The Easy Peasy Guide To Buying A Narrow Boat
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Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 12:43pm

Buying A Narrow Boat

If you are thinking about buying a narrowboat you might be wondering where to start.

It can be quite a minefield if you have never had any experience of boating.

Follow These Great Tips To Make Buying a Narrowboat Easy Peasy!  

Step One - Get to know the different types of narrow boats

There are basically 4 types of boats Traditional, Semi Traditional, Cruisers and Widebeams.
Each boat style has a slightly different in appearance inside and out. Only by looking at each style will you know which one you prefer, there is no style that is better than another. So which style you choose is down to your own personal tastes and needs.

Cruisers tend to be popular for families and for people who want a more social cruising experience, the bow of this style boat is the largest.

Traditional and Semi Traditional both make a good choice for liveaboard purposes as they have short back decks, usually 2 -3 feet in length.

Widebeams differ as they are wider and therefore are much bigger inside.  Widebeams can go just about everywhere on the canal network, but there are a few sections they can’t cruise due to being too wide to go through the locks.

All the different styles come in a variety of lengths from 20 to 72 ft.  

Step Two -Work out your finances

Knowing your budget before you start the search for a boat is a wise move.  It’s easy to get carried away in the moment and over stretch your finances.  Set a realistic budget with a contingency fund, this will allow you to make any changes to the boat after purchase.
As a guide you can buy a project boat for as little as £9,000 or a fully equipped luxury boat for £200,000!  With that scale there is a boat for every ones budget.

Also consider the running costs once you have brought your boat.  You will need to have the funds to cover the running costs of moorings, maintenance, servicing, insurance, licences and fuel.  

Step Three - Use

Knowing how often you intend to use your narrowboat and for what purpose will also help when it comes to buying.
If you intend to live on board full time then space is going to be very important, by the nature of boats, the space is always limited, so it may be wise to buy a 50 plus boat to maximise on living space.

A longer boat is no more difficult to cruise than a shorter one, so there’s no need to miss out on valuable living space.  

Step Four - Finding moorings

It goes without saying, your new boat is going to need a home!  If you buy from a brokerage company you may be offered moorings in their marina, alternatively you can approach marinas to find out if they have any vacancies.
The Canal and River Trust offer long term moorings on the canal side, but bear in mind these type of moorings can be difficult to obtain and usually do not have facilities.  

Step Five - Go shopping!

Now for the fun bit - time to look for that dream boat! You can start your search online using different websites.  Make a short list of the boats you would like to view.
At Venetian Marina there is no need to make an appointment, but please do check when visiting other marinas, as not all have the same open door policy or indeed are open the same hours as us.

Thats it - Five easy steps to buying a narrow boat!

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