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Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:01pm

Post Subject: documents/costs in chronological order

Hi, my wife and I wish to become permanent live aboards on a narrowboat. We know enough to know that going from 100% onland to 100% onwater requires the right documents at the right time and in the right order - but I have never seen the complete listing with current charges attached...and yes, I have copied a fairly recent and comprehensive reply to a question regarding costs from this forum, but would like to know the theoretical, ideal journey (if there is one!) from start to finish order-wise. I guess we must begin with us having desposed of the bricks and mortar and be happy about going ahead with purchase of certain n-boat. As my question is regarding the costs/documentation we can assume the boat is ideal for us. I needn't tell you this but the forum gives an excellent cross section through narrowboat ownership. Best regards, Tim


Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:25pm

Post Subject: documents/costs in chronological order

Dear Tim, I do not think there can be a document such as you describe because much depends upon how you intend to use your boat and how far you are willing to stretch "regulations". If you intend to be proper continuous cruisers as per the British Waterways regulations it is easier but if you want to be based in one place things are harder. In the latter case you need to find a mooring first, either a proper residential one with all the permissions and possibly some degree of security of tenure OR one where the operator is exceedingly blind in one eye - just hope he does not decide to look through the other one one day! A proper residential mooring will be 1. expensive, 2. as easy to come by as rocking horse dung. Boats tend to be easier to get than moorings so it is usually suggested that you get your mooring first, especially if you want a residential one, even if you have to pay for it for many months before you get the boat. Cost of moorings - probably anything between £500 & £10,000 Per year depending upon location, facilities, and recognised livaboard status. The boat will cost anything between perhaps £20,000 & £120,000 depending upon age, condition & size etc. Insurance (third party is compulsory) will probably cost between about £50 & £400 per year depending upon level of cover and value of boat. You need this to run form the moment you own the boat. License - see or the BW website, but between £200 & £1000 per year depending upon length for BW but other navigation authorities charge differently. You will need to relicense when the old one runs out unless the old owner returned it for a refund. Before finalising the purchase you would be very well advised to get a full survey, say anything up to £1000 and if the boat was built after about 1997 confirmation that its documentation re the Recreational Craft Directive is in correct and a true statement. The surveyor should be able to do this, possibly at extra cost. Also get the surveyor to ensure the boat will pass its next boat safety inspection or get them to issue a new BSS certificate, again at extra cost, but perhaps £180 to £300. You will see there are so may variables that I can not give you absolute costs or even the required steps min any sort of order, but I would say Mooring, sell house with a longish completion time and then buy boat. It would be much easier if you had family/friends who can put you up when the inevitable goes wrong. You will also find it far easier to deal with officialdom if you have a trusted friend or family member who will accept official correspondence addressed to you at their address and are happy for you to use their addressto register for a GP (you just turn up at any GPs surgery you need in an emergency like a holiday maker. To recap the only documentation required are the license, insurance and BSS certificate (the last two are required to get the license). Strictly speaking a livaboard boat needs its gas system checking by a suitable qualified Gas safe inspector but I bet many are not! After that you just push of and do your own thing within the BW regulations. If you declare you are continuously cruising you will have to move several miles every 14 days or less (depending upon mooring time limits) otherwise there is little documentation required. Tony Brooks PS if you are not exerienced boaters for goodness sake hire a boat for several weeks in deep winter before selling your house!

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