Forums » Ask a Question

Use this forum to post your questions to our experts – you need to be logged on to do it (you can register here ), then scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the blue Post Thread words

If you can help answer the question, feel free to post a reply – you need to be logged on to do it (you can register here ), then hit the reply button on the thread.

 

To go back to the experts page click here>>

AuthorMessage
Karen
Karen

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 2:34pm

Post Subject: I am a single lady (51!) and need tips please!!

Hi, I'm seriously thinking about liveaboard for a couple of years at least and am starting the planning phase. Are there many single ladies out there? what are the problems most likely to crop up because of this? what size boat would be most sensible? bear in mind: I have a gorgeous Leonberger (huge!!!), a Border Collie and 2 little dogs? Do lots of people take their dogs? Does a widebeam restrict one from exploring many of the waterways? I intend to wander the country all over! I have dozens of questions, but first need to know the pros and cons of being a single female in this environment!!! I've been on my own for 10 years so am used to that part, but with children off to Uni and nearly leaving school, I can start a new phase too!!! Looking forward to replies, many thanks Karen

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 6:53pm

Post Subject: I am a single lady (51!) and need tips please!!

Dear Karen I hope a number of our lady readers will also respond. I know of a number of single ladies who boat alone, but possibly some of them tend to stay in one place. Although it is altering - worse luck - the majority of canal boaters have a very old fashioned view of society, especially canal society, so it is normal to chat, offer, ask for, and receive help. You will however come across some "modern" types, but they tend to be in the minority. You will also hear about youths and "no go areas". It is useless to pretend there is not problems but a bit of forethought and planning will mitigate it to a large extent. I mean by travelling through such areas whilst the yobs are still sleeping it off. In seven years leisure boating we have only been stoned/egged once. I also seem to get a fair number on the courses I run. If my daughter or wife wanted to start canalling on their own I think I would be far happier than if they wanted to move into certain parts of Reading (where I live) or any other large town, especially if they kept dogs. Although we do not have pets on board I sometimes think dogs are an obligatory accessory to canal boats. Just make sure they stay away from other boater's cats, rabbits, hamsters etc. The canal towpath provides miles of generally good walking as does the walk into "town" for provisions. I am sure well behaved dogs will only help you make even more friends. I am afraid a broad beam boat will restrict you to either the northern canal and river system or the southern system. There are many canals between but they are all narrow. Unless you intend to go to sea I think you need a narrowboat. Now the length. If you start looking around the 50 ft mark you should get a bedroom, kitchen, toilet/shower compartment and another one or two rooms. Personally I think this is about the minimum size for permanent living and I find longer boats are easier to handle then short ones, but its very personal. Remember you will need a drying area for your wet weather gear AND your domestic washing during bad weather. This will probably double as the dogs bedroom. Do not go above 57ft 6in because if you do some of the northern canals will require it to be placed into a lock diagonally and in at least one case reversed in. When handling the boat on ropes a certain amount of strength will be required in currents or windy conditions so perhaps you should consider taking a boat handling course and even hiring a few boats of varying sizes. That should give you a fair idea about how your capabilities match what may be required. Unless you have a very deep purse you would be well advised to acquaint yourself with the workings of the boat so at the very least you can appraise what "experts" are telling you. Start by reading the Suddenly Alone course notes on my website. www.tb-training.co.uk. As further reassurance there is a well regarded "AA/RAC" type service for the waterways and they do take extra care of lone females when the situation demands it. Inevitably this must be a male point of view, but if that is what you want to do I'd say go for it. If you prepare well I very much doubt you will regret it. Once you have got tired of England the Irish waterways beckon. Tony Brooks

Patrisha
Patrisha

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:28am

Post Subject: Hi

Hi Karen, you are not alone...I am also in my 50s and wanting to buy a canal boat very soon. It's a bit mind blowing isn't it, and there seem to be so many wishy washy rules regarding moorings, council tax etc. but I'm sure if you're determined (as I am) its possible. Good Luck with it...I would give you my email but don't think I'm allowed to on this site.

sleepy
sleepy

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:05pm

Post Subject: I am a single lady (51!) and need tips please!!

Hi Karen.My boy friend has been on boats for years and has had two dogs they love it and will enjoy the moving round.Take care at locks as our dog fell in and that was worrying! Kev {my fella} says wide beams restrict which canals you can cruise on plus they look like over wieght canal boats! The big task is getting a permanent mooring which over winter is a big help but that aside i'm sure you will love it.Claire.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Canal Boat monthly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Like us on Facebook



Follow us on Twitter

Cache: Disabled for this object  Total Queries: 45.  Total Objects: 164.  Total Unserialized: 5. Total Runtime: 0.24 seconds.