Do not fall for this! Most full time narrowboat dwellers live on board with a partner in what, to many, is a very small space. Besides family and friends, what do you miss most about home? You will have your CRT license to pay about £900 for 2017. The narrow boat is a traditional style flat-bottomed boat, of distinctive design. If you are to remain in a specific area then you must have a permanent and officially approved residential mooring. The red tape depends on the waterway where you choose to live. You become obsessed with list and trim, beyond any approximation of what is reasonable. A: Hell no, sometimes i am too hot. There are a number of very good hire firms available. t is up to preference, you have more room on a wide beam, it cost more to moor it, it can't go every where, and you have to pay and book for tunnels. Then there is boat insurance, like your house, at about £200 per year. Having an opinion is mandatory. ‘Living on a boat’ – or more specifically, ‘Living on a narrowboat’. There may well come a time when you need to give up living aboard. We made the move from living in a house in California to living on a barge in France without any boating experience, so we needed to learn about boats as well as adjusting to life in France. 49. Merlot is a Sagar built replica barge available to view in Northern France on the UK’s Small Ships Register, which costs around £10). All the major airlines fly from Paris which is just over an hour away – then it's a 24-hour flight back to New Zealand. They also publish a good paperback book called “Living Afloat”, this is packed with all the information you will need to make an informed decision on whether the boating life is for you and the best way to go about it. The food cupboard is within reach of the sofa. A beer can cost anywhere between €3 and €11 (NZ$5-18) depending on the brand and the bar. The food cupboard is within reach of the sofa. There are more than 1000 champagne houses, each producing their own unique house style, and with many priced between €15 and €30 (NZ$25 – NZ$50). In contrast, the average house costs £200,000. It seems perfectly normal to you to have both the stove/ heating going full pelt, and all of the windows open. I see people buying masses of presents they can’t afford to give to extended family members they often don’t like. The first time that you steer your own boat yourself, however slowly or poorly, you just know that you’re the coolest dude in the world. Bad things about living on a boat? We moved to France in October 2014 to live on a canal barge. It's a while since we've been back to New Zealand but living costs are probably similar here in France. Living aboard a canal boat Many people are leaving dry land behind and living on boats on the UK canal system, and most of them do it because it is the life they choose and love. Shopping is limited in the smaller towns and almost all shops (including smaller supermarkets) will close for up to two hours at lunch and are often shut on Monday, too. 33. If you have a posh new shiny boat, you are probably king of the marina. You become obsessed with what you can convince your stove to burn… Large, unwieldy or inflammable objects of rubbish will all be graded highly, according to your success in convincing the stove to eat them. 48. 19. Narrow boat size, cruising choices and mooring options will have the biggest impact on the living costs associated with living on a narrow boat. For many people of a certain age and stage of life, and income level, setting up housekeeping on a barge is an ideal way to live … 6. The boat was christened Pastures Bleu; a play on the words ‘pastures green’, inspired by their pre-France life as sheep farmers in Northumberland. See?”. What we see in New Zealand is only a small selection of the variety of Champagnes produced. Are you sure? We bought the boat near Dijon and in the first 18 months we cruised more than 2000 kilometres along the canals in Burgundy and the Loire before heading north to Paris. 18. Reims is unmissable, particularly the stunning gothic cathedral, the art deco Villa Demoiselle and the museum commemorating where General Eisenhower received the German surrender in 1945. You have a beard. I promise, you only need one all day hangover, complete with associated ‘vomiting over the side’ incident, to learn your lesson on home brews, boats and moderation! And… You can make ten cubic feet of stuff fit into four cubic feet of space. Will there be enough space on your narrowboat for two – or more – of you? “We live in Burgundy full-time now that we’ve retired, and we’ve enjoyed numerous holidays on the boat,” says Martin. How easy is it for you to get back to New Zealand? Look again! Browse our narrow boats for sale. But also visit some small vineyards – we take people to one just six minutes' walk from the boat, where they make award-winning 100 per cent pinot noir champagne. Obviously the language – neither of us really spoke any French before we moved here and it's still a struggle. You can cook and serve a full Sunday roast for four, with less than two square feet of counter space to work on. 16. You should, of course, try a boating holiday to decide whether life afloat appeals to you before buying a boat. When you started out with the boat, you had a little list of about five things that you needed to do/ buy/ sort out. It’s okay to insult a man’s wife, children, career choice, hair, or dress sense. The bakeries in every village with amazing bread and pastries, the beautiful countryside and fabulous local wines. You can put up with a bit of crowding or discomfort if it is just for the summer holidays - besides, it=s warm in France then, right ? If you’ve got the wanderlust bug … If you own any white, cream, or pastel coloured clothes, they will soon take on odd black smudges, regardless of how careful you are about keeping them away from the stove, hod, or anything else coal related. 1. For serious retail therapy we head to Reims which has a great mix of international brands and local boutiques. Another long-time fan of canal living is the actor Timothy West. All sorts of romantic notions are conjured up by those four words. 11. 34. 47. When we aren't out cruising we offer B&B accommodation in our home port at Sillery, a Grand Cru Champagne village about 12km from Reims. You know that you have to disown any of your former friends who are apt to order “a pint of lager, please” in the pub, and you’re okay with that, actually. 25. I find the gas lasts very well when used for just cooking, up to 3 months on a single bottle at £28.00, as on our boat we use coal and diesel to heat it. Job is doing my head in far too long hours no time for kids and riding so was thinking take a year or 2 out to work and live on an old narrowboat. The problem can be if you have bought a 60 ft boat and can only find a 45 ft berth! Posted 9 years ago thomthumb I love the life, but like everything in life it has its ups and downs. I always remember Christmas during … 12. Your internet search history includes terms such as ‘shooting ducks legally’ ‘Eating wildlife UK law’ and ‘Mallards edible or not.’ Purely for the theoretical knowledge, you understand. 44. ‘Online’ no longer just means that you have internet access, and committing the faux- pas of confusing the two meanings in conversation is verboten. If it is supposed to move and it does not- WD40. You probably started life on your boat with a novelty neckerchief, captain’s hat, pirate bandana, or “I’m on a boat, Mother F***er!” t shirt. Graeme is from Titahi Bay and Claire from Canterbury, UK. Whenever you go to work in an office, visit a friend in a house, or have cause to use a hotel, you need an extra bag to haul along all of the things you want to charge up from their mains while you’re there. 39. Some boaters keep a house or flat going just for this eventuality, and haveing it let out on a short renewable lease through property agents. If you can’t manage to have a thorough shower, including shaving your legs, washing and conditioning your hair, and brushing your teeth in under four minutes/ four litres of water, you have failed as a boater and should probably consider moving back onto land. A: Again, it is up to preference, you have more room on a wide beam, it cost more to moor it, it can't go every where, and you have to pay and book for tunnels. Conversely, that may also make you ‘king shit’ and/ or a N00b/ ‘more money than sense joker’ out on the cut. "Things they don't tell you before you buy a boat". The narrow beam up to 60 ft can go every where, with a few minor exceptions on the canal system with no extra payments. Claire gets bored after about a year of living anywhere but we're sick of packing up houses - now our home can move all over Europe! Q: Is it cold on the boat? Reims is a big student city so has quite a buzzing nightlife. It also look like under the 2018 review of CRT licence fees, the present system of charge by length only, maybe changed to an boat area in square meters charge. CITY LIVING AFLOAT A magnificent mooring requires a vessel of quality - this one could be it, she is ideal as a cruising or static home afloat. Living on a canal boat is surging in popularity with the number of owners doubling in a decade. Barging is one of the world's best kept secrets. The running cost are much the same as a small house however you can generate your own electricity if not connected to the mains in a marina, but you will need Propane gas unless you are either all electric or all diesel. 17. For Kiwis looking to move there, which industries are seeking fresh talent? It will be a good idea to find a mooring first, even starting to pay for it if necessary, before you buy your boat. A: It is up to preference, i like cassette toilets they are free to empty. Discover French canal boat holidays, no experience needed, no licence required. Now you own two big thick jumpers, and a bottle of Febreeze. The costs of living on a canal boat Living aboard a narrowboat and continuously cruising our UK canals can be a wonderful way of life, free to move and change the view from the window whenever you want, we know, we've done it since 1995! 29. We hope you decide to live aboard, or not which ever is YOUR decision in the end. I found this just now lurking on a hard drive, and after 2 years afloat, it still makes me smile. You thought you’d save money in winter by using the open bow as a fridge/ freezer for your food… Until you realised just how much alcohol you could actually store there if you stacked it all up right. Narrowboat Holidays Canal Boat Art Narrowboat Interiors Dutch Barge Unusual Homes Floating House Water Crafts Houseboats Narrow Boat Boat Holidays // // The view from the deck of a narrowboat is a perfect way to observe the British Countryside. I wouldn’t say that the feeling is better than chocolate, but it’s certainly better than sex. You keep a mop on your roof because everybody else does, but you’re not quite sure why…, 22. "It may sound like a cliche, but there is something charming about how time slows down. 4. READ MORE: * Expat tales: Life as a 'love refugee' in Sweden * Expat Tales: Poetry in motion in Madrid * Expat Tales: Calling all Kiwi expats. You start a ‘first cat to fall into the cut’ sweepstake, but realise that there really are no winners in that game, when said cat comes bolting in drenched in grimy death water, and proceeds to burrow her vile smelling and soaking wet self under the duvet with you. Some of the things you need to know. There are a number of very good hire firms available. A 50ft narrowboat can be purchased for as little as £20,000. 7. Q: What is the best toilet? 45. 30. 46. If you live here, a car is essential but as a tourist the train and a bike is a great way to explore. 23. 31. Ecofans. Apart from joining for free, they also offer a free advice leaflet. And on that note, it's also worth mentioning that an impressive number of boaters seem to produce their own elderflower (or similar) wines. The idea is great, and I have lived aboard now for over two years, but like everything it does have its up and down side. Spare time – what spare time? French river cruising is the perfect way to discover the hidden treasures of the waterways. Our preferred way of life in the UK comes in the form of an 18 ton steel barge. When other people fall in, you are never there to see it/ photograph it. In summary, if there’s a residential mooring available in the right location and the right price then this would suit you if you have land ties in that particular area. ‘Boaties’ fill gaps in conversation by talking about water levels. But engines must always be coo’d over and spoken of in hushed approving tones, regardless of their size, condition, or maker. Living aboard on a canal narrow boat when you have never done so, can seem to most almost idyllic, conjuring up images of brightly painted boats, cruising alongside sunny country fields, visiting those places you have never seen. We have many more that may suit your requirements and your budget, go to the link below and you will see what we have available. When you move on board you must look at costs. Narrowboat owner Paul Smith relishes his life on the water, but warns against idealising canal boat living. The 8pm engine/ generator off collective: You’re either with them, or against them. My advise is that you do your sums, consider the pros and cons. Initially this is an inconvenience but eventually you come to rather like it. (I will discuss this matter in a later item as it involves a lot of mathematics). ). France Boating Vacations. If you are in residential moorings then you will have a monthly charge of about £300 for a 60 ft (18.3 meter) boat. This is the red diesel price, for domestic use only, not propulsion. No one can teach you how to avoid your own personal initiation into boat toilet hell, you’re just going to have to grit your teeth and wait for it to happen. When visiting another boater, it is uncouth to ask to their toilet, unless you are at least a fifteen minute walk from another toilet facility (for women) or a wooded area/ bush (for men.). How much is a beer? But you know damn well that when YOU fall in, there’ll be a group of Japanese tourists there, immortalising it on film and upping it to YouTube within the hour. For your first two weeks of living aboard, it feels like the ground is swaying, even on land. Your hands and nails are NEVER clean, no matter how much you wash them. 26. Good things about living on a boat? There are many pro’s and con’s and if you know little or nothing about living aboard a boat. Having ever tried one is not. Champagne – and definitely yes! Plus a bag to keep each pair in, separately. Narrowboat Living. I can feel it, I know I can. Then the four yearly Boat Safety Check at £147.00, blacking your hull every three years £800 and servicing to your engine and equipment, £200 per year including parts. To be honest that is what it is all about. 41. [Case study: Tony Jones lives and works on The Watchman narrowboat] Buying a narrowboat - the initial investment. However if you have never been aboard a narrow boat or wide beam boat why not try it out by hiring one for a week or so. To browse a vast range of narrowboats and barges for sale click here. But our favourite is chilling in the jacuzzi back on the boat, with a bottle of Champagne. So you must think the thing through very carefully before you decide to commit to your luxury life afloat. 32. Of course if you do not move in a marina then domestic is 100 percent. New post added at Living On A Narrowboat - The Life Of An Occasional Continuous CruiserI’m not a big fan of Christmas. Don’t even go there. Whilst living on a narrowboat may seem like the ultimate in idyllic lifestyles there are some serious drawbacks, like the constant possibility of dropping your phone in the water . “Does my boat look wonky to you? What are the top three things you recommend for visitors? They have been living on a narrowboat, moored usually around Staffordshire, for the last six years. France Afloat is unique in being both a family business and actually being based in France. It is very important to have somewhere to live ashore should things go wrong. Spring is a wonderful time of the year to live on the inland waterways. some marinas are also unable to provide residential berths. An estimated 20,000 people now live on Britain's … What inspired your move, and how long have you been there? Or as we call it in England a narrowboat. 38. All of your clothes will smell faintly of ‘real fire’ or coal, regardless of how recently you washed them. If you have boater visitors over for more than four hours at a time, you will find yourself spending the latter half of their visit thinking that surely they must need to pee soon/ is your bathroom so nasty that they are too scared to want to use it/ how much more tea can you ply them with as a kind of pseudo-scientific experiment, just to see what they’ll do in an emergency. You used to own ten big thick jumpers for use in winter. Having explored the various costs to consider when owning a narrowboat in the previous section; this section is a case study to illustrate the actual costs associated with living-aboard a canal boat. Cost of living on a narrowboat will vary from person to person depending upon your lifestyle. For visiting the vineyards, consider a guided tour so no-one has to be the designated driver. Both the Canal & River Trust and the RBOA are working hard to educate those enamoured with the idea of living on a narrowboat or barge about the harsh financial and practical realities. If it moves and it’s not supposed to- Duct tape. You start to wonder why the hell everyone owns a key float, when they don’t actually float after you’ve attached your bunch of keys to them. It maybe that you want to enjoy your retirement, downsize that house and tour our countryside, and finding a simpler way of life out of the urban rat-race, or even just find somewhere cheaper to live in cities where house prices and rents are just soaring through the roof. How expensive is it compared to New Zealand? It also look like under the 2018 review of CRT licence fees, the present system of charge by length only, maybe changed to an boat area in square meters charge. When everyone else on the train home standing up is swaying about and clinging to railings, you are in the middle of it all freestanding, swaying with the flow and not falling down (until you do!). ANNUAL COST BREAKDOWN. Three months down the line, your list has about 30 essential and time sensitive things you need on it, and your earnings for the next two to four years are already committed to it. Pumpouts last longer but you have to move your boat and it cost about £13.00 a time to empty it. By your third week therein, you have experimented with how that burns on the stove (see point 10) and roll your eyes and snort derisively at the fresh faced wannabe’s who have taken your place in committing aforementioned fashion faux-pas. 36. Both have their benefits, and their costs. Being you own man or woman, and being 'captain', and able to move on whenever and wherever your mood takes you. Retire to a Barge on the Canals of France. Perhaps the biggest decision is whether to live on your boat at a long term residential mooring or to continuously cruise. 9. Enjoy it while it lasts… You’ll miss it when it passes! 14. While with the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon, he lived on a narrowboat. There are regulations and paperwork involved in owning and using a boat. Obviously the wine industry is a major employer here, as is tourism – although speaking French is a must for either of these. Since we started our harbour in Saint Jean de Losne, in the heart of the canal system of France, the town has become France's biggest canal boat and barge center. 2. Fortunately living on board a canal boat doesn’t mean sacrificing your vital postal link to dry land. Read more "What Are The Negatives Of Living On A Boat – Goodbye Brave iPhone" Our area has numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, some of which have a really affordable set menu option – a great way to access amazing dining without breaking the bank. 20. I suggest you seek advice from the experts who you can join for free, and they are The Residential Boat Owners Association. If this sounds more like your cup of tea, you’ll need to start the search for a mooring. It’s a little bit like the first stage of getting tipsy, before the bad head and bad judgement kick in. Yes, I know the website is called ‘Narrowboatinfo’ but it would be remiss of me to ignore a large (no pun intended) section of the boating community just because their boats are bigger than mine!Widebeam boats (and they come in a variety of shapes and types – more of that later) offer a prospective boater a much larger living space on board. Oh hells no. Boat mooring length will determine the maximum size of the boat you can buy. You can answer the question “is it cold on a boat in winter?” sensibly, only a finite number of times, before deciding to mess with people and saying “yes, it’s terrible, I have nearly died of hypothermia twice this year already, and I don’t know how I’m still alive…”. 27. Today, he and his … For everything else, there’s MarineFlex. The narrow beam up to 60 ft can go every where, with a few minor exceptions on the canal system with no extra payments. Everything in life it has its ups and downs to new Zealand but living on a canal barge few away. Luxury life living on a narrowboat in france appeals to you before you decide to live on a drive. Now lurking on a narrowboat person to person depending upon your lifestyle also unable to provide residential berths that,. Seem particularly alcoholic Reims is a major employer here, as is tourism – although speaking is. Or as we call it in England a narrowboat - the life ring second size the! 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