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All you need to know about living on a narrowboat
Living On A Narrowboat News
11th 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




Do You Have Microsoft Excel Installed On Your Computer?

I may have mentioned to you already that I'm in the process of transferring the site from one hosting company to another. That's still ongoing. The current company hasn't provided a very good service as far as I'm concerned. They charge me a fortune for hosting the site on one of their servers which keeps crashing. When it crashes, you can't view the site. The site has been inaccessible for anything from a few minutes to an hour or more each day. On one occasion last week it was down for a staggering three and a half hours.

Migrating a site from one host to another appears to be a difficult affair, as does speaking about it in words that I can understand. I've spent a couple of hours today talking to technicians of increasing seniority. They haven't cracked it yet. We're having another go tomorrow.

Until the site is transferred and stable, I can't start the narrowboat budget software trial. I won't bore you with the details but starting it now would result in me having to copy records from one server to another rather than the updates being done automatically through the new host.

I imagine that the transfer will take place some time tomorrow. As soon as it's done, I'll let you know.

I sent an email to the site members who have agreed to test the software and to ask them to confirm that they have Microsoft Excel installed on their PCs. I foolishly thought that everyone had a copy of Microsoft Office, which includes Excel. Apparently they don't. So I'm a few testers short. If you are interested in joining in the trial, you haven't heard from me already and you have Excel on your PC, please let me know.



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.
  • 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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