Naïve narrowboat buyers

Published: Monday, 17 February 2020

JUST read yet another article from a naïve narrowboat buyer, writes John Howard.

Why is it always such a surprise to them when they realise that the basics such as licensing, insurance and mooring fees all need to be considered.  Did anyone consider a Pre Purchase Survey?


Let us not get started on the whingeing about the fact that, it was such a surprise that after the Summer comes Autumn, swiftly followed by Winter, so thought needs to be given to preparing the boat for the cooler weather.

If you talk to more experienced boaters I think you’ll find that when asked by the various towpath traffic 'Aren’t you cold in the winter?', the answer mostly is that more often than not we are opening windows, and in some cases side-hatches, to try and cool down.

Always a good idea

Preparing fuel for the winter, be it gas, coal, diesel and/or wood is always a good idea so as not to be caught out as the days get cooler.

Being moored in a marina with water and electric 'on tap’ is for some, in the winter, a reasonable exchange for the lack of privacy when moored on the cut.  Most marinas these days have stocks of gas and coal for sale, so a trek along the pontoon with a sack truck is hardly an inconvenience.

Naïve newbies

So, please no more ‘Buyer Beware’ stories from naïve newbies who didn’t do their research and dive head-first into living aboard, after a week's trial in the summer.

Let’s see a check list of ‘stuff to consider’ from an experienced live aboard. I’m sure there’s an article in the narrowboatworld back-catalogue somewhere.