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All you need to know about living on a narrowboat
Living On A Narrowboat News
21st November 2012

Living on a narrowboat: The Real Cost of a Life AfloatIf you're thinking of buying a narrowboat, especially one to live on, you need to know how much the boat is likely to cost you to buy and to maintain. This useful guide details all the costs I've incurred during the two and a half years that I've lived on my own narrowboat. You'll discover the hidden costs when you buy a narrowboat, mooring fees, utility costs, propulsion fuel costs, repair and maintenance expenses and much, much more. Download your copy here.

"This is an extremely useful booklet for anyone considering living afloat. The author has covered all of the outlay that you are likely to face in an easy and straight forward manner. I have been considering living on a narrowboat for years but was put off by the unknown. Having read this I am more likely to make the dream come true." Tigs, Amazon Kindle Review

The Site Is Moving

I've mentioned that I'm not happy with the company hosting It's taken me a while to do something constructve about it but now the wheels are in motion. On Friday 23rd November at 3:00am the site will be moved to another company's servers. This will mean that the site will be offline for about an hour. So if you were planning on doing a little narrowboat research in the eary hours of Saturday morning, you'll have to watch a little rubbish television instead. Following the site migration you may experience some problems navigating around the site for a day or two. After that the site will be faster to load and more stable which means that you'll be able to navigate around the site much more quickly.

Newsletter List Update

You receive newsletters from me on a regular basis because you've subscribed to the site at some stage over the last two years. I send you the information using a 3rd party newsletter management service. It's a very good service. The problem I have with it though is not knowing whether people  like you are on this newsletter list and/or two others that I have of people who are interested in narrowboats. It is possible to find out but, to be honest, it's beyond my basic technical skills. To avoid any confusion in the future, I've decided to run all the newsletters through a very good newsletter application that I now have within the site.

In order to switch from one service to another, I have to move your details from where they are now to my site. As part of that process, you'll receive an automated welcome email. It will detail cetain changes within the site and let you know how to get the most out of the site content. I hope you'll value the information and that you'll want to keep receiving emails from me, but I don't want to keep sending them to you if you consider them a nuicance. If that's the case, please accept my apologies for the intrusion. When you receive the welcome email you'll be directed to a page where you can manage your subscription. If you really don't want to carry on receiving information from me, you can stop the emails for good.

Narrowboat Budgeting Application Update

The software testing began on Sunday. 
You can read about the application here. It's been very well received by the majority of the testers, those who could open it that is. I assumed (I know it's dangerous to assume) that everyone would have Microsoft Excel and that the vesion they have is 2007 or later. Apperantly not. Some of the testers are using a MAC and some who have PCs are using Excel 2003 or earlier. These testers haven't been able to run the application.

I am considering biting the bullet and having the spreadsheet translated into an application that I can host on the site. I don't know how much it will cost at the moment, and I don't know whether you would be interested in an online application if I did have it developed. Can I ask you a favour? Do you have a minute or two to fill in this very simple survey for me? I want to know whether you'll be able to use the application I've already developed or whether you would be interested in using an online budget application where you could save your data in your own secure area of the site. A couple of minutes of your time is all I need to complete this survey
. It's essential that I find out how much demand there would be for an online application before I make a decision so your opinion would be very welcome.

The Best Aerial For A Narrowboat TV

If you’ve read through the posts on this site, you’ll know by now that I don’t think much of television. In my opinion it’s a waste of reading time, it’s a waste of time that could otherwise be spent enjoying the beautiful countryside that surrounds me and it’s a waste of what little electricity it uses. It kills conversation and deadens the brain. It makes vegetables of all who submit to its malign influence.

So you may be surprised to hear then that I’ve just joined the legions of couch potatoes up and down the land. I've fitted an aerial to a flat screen television which, until very recently, I was just using to play DVDs. I don't like traditional TV aerials. I think they're both ugly and inpractical. I think I've found the solution though. What do you think?

Popular Forum Posts

Here are some more forum posts for you. If you can't find an answer to your narrowboat questions on the site or in the forum, please post it on the forum. It's easy to do. All you have to do is to make sure that you're logged in before you post. There's no such thing as a silly question, so go ahead and ask.
  • Narrowboat steel thickness - How thick is your boat's steel? How long does it last?
  • Retro fitting a solid fuel stove - Where's the best place to put your stove and what's involved in fitting it?
  • Converting from a cassette toilet to a pump out - A pump out toilet is far more convenient to use than a toilet with a portable cassette but how easy are they to retro fit in a narrowboat?
  • Gas free boating - If you don't fancy heaving unwieldy gas bottles into a difficult to reach bow locker, a gas free boat might be the solution
  • Winter on the cut - Are you able to cruise all year on your boat or should you find a mooring for the winter?
  • Transporting your boat - Sometimes you may want or need to take your narrowboat by road rather than cruise along the canal. Here's an idea of the cost
  • Bike types and preferences - If you don't have a car parked near your boat, you'll probably want a bike, but which type of bike is best?
  • Towing a butty - I've upset someone. I didn't mean to. Wainbody wanted to know the best way of towing an unpowered second narrowboat (butty). I came across as patronising when I replied. It was unintentional but to make amends I thought I would ask anyone with boat handling experience to reply to his thread with some constructive advice. If you can help him, please reply to the post.
  • The best flooring for a narrowboat pets -  What's the best way to protect your floor from a dirty doggy?
  • The best time of the year to buy a boat - Is there a deal to be done by buying a boat in the winter?
  • The best length for a liveaboard narrowboat - What's the best length to buy? What are the pros and cons of different length boats
  • ONE tip to offer a potential narrowboat owner - If you are already a narrowboat owner, you can share your experience. If you haven't bought one yet, you need to read this thread.
  • Powering your computer on a narrowboat - Can you power your computer/laptop from the boat's 12v supply or do you need mains power?
  • Must-have gadgets and necessities - The most useful/useless gadgets for life on a narrowboat
  • Choosing a stove for your boat - Are domestic solid fuel stoves as good as the ones designed specifically for boats? Which is the best one to buy?
  • Diesel heating for boats - How important is a solid fuel stove on a liveaboard narrowboat? Is a diesel heating system OK as a primary heat source?
  • Computers on boats - Can a computer be powered from your boat's 12v system or does it need to be plugged into the mains
  • Receiving post on your boat - How does the postman find you when you're cruising? How do you apply for a driving license, a TV license or a bank statement when you have no official address?
  • Bikes on board - Many boat owners do not have cars so they rely on bikes to get them to the shops (or the pub). Some use bikes to collect their cars after a day's cruising. There's a huge selection of bikes to choose from. Which are the best for your boat? To tell you the truth, I don't know the answer. Can you point forum member Ainslo in the right direction?
  • VAT on narrowboat sales - Does the price of your narrowboat contain a VAT element? Can the VAT be reclaimed?
  • Internet access - How do you connect to the internet when you live on a boat?
  • Living off property rental income - Do you have a property that you indend to let while you cruise the waterways? Read this before you work out your budget.
  • How to find a narrowboat to live on - Here's an article about choosing a liveaboard narrowboat, and a question about finding a narrowboat with a steering wheel.
  • Vertigo - How to deal with walking over lock gates if you're frightened of heights.
  • Long term narrowboat hire - If you aren't ready to buy a narrowboat yet, what are your chances of hiring a narrowboat for more than a few weeks?
  • Residential moorings and single handed boating - How do you handle a narrowboat on your own? What do you do about a mooring if you live on board and only want a mooring for part of the year
  • Too tall for a narrowboat? - Is a narrowboat suitable for you if you are above average height?
  • Dealing with condensation - Do all narrowboats suffer from damp? What can you do about it?
  • Solar panels - More information about portable and fixed solar panels
  • Heating systems - Hurricane and Mikuni heating systems discussed

What's Missing?

I want the site to be a comprehensive guide to anyone who is thinking about living on a narrowboat. I'm sure that there's plenty of stuff missing, so I need your help. In general terms, what do you think is missing from the site? What would you like to see more of? What would you like to see less of. And, specifically, what can't you find the answer to? Is there a specific question about life on board that you need answering? I'm not talking about specific technical aspects that will be of use to you, but of no interest to other readers but subjects that will be of use and of interest to the majority of visitors to the site. Please help by completing this very short survey. You don't have to leave your details so you can say what you like.

Newsletter Archive

Useful Links

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.

 If you're wondering why you are receiving this newsletter it's because you subscribed to my site (Living On A Narrowboat). I hope that the information I send you from time to time is useful. After all, the site is all about narrowboats and you probably found the site from doing a narrowboat related search through a search engine. However, I don't want you to receive emails that you really have no interest in. I know from personal experience how annoying they can be. If you really don't want to receive information about living on a narrowboat and updates on the on-line, offline and marina moorings in England and Wales you can unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this email. I hope you stay. I sincerely hope you find the information useful.

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