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augustwill...
augustwill...

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:23am

Post Subject: Living on a Widebeam

Hello, I am new to the forum, and am looking to learn as much as I can about living on a canal boat. My young family is about to move from the US to London, and we are hoping to find a boat we can live on. We currently live out of our van in the states, saving up for our move. We love the idea of not having to pay rent, and owning something that will allow the flexibility, and be a bit more economically sound for our needs. My first question is, can you finance a Narrow, Widebeam canal boat, and have it be your primary residence? Thank you for taking the time! August

Tony-B...
Tony-B...

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:03am

Post Subject: Living on a Widebeam

I suspect when an inland boat is bought with a loan that loan is usually a personal loan from a bank. Companies offering marine mortgages are few if any. Then there are questions over your credit score in the UK and possibly your nationality. It sounds as if you think living on a boat will be cheaper than in a building. By and large if living on a boat while obeying all the regulations etc is not much cheaper than living ashore. People do it because they enjoy the life. If you are willing to ignore the agreements you make when you apply for your annual license and thereby risk court action to confiscate the boat then you can save money. Please do a lot more research on the requirements for licensing, insurance, Boat Safety Scheme, costs of mooring, fuels, maintenance, and the minimum distances you need to travel if you do not have a permanent mooring. The UK's major inland navigation authority has stated that it is unlikely that having a job at a fixed place or children is school will be compatible with registering as a continuous cruiser with no permanent mooring. The annual costs of keeping a boat with a mooring is likely to range from a minimum of about £5000 a year in the North to £20000 plus in London. Much more if you can find a mooring that allows you to officially live aboard,. Sorry to appear negative but your post suggest a degree of rose coloured glasses. Please do far more research. Start with the Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency requirements for living on boats.

parussel...
parussel...

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:01pm

Post Subject: Living on a Widebeam

We let out our house just over two years ago and rented an apartment in North Hertfordshire for about 20 months. We then decided to buy a 60 foot narrow boat with a loan from family and live on that as an alternative to renting. Our plan is to pay the loan off with the money we would have spent on rent. We live permanently on the boat at a non-residential marina (which is possible). Altogether, our outgoings are similar to renting. Our electricity and heating bills (diesel and coal) are roughly the same throughout the year as utilities in the apartment we rented (although they fluctuate more with the seasons - don't skimp on the heating, its best to be too hot rather than too cold). Our boat license is roughly the same as our council tax was. The mooring fees are about half of what our rent was, but then we have the loan to pay off on top of that plus there is of course maintenance costs, which I can anticipate will be up to £1000 per year. It's not a cheap way of life, but not expensive either. Of course you can save on mooring costs by being a continuous cruiser, but living on a boat is more complex than living in an apartment, and living as a continuous cruiser makes this even more complex as your access to water, electricity and toilet disposal is more limited. Travelling to work or school would also be more complex. However, it is an interesting lifestyle and you meet plenty of friendly people, so as a lifestyle choice I recommend it. Regarding the finance, I did see companies that offered finance on boats, but the APR seemed a little high, although doable. Regarding the home being your primary residence then, yes, many people to that, but if your marina doesn't offer you a postal address then this takes some work. Some mail can be sent to Post Offices, if they offer a Poste Restante service. Alternatively, you can take our a PO Box, but they have limitations. You'll need a postal address for your driving license and bank account, so I use a family members. If your marina offers you a postal address then this is simpler, but I think you will need to pay council tax as well as a boat license.

Tony-B...
Tony-B...

Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:38pm

Post Subject: Living on a Widebeam

All perfectly true but you are not in London so if your advice needs to include the commuting costs plus the extra cost of London moorings unless he CCs. He also talked about young family, so schooling complicates the CC issue. Then there is the desirability or not of bringing up a young family while CCing in London. Judging by the smells and general state of a good number of London CC boaters it's not something I would be happy doing.

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