Is Living on a Narrowboat Truly More Economical?

Explore the Conservation Efforts Behind Britain’s Canals

During the summer months, there are few places more blissfully idyllic than at the wheel of a canal boat hire enjoying the beauty of England’s waterways, and it is during that time that the idea comes into many people’s heads to make this more than a seasonal activity.

After all, with a cost of living crisis biting harder and house prices remaining exceptionally high despite a somewhat shallow fall, a growing number of people are looking at narrowboats as not only a way to have a unique home but also an affordable one.

However, once everything is taken into account, is living on a narrowboat truly cheaper than living on dry land? It depends on a lot of factors, not least of which is how many practical skills you are willing to learn very quickly.

The cost of buying a narrowboat can vary from £20,000 for a highly risky endeavour to as much as £150,000, depending on equipment, size and age.

Typically the average is around £60,000, with marine loans available from some banks and specialist lenders to help you with your investment.

After that, you will need a boat licence and will need to consider your mooring fees. Continuous cruising is an option if you can afford to travel every two weeks, but then the cost of diesel fuel will need to be considered.

In total, your rough annual fixed costs are between £4,000 and £6000 per year, with variable costs for the diesel engine, petrol generator, wood and coal for the stove, gas bottles, servicing and chemicals for the bathroom adding another £3,000 on top of this.

You will also need to pay for hull blacking every three years with bitumen, the Boat Safety Scheme, replacement batteries and anode replacement, which can get expensive although you can save money doing it yourself.

What might be a better option is to consider going on a narrowboat holiday instead so you can still enjoy life on the water without having to change your lifestyle to achieve it. Get in touch with us today to find out more!

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