Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Social > Jet Blast
Reload this Page >

Narrowboat living

Jet Blast Topics that don't fit the other forums. Rules of Engagement apply.

Narrowboat living

Old 22nd Feb 2013, 01:29
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Sao Paulo
Age: 74
Posts: 787
Narrowboat living

In the autumn of my life and the Indian Summer of Ms b's, we're considering buying a narrowboat (in the UK) to live in 7-9 months of the year.

There was a 2005 thread about narrowboat life but it's been closed.

We've rented several times and very much enjoyed it. And there are plenty of sites around describing what's involved, running costs, those for permanent moorings and so forth. As well as the need to have a very good survey done on any boat.

We live in Brazil but some of the immediate and all of the extended family are in the UK. The immediate family spend holidays or transit the UK frequently.

Our home in Brazil is a bit isolated - large and fun and pool and games and dogs for the kids - but, with some insight, Ms b says we'd have more contact and it would be much more fun for visiting grandchildren on a boat in some canal.

Our idea, if it comes to fruition, would be to spend most of the year in the UK, keep the Brazil home - with a caretaker - for when we're back here and for weekend/holiday use by that part of the family who live here or are visiting.

So, Im curious to know if any fellow Ppruners have been in a similar situation and have contemplated buying a narrowboat. An obvious alternative to canal life would be to buy a flat somewhere in the UK and I'm sure many expats on here have done that.

Advice and ideas welcome!
broadreach is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 01:36
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Why oh why would I wanna be anywhere else?
Posts: 1,306
Be careful about the tax situation. HM Inland Revenue have a long reach and they're greedy bastards.
sisemen is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 02:13
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Sao Paulo
Age: 74
Posts: 787
Thanks Sisemeh, agree and have checked, so don't think there's any sweat there.
broadreach is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 02:45
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: California
Posts: 344
An ex girlfriend and her husband have a narrow boat which they live on most of the year, staying with a daughter when it gets too cold to endure.
Too confining for me, I was happy to finish a 2 week holiday on a cruiser on the Norfolk Broads.
Where do you live in Brazil?, I was down there a few years ago.
Lots of luck, and fun.
f
fleigle is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 03:13
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Sao Paulo
Age: 74
Posts: 787
Fleigle,

I live on the southwest outskirts of Sao Paulo in a quiet forested and environmentially protected area with reasonable broadband internet access. It takes me anywhere from 30m to 120m or more to get into the city, depending on the traffic.

Yes, the sense of confinement on a narrowboat can be heavy and that's at the back of my mind. It's not just the physical confinement of the boat itself, it's how you react to what's outside.

Last edited by broadreach; 22nd Feb 2013 at 03:19. Reason: spelling
broadreach is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 04:30
  #6 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 80
Posts: 4,722
keep the Brazil home - with a caretaker -

Don't want an old bloke that loves remodeling homes do you? Oh, and loves dogs . . . and Embraer aircraft . . . and has been to Henry the Navigator's house. And likes Richard Feynman. The references become obscure from this point.
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 10:20
  #7 (permalink)  

More than just an ATCO
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Up someone's nose
Age: 70
Posts: 1,768
You might like to consider an appartment in a "retirement cionmmunity"
The selling price tends to be somewhat lower than a normal appartment, offset by a higher service charge, but there are many advantages, not least security. Mine has a concierge on call, CCTV coverage of the building, sea views, allocated parking, gardens, a 2 minute walk to the centre of town and 10 minutes to a main line station with High Speed access to London. The flats tend to be one bedroom but many also have guest rooms that can be booked if you're having visitors - usually much cheaper than a comparable hotel room.
There are several others in my block using this as a UK base; no reason why you can't let family use it if you're away - although age restrictions may apply.

Googoo "retirement appartments for sale" for info.
Lon More is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 10:22
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: on the beach
Posts: 359
More onerous than renting, you need to consider mandatory safety checks and maintenance, plus safe storage when away.

One little quirk of n-boats is the plumbing valves, everyone seems to get it wrong at least once, so reckon on occasional total immersion with loss of onboard possessions.

As well as pottering about waterways it is possible to moor in a city centre and enjoy the advantages of urban life.
mike-wsm is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 10:32
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Cambridge, England, EU
Posts: 3,431
Make sure you can park where you want to. Round here it's going to be difficult to find anywhere to stop - all legitimate permanent and temporary moorings, and some places where mooring is not allowed, are often full with long term residents. More people seem to be living in boats as the economic pressure increases and conventional housing remains expensive and in short supply.
Gertrude the Wombat is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 11:46
  #10 (permalink)  

Official PPRuNe Chaplain
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Witnesham, Suffolk
Age: 76
Posts: 3,502
It has its attractions in summer, bimbling along canals stopping at nice pubs.

A friend of ours ended up living in one for a while. In winter it was desperately cold and damp. She sold it and bought a caravan - not a lot better, but easier to heat.
Keef is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 12:39
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Darkest Lincs
Posts: 465
Gertrude is spot on - Mrs Woezz and I nad a narow boat for a few years and loved the peace and tranquilty of being able to moor up in the middle of nowhere, but the biggest initial challenge was finding a permanent mooring.
If you are planning to live in it full time while in the UK you really need a fully connected mooring with power and water, rather than a simple private mooring spot. A fully connected moorig is not cheap, and can be hard to find.
In your shoes I would find the ideal mooring spot first, reserve it, and then buy your boat.
wowzz is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 12:44
  #12 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Sao Paulo
Age: 74
Posts: 787
Goodness, thank you all.

Rivets, we are of a like. I'm about to embark on a mod to increase Ms b's wardrobe space via a complete rebuilding of the garage and construction of an apartment on top of that.

Lon, not quite ready for a retirement apt yet - although Ms b might disagree. I'm not keen on buying fixed home but will probably reconsider in a few years.

Mike and Gertrude, thanks. I know that permanent moorings are expensive, moreso the closer one gets to urban centres. When renting I've never had a problem finding temp moorings though. Last time, midsummer, spent two nights in the basin in Birmingham, plenty of space. Renting for 7-9 months, though, would cost more than buying. Good point about economic pressure making people opt for boats but, then, would it not be that the same pressure is nudging others to dispose of theirs? There seem to be lots for sale or on offer.

Keef, wintering is not on!
broadreach is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 12:45
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: south of Cirencester, north of Lyneham
Age: 72
Posts: 1,243
Not forgetting that you need somewhere to stay while maintenance is being done and the boat is out of the water. Plus if you have any ongoing medical condition needing repeat prescriptions, you may have difficulties unless you can keep going to one doctor.
radeng is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 12:50
  #14 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Sao Paulo
Age: 74
Posts: 787
Wowzz,
Thanks, excellent advice!

Radeng,
Yes, plenty of family about if need be. Prescriptions, well, just cholesterol! Does one need a prescription for blue or brown pills?
broadreach is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 13:02
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: south of Cirencester, north of Lyneham
Age: 72
Posts: 1,243
Depends on which ones, but ones that, shall we say, 'assist performance', yes.
radeng is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 14:01
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Age: 81
Posts: 699
Good quality mooring here in the North West of England will cost you between 2600 and 3000 p.a. Electric at metered price but generally water on tap.
funfly is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 15:01
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: lancs.UK
Age: 72
Posts: 1,196
Possibly something to bear in mind...the waterways have been "hived-off" to a "trust"...As usual there were plenty of platitudes until the deed was done....why alter things if they're running OK ?
Mr. Cynic suggests greed is the motive and substantial price-hikes and conditions of use will alter to the detriment of those who are unable to pick their boat up and cart it somewhere else.....OOOPS- forgot...there is nowhere else, they've got you by the nuts!

BEWARE.
cockney steve is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 15:56
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 71
Posts: 8,320
If you go on the Thames even temporarily, you'll need a 'River Licence' the cost of which is based on the area of the boat. Mine measures 9.8m x 3.2m and the cost is 512 for 2013. Mooring with electricity connected (metered) and water supply available nearby is 268/month.
chevvron is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 16:08
  #19 (permalink)  

More than just an ATCO
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Up someone's nose
Age: 70
Posts: 1,768
Mooring with electricity connected (metered) and water supply available nearby is 268/month
'kin 'l. That's more than I pay for service charges and ground rent for the appartment!

Actually, most of the neighbours don't act like pensioners. There's even a private bar, though it seems like an extension of the local Conservative Club . No pressures to join in though.
Lon More is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2013, 21:17
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Cambridge, England, EU
Posts: 3,431
Possibly something to bear in mind...the waterways have been "hived-off" to a "trust"
It's much more complicated than that.

There are various navigation authorities across the country, and you're likely to need licence(s) from whichever ones are relevant to your proposed area of travel - these let you drive around on the water but do not necessarily entitle you to moor anywhere.

So you're going to want somewhere to park. Depending on where you are the rules are likely to be very different. One model is where the council owns the mooring you pay the council a mooring fee roughly equivalent to a Band A council tax - for which you can expect normal council services, such as rubbish collection, the ability to sign up for the residents parking scheme, and so on. If you're on private moorings, eg in a marina, you're paying private charges for private provision of these things.

Last edited by Gertrude the Wombat; 22nd Feb 2013 at 21:18.
Gertrude the Wombat is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.