Giving up boating

Published: Thursday, 19 August 2021

WE HAVE sold our narrowboat Nexten after nine years, the conclusion of 44 years boating on the inland rivers, canals and waterways, writes Terry Brown.

We starting hiring on the Norfolk Broads in 1977, then hiring on the Inland waterways.

TerryJulieThe boats

Our first boat was a Crighton aft cockpit cruiser, then a 50ft David Piper narrowboat. Then our first 60ft Stoke-on-Trent narrowboat, then Nexten another 60ft Stoke-on-Trent narrowboat. We have lived aboard for the last 20 years.

We have enjoyed hours, days, weeks and months of pleasure on the waterways. We have made some really good friends and seen some wonderful sights, from wildlife to Concorde flying over us as we cruised the tidal Thames just above Tower Bridge.  The picture shows Terry and Jackie on their boat Nexten.

Poor condition of the system

The reason for selling the boat was due to the poor condition of the waterway system and the concern that if we did plan a cruise, would we get there and would we get back.

There are not many parts of the system that we haven't used and the decline is most marked on the parts controlled by Canal & River Trust. In recent times we have spent more time on the Thames, the Nene and the Ouse. This way we could avoid the mess in the middle.

We were badly affected by closures on the Middlewich Arm, the Trent & Mersey, the Macclesfield and the Peak Forest, all parts of the main system where closures were seldom heard of in the days of British Waterways.

Sale completed

The sale was completed on 28th July and the good news was we got over 2K back on our mooring fees partly by using the Castle Marina Brokerage Service. We got £230 back on our boat insurance and we got a nice email from CaRT to say that our boat change of ownership had been registered and we would receive a refund on our licence fee.

No refund arrived for the licence, so we contacted the CaRT licence office. It was answered by a lady who was very pleased to tell me that refunds are not issued on three month licences.  So, I asked why did you send me an email telling me to expect a refund?

She did not know

"I don't know, my supervisor says so." was the answer. The only reason for a three month licence was the lockdowns and restrictions imposed on us boaters [not I might add by canoeists fishermen paddle boards etc] which made the final decision to sell. Before that we held a gold licence for a number of years but having being told that was none refundable, we opted for a three month one.

Hey, it's time to pack it in.