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Thu Mar 16, 2017 at 2:31pm

A simple guide to making the move 

People move from land homes to live on a narrowboat at different times in their lives and for many different reasons. For some it's something they have always dreamed of, for some it's when retirement comes and for others its a way of getting on the property ladder and then there are those who's circumstances changed and living aboard becomes a viable option if they are unable to buy a bricks and mortar home.


What ever the reason for wanting to live on a boat, living aboard a narrowboat boat full time is going to be very different to bricks and mortar home. 

So let's look at making a home in a steel tube around 60 foot long and 7ft wide. 

Moving into a boat has different issues to that of a bricks and mortar home. Space is the main problem you will need to over come. When you decide to relocate your possessions from your home to your boat this is when you have to access what's essential and what has to go. And if there's more than one of you moving onboard then some serious negotiations may need to take place as to who's having what onboard. 

For the younger generation perhaps someone leaving home for the first time, having to transfer from the bedroom of mum and dads house, to having the whole boat to themselves might not be quite so tricky. However other things may need to be considered such as your moorings. 


Buying a narrowboat and getting moorings actually goes hand in hand and sourcing moorings should be considered at the beginning of the buying process. Moorings can be the hardest part of making your move. Difficult but not impossible to find. Research the internet to find marinas in your chosen area.


For those who are able to continuously cruise, they can moor along the towpath for up to 14 days at a time or moor within marinas along the way by arrangement with the marina.  However permanent residential moorings are limited and can come at a price. It's a wise decision to source out residential moorings before making a purchase. 

The process of buying and selling a boat

Buying and selling a boat is very similar to that of a house. There's a seller, a buyer, a estate agent (broker) and of course a market. Your estate agent (broker) is key to selling/buying your home/boat. So choose wisely when employing a company to handle your future. 

Things to look for when choosing a narrow boat broker 

  • Experience 
  • Marketing tools
  • Location
  • Reputation

Find out more here about boat brokerage

Selling your home

Three top tips to selling your home

Kerb Appeal - We all know the importance of first impressions and the first impression people get of your property will be very important to them. This may actually be a major factor as to whether they put on an offer or walk away. Make sure your garden and the exterior of your property is in good repair. Anything out of order will be a negative in the buyers eyes so make good any problems before viewings   

Get the decorating right - The interior of the house sells it more than anything, so it is important to get the basic decorating inside the house right. It's been said beige and neutral colours will help sell a home and nothing has changed now. Do away with statement walls and freshen everywhere up with a neutral theme. Space sells so declutter and remove large bulky furniture to give a more spacious feel. 

Marketing - Once you decide to sell and have prepared your home for viewings you need to get your home noticed. Check out your local estate agents and do your homework before signing an agreement 

Making your boat a home

To make it into a real home you are still going to need to have some un-essential items like hobbies, books, magazines, games, radio, TVs, sports equipment etc onboard.


As much as cruising is the main body of being on a narrowboat you still need to have other interests to occupy your time at the end of the day or when you are moored up. 

Things to get used to:

  • How you use water and electricity
  • Remembering to charge the batteries
  • Maintaining the toilet. More info here
  • Limited storage space
  • Letting go of possessions
  • Good and bad weather conditions
  • A lack of privacy if sharing with the family
  • Continuous cruising if moorings can't be found
  • Remembering services and maintenance work
  • Buying fuel
  • Using the locks
  • Filling the water tank

Unlike a holiday boat your narrowboat is going to become your home and there will need to be a balance between what's needed on board and what you can do without. Adjusting to a new way of life may take some time to get used too, but will be worth it in the long run. 

A storage solution - maybe!

For those who can afford it there is another option available if getting rid of possessions is proving difficult. It might not be viable long term but perhaps short term it might help you over the initial adjustment period of leaving a house and moving onto boat. Self storage!

By putting items into storage for a while it gives you the time to come to terms with not having them around and eventually letting them go altogether.

Happy cruising from all at Venetian Marina.


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