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Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:08pm

Post Subject: Long term hire

Hello experts, I'm ready to realise my dream and live on the waterways. My wife is not ready to rent out our home and spend tens of thousands on a liveaboard narrowboat. What about long term (season) boat hire? One company advertises on the canal boat web site and I've found one other business via the internet. What companies provide this service and what are the pitfalls?? Thanks & regards, Martyn Cash


Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:19am

Post Subject: Long term hire

There are very few people who want to hire for that long so its not a main stream activity. For livaboarding you need a fairly large boat (say 57ft minimum for 2 with some degree of comfort)and longer if you have no wish to go "up north". This implies a hire costing many thousands of pounds. I am sure you will still have to pay for your fuel at a composite rate of between £0.80 and £1.60 per hour. I suspect, in the present market, you could buy a secondhand boat for a similar cost as the hire fee. I am certain that if you used to get hire fleet contact details you would find one or two who would be happy to quote for a long hire, especially if the boat was about to be retired from the fleet. I notice you talk about the "season". I am not sure that you should not try it over the winter when its cold, damp, grey with only short days. living on the boat during the summer is a doddle by comparison. A hire boat is less likely to have a stove for heating so you would be relying on gas (expensive) or diesel (perhaps not ultra-reliable) for heating. A secondhand boat may have a stove plus one of the other forms of heating. I do not really understand what you mean by pitfalls. There are many related to living on boats but the only ones I can think of specific to hiring is if you get a yard that provides poor service or you find you do not like it and have to pay off the rest of the contract period. Tony Brooks

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