They come and go, and at the moment, more are going, and those coming are only temporary.
Ordinarily, we would joke that it could have been something we said, but that is not the case.
A lot of boats are going on the market, and their owners not necessarily upgrading.
One cruiser in particular has been sold three times in the two years we’ve been here. It’s not clear if it’s because it’s a nice boat, too small a craft after ownership and trips out, or worse case scenario, something’s wrong with it (in which case it would probably come up in a survey).
We know of three couples who have changed their narrowboats of various lengths for widebeams, and are enjoying life in one place rather than going out on a regular basis.
Another has recently sold his cruiser and purchased a narrowboat because he wanted more space. With three dogs, it seemed a good idea and we saw his old boat moored up river on our trip to Stratford.
Someone else is changing their cruiser as it is difficult to get on and off without a portable step. The one they are buying is slightly bigger, but with the same access problems. Apparently there is an option to ‘cut a gateway’ in the rear, which will suit them better.
Two couples we know have decided to move back into property, even though the women weren’t keen. One was because the guy was fed up having to turn sideways to get from one end of his boat to the other having put on so much weight, and the other due to financial problems.
Last year, liveaboards for over 35 years had the opportunity to move into a house.
Due to serious health issues, it was too good a chance to miss, and they had a buyer for their 70 footer within weeks.
The new owners took it up river, tied it to a tree in torrential rain and left it unattended.
As the water level rose, the boat tilted, filled with water and sank. It is still partially submerged just outside the lock on the wrong side of the weir boom, and everyone is still trying to work out how they actually got there in the first place.
The original owners are gutted, and the new out of pocket because their insurance was void as they’d gone out when the river was in the Red on the water level warning gauge.
Several have sold up due to ill health, some have simply moved away to cheaper marinas or to become water gypsies, and two single males have not only given up their marital status but their boats as well.
And then there are us.
We are probably classed as permanent fixtures now, and seem to know everyone who comes, stays and goes here. People ask me how I remember names, and it’s quite simple really. At the back of our log book I keep an address book:
Name of Boat Owners Dog