, I shall post later tomorrow and fill you in on the gory details.

Take care




Useful Information
Our Nige

55 years old. I work in registered care as a care assistant and have my house up for sale and when sold will be buying a narrowboat of some kind to live on. Been a bit of a dream of mine for many years. Don't know for certain if I'll like it but I'm really looking forward to it and think that I will. I have been looking at boats and reading and talking to people over the last 6 to 9 monts and sometimes I feel like I might know what layout I want. I will be on a restricted budget of about 25 to 35k and will be looking for advice and tips to help me make a fair start on the water.