Useful Narrowboat Information

When I began adding subscribers to this site in 2010, I thought they would like to receive regular information about life on England’s inland waterways network. Many did, but a significant minority asked me to stop sending information they didn’t have time to read. They wanted all the information they could find on the lifestyle, but they didn’t want it thrust down their throat.

As a result I stopped sending out the automated emails. You received a single welcome email from me. That’s all you’ll get. I don’t want to overload you if you are one of many subscribers who are too busy working to research a lifestyle that you aspire to because you are too busy working.

I’ve copied the original email sequence below. I hope you find the information useful.


That’s me, Paul Smith, on the right. You’ll read a little more about me when you enter the site throughthe link below. Before you do though, I want to tell you about the site and where I am with the project. Maybe you just subscribed to my newsletter so you could download my free guide Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles.

I hope not.

I hope you want to soak up as much information as possible to enable you to make an informed decision about life on a narrowboat, in which case, you’ll find the newsletters both comprehensive and enlightening. If you just want the free eBook though, you’ll find the download link at the top of this email. I hope you find it useful.

I live and work full time at what I think is one of the most beautiful marinas in the UK at Calcutt Boats on the Grand Union canal near Napton junction deep in the heart of rural Warwickshire. When I’m not working at the marina, I work on the web site from my 62′ traditional narrowboat, James. has grown over the last three years into what I’m frequently told is a very useful resource for both existing and potential narrowboat owners.

When I created the site, my main focus was the compilation of all of the narrowboat friendly marinas in the UK, their facilities – or lack of them – and objective reviews to help you choose where to moor your narrowboat. I quickly realised that site visitors were more interested in life on a narrowboats rather than somewhere to moor them. And if they were interested in a mooring, more often than not, it was a mooring at a scenic location on the side of the canal or on a riverbank than in a marina. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of marina for those who are interested but I’ve also added hundreds of pages of articles about narrowboats and the ins and outs of life on board.

In July 2012 I added a forum. I wasn’t sure that another narrowboat forum would be used regularly but one or two site subscribers were keen on the idea so I added it to the site. It”s proven quite popular and over the first six months generated just under 1,000 posts. If you have a question about living on a narrowboat and you can’t find the answer anywhere else on the site, ask your question on the forum. There are plenty of liveaboard boaters using the site regularly who are only too happy to share their knowledge with you.

You will receive regular emails from me to let you know where you can find articles about life on the waterways and, if you haven’t dipped your toes into the welcoming waters of the canal and river network, how you can turn your dream into reality.

As a starting point, to access the site please follow this link: The menu at the top of the page shows links to categories. Clicking on a link will display a list of posts within that category. Click on the post you are interested in to read the full article.

And finally, if there’s anything you would like to see added to the site or if I’ve added content that is incorrect in some way, please let me know.

I hope that you find the site useful.


P.S. Did you see the link to your free guide ~Contact.FirstName~? It’s at the top of this email.

Day 2

Here are some useful publicatons for you…
Waterways World – It’s the UK’s leading narrowboat magazine. If you take out an annual subscription, you save on the cover price, get a handful of valuable bonuses and get access to the digital archives online where you can download any articles from their publication for the last ten years.
Living On A Narrowboat: The REAL Cost Of A Life Afloat – All the facts and figures detailing the cost of buying and maintaining your narrowboat. It’s based on my own expenses for a full year. I receive emails nearly every day telling me how useful it is to pin down once and for all the true cost of ownership.
Narrowbudget Gold – It’s a package including “The REAL Cost Of A Life Afloat”, “21 Liveaboard Case Studies”, a compilation of all the newsletters I published in 2013 (all 112,000 words!) and the world’s only bespoke narrowboat budget calculator, Narrowbudget. If you’re serious about buying a narrowboat, whether to live on or for recreational cruising, it’s an essential resource.
I hope you find them useful.
Narrowboat Storage Space

Hi ~Contact.FirstName~,

I’ve recently started to add video content to the site via YouTube. Here’s one of the first ones. It’s about the importance of storage space on board a narrowboat. It’s a walk through of my own boat. I hope you enjoy it.


Mooring Rules

Many potential boat owners I speak to don’t really understand where they can and where they can’t moor and how long they can stay there for. Some think that you can stay in the same geographical area for as long as you like providing you move backwards and forwards a mile or two every fortnight. You can’t, and the difference between paying or not paying for a residential mooring could be the difference between you being able to afford a life on the water or remaining where you are now. Here are some helpful links for you.

The difference between residential and leisure moorings

What can happen when you don’t understand the rules

CRT’s view on illegal moorers

The cost of an official mooring (plus all the other costs you’ll have to meet)

Newsletter Archive

Have you found it yet ~Contact.FirstName~? The archive is here in its own section on the forum. If you have a few minutes to spare, grab a cup of coffee and have a browse. Each newsletter contains links to narrowboat articles or extracts from blogs. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.

All of the newsletters are included in my Narrowbudget Gold package as both an eBook and in Kindle format.


Narrowboat Marina Listing

Hi ~Contact.FirstName~,

Marinas aren’t everyone’s up of tea. Marina life suits me though. I live on one of the most beautiful in the country. When I first created the site, I thought they were the place to live. Now I realise that there’s much more to life on the waterways than staying in one spot most of the time but marinas are very handy for winter moorings.

Love them or hate them, there’s a comprehensive list of marinas in England and Wales here.

Calcutt Boats Marina

Hello ~Contact.FirstName~,

A few days ago I sent you a link to the list of marina moorings on the site. As I said, marina moorings aren’t for everyone, but I thought you might like to see why I particularly enjoy living where I do.

I really couldn’t go back to living in a house after six and a half years here.


Narrowboat Safety

Hello again ~Contact.FirstName~,

I was walking along the pier, reading emails on my phone and not concentrating on what I was doing when I fell in the marina. Fortunately all I damaged was my phone… although it was a very expensive phone.

The event prompted me to write an article about narrowboat safety. Here it is.