Livaboard narrowboat advice from Ventian marina Part two
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Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 1:52pm

Livaboard a narrow boat

In our last article we covered residential moorings and cruising licences as well as what type of boat you should buy for living aboard. In this article we look at buying the narrow boat and the on-going costs.

Buying a Narrow boat to livaboard.

We have many years’ experience match making boaters and their new narrow boats so you can trust us to help you find your ideal boat whether you want to cruise the canals a few weeks at a time or livaboard full time. The advantages of buying from a marina is you can view many boats in one location that you may be interested in and the staff will be able to help with any questions or advice you need. You can be confident that if you buy a narrow boat from Venetian that we either own the narrow boat or we have the legal right to sell it.

As we mentioned in our last article we highly recommend that you have a survey carried out before you buy your new home. There are 3 types of surveys available
  • Full Survey
  • Hull Survey
  • Internal Survey
Once you’ve decided what type of survey you would like then we can recommend a local surveyor to you or you can appoint your own surveyor. We would strongly suggest that you are best to use a narrowboat marine surveyor as they tend to have more experience with steel hulled vessels. It is important to understand that the surveyor is working on your behalf not the sellers. They will point out ALL of the issues that he finds.

After the survey has been carried out and we receive the survey report, we will then read this (please note that we need to have the purchasers permission to receive the survey report). If there are items on the survey report that make the vessels un-insurable or not able to comply to the boat safety standards, we will liaise between the buyer and seller to come to a conclusion. Generally speaking we will negotiate for you on the boat safety and insurance items that are shown in the survey. This however depends on the initial deal made as some narrow boats are sold as seen.

Finally once a final price for the boat has been agreed between both parties and the boat has been paid for we will be able to carry out the work that is needed.

Livaboard a narrow boat the costs

Narrowboat VS House
Is it cheaper to live on a narrow boat rather than a house? Yes it certainly can be a cheaper alternative BUT this is a life style choice and is a very different way of living compared to your bricks and mortar home. So we wouldn’t advise you to buy a narrrowboat to live on just because you think it is going to be cheaper than a brick home. So if you are sure a livaboard is for you let’s have a look at the main costs involved.

These are estimates and will vary depending on boat and location, where we have not added a price this because it is too open to estimate.

• Moorings (examples at Venetian 85p per foot per week approx. depending on if your moorings are residential or leisure). Electric is often an additional charge to this.
• Licences, these charged annually, check with the Canal and River Trust.
• Cost of the Narrow Boat. We have narrow boats for sale from £9000 - £60,000
• New features which may need adding to make livaboard more comfortable, such as changing a pumpout to a porta potti or vice versa.
• Surveys between £300 and £600 + VAT depending on the type of survey required, how far the surveyor has to travel and which surveyor you use.
• Insurance will depend if you are cruising, the length of your craft and the purchase price - possibly £250 - £500 (on crafts over 20 years old most insurance companies will want to see a copy of a hull survey before they will insure you)
• Blacking every three years. You would be looking at £700 to £1000 dependant on the length of your boat and if you are doing a DIY blacking or getting someone to do it for you.
• Engine fuel. Will depend on the amount of cruising but an example of fuel used on a journey. It can cost a few hundred pounds to fill a tank up.
• Fuel for Heating and Cooking. Solid fuel in the winter 10-15 bags a year around £100. Gas for central heating and cooking, using six bottles a year - about £105.
• Pump-out. Will depend on tank size. At Venetian Marina we currently charge £15 per pumpout.
Emptying a cassette toilet. This is usually free at most marinas. You can also get rid of your waste at many CRT points along the canal system.
• Engine maintenance. The engine oil is changed at least three times a year.
Engine Service should be done every year or two and can cost up to £200 plus VAT plus parts.

It is worth setting aside a sum of money by every year to account for these costs.

By visiting a Marina you will be able to compare many narrow boats in the same location that you may be interested in. Visit our narrow boats for sale page. We can also discuss in more detail the costs for livaboard in more detail and relevant to you and a certain narrow boat.

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