No, this isn’t a plug for a magazine, but yours truly was interviewed again for the radio on how we came to live here.
A lovely young lady called Francesca was brought down to us by one of the liveboards further up our pontoon as she was doing a piece for the local radio about living on a boat.
It’s about a year ago that I was interviewed by Dave on the same theme, so I wonder if I’ll come across as ‘That old bat from last year’ or if my attitude and answers have changed.
Photo taken April 2015
For those of you new to my blog and unaware of our story, basically we got priced out of the property market after selling our house in 2014 and all the while looking for a alternative desres, house prices were rocketing making our available wealth inadequate.
We weighed up the pros and cons of everything from property rentals, park homes, camper vans, and eventually thinking outside the box, investigated boat ownership.
I was asked a different set of questions today including had we ever been on a narrowboat before. I have made no secret of the fact that we were complete boat virgins and are still more or less making it up as we go along! We haven’t been afraid to ask questions from ‘old hands’, take advice and tips when offered (and in turn put forth our own) and even now, we continue to learn, adapt and hopefully overcome some of the obstacles (currently condensation) that come our way.
Adapting to this way of life wasn’t so much a culture shock as a downsizing exercise, though the downsizing continued until we ended up living in a thimble compared to our previous properties over the years.
Our proud boast today is that if it isn’t in the boat or the car and we’re not wearing it, we don’t own it.
Compared to living in a house, the expense is spread differently.
We still pay local taxes, pay for our electricity and gas (for us bottled), but have the added expense of mooring fees and boat licences. Our water rates and sewage disposal, for us at an elsan point as we have a cassette loo like you have in a caravan/motor home, is included in our mooring fees, and the WIFI here is free, so we have no internet package to pay for. Heating aboard is either run by diesel fuel or our electric oil filled radiators.
We don’t have the worry of roof tiles or fence panels falling off/down in high winds, no lawn to cut or garden to maintain, and should it flood here, we go up with the water.
Another question posed was about young people unable to get on the property ladder and a boating life being an alternative.
It is certainly worth looking into. There are so many different styles of boats to choose from, so look around.
Wide beams are more like floating apartments, with fully fitted kitchens and bathrooms, separate dining rooms and lounges.
Some boats have log burners/coal fires and others don’t.
Mooring fees are by the foot/metre, so the bigger the boat, the more you pay.
I did this post after 12 months of living aboard compared with living in a house. I tried to be honest and give as much information as possible for anyone thinking of a lifestyle change. There is a lot to be said for having waterfowl for neighbours compared to HGVs, and when we want to go away, we simply untie the ropes and off we go, no packing required. Travelling up river is like being in another world, we get to see places inaccessible by car, and are at one with Nature, which for me is pure heaven.
For us, it has been a good move. We have little, but then don’t need much to begin with.
At the moment, we would not change the way we live. We have plans for the boat to make more space and hopefully address the condensation issue which has really got to both of us this winter. We believe it is down to lack of air circulation, so intend to open everything up as much as possible which should make a difference.
We had a coal burner in the cottage and are giving serious thought to getting one here.
This is our home, and as such we want to make it as comfortable and practical for us as our budget will allow.
Photo: revamp 2015