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  1. I've seen this said a fair bit on this forum (I'm not picking you out specifically Alan) and either you've been out of the flat/house rental/buying game for do long you've lost track of costs...but it is significantly cheaper living on a boat. Cheapest bedsit (inc council tax/elec/etc) is in my area £350p/m, my mooring/gas/pump out comes to £200p/m. Flats or houses with council tax would easily take me over 100% costs of boat living, obviously taking into account I'm registered somewhere else. There's the odd cost of blacking and bsc every 4 years or so...but it is still cheaper. Don't get me wrong, it's very different to regular living. You must be happy with elec restrictions and put up with the cold for an hour till your stove has got going, but it's cheaper without a doubt!
  2. manicpb


    If you have to ask, then you're probably stepping in a bit deep with a refit project. You can get a fully functional galley and bathroom though, and have an empty living space (although bit of carpet would be nice) which you can fill with freestanding furniture. That was pretty much what I bought. To which I replaced the ripped lino in the kitchen with a more solid laminate, filled the living area with a sofa, moveable table, chest of drawers, etc and planned to reconfigure the bedroom (which I've still not got around to). I think that's a little more what you may have been trying to say. So yes it's possible, but make sure the basic essentials are there and fully functional!
  3. Thread description has proper thrown me! I clicked expecting to pass on my local towpath mooring spots, that I stop off at when picking up gas or after a pump out, and it seems to be about thefts on a specific spot and a towpath closure. *I've not had any problems on the Coventry Canal in the short time I've been cruising!
  4. manicpb


    Only been aboard my first boat and livingaboard for 6 months (so still have my first winter to come) but will happily pass on any advice I can...ask away!
  5. It's not that rare to have both capabilities but not the normal, I'll give you that. What is rare, is to only have Freesat. It's usually Freeview or both! It's often only a £20-£30 upgrade for both so if I was upgrading I'd probably go with it! I do need to upgrade on my 16" square thing from the 90's but it's all about priorities!!! 🤷‍♂️
  6. manicpb

    Wind power

    I'm sure the right salesman could convince me into giving wind power a try...but for now I've easier and cheaper options still to exhaust!
  7. manicpb

    Wind power

    I've had a look into it, I'm sure they'll be more experienced folk will be along shortly, but shelved the thought as the energy return from the financial outlay was at best a big gamble (on getting the correct winds). If I remember right to really harvest the wind you need big blades (I think it's around everytime you double the blades you'd get 4x the amount of energy), something that would just not be functional on most boats. I think the answer your going to get, over and over, is the money is better spent on solar!
  8. I'll have look into the BCN challenge. My immediate thoughts are to giving the engine a proper good going over now it's had a long run and ready for next year. I think the fact Walsall was (relatively) quite because of Covid may of helped, but I really enjoyed my stay there...am I getting better at sounding sincere!?!
  9. I never know how to sound sincere on internet forums! 🙄
  10. Thanks for the finer details, it honestly interests me. Essentially it was single handed, I grew up in the area so had a few people hop on and off at various points but yes, when I was stuck under a bridge somewhere between Walsall and Ocker Hill it was me who was getting the pole out and clearing the weed hatch (just the once I'll add)! I think I've ticked this trip off the list and will take the Cannock Chase/Stafford route sometime in the future.
  11. 😆 Two nights I actually went to work and another two nights were lost in Walsall's delightful bars!
  12. I've titled this as the Birmingham Ring, not sure if that's quite factually right but it's a good indication as to where I've been! So I arrived back this morning from my first long cruise (ie more than 2/3 nights out) since taking ownership of my boat towards the start of the year and it had plenty of highs and lows. Firstly thanks to the forum members who helped me plan it, something's I asked and other info I found just searching the forum. Secondly, I'm not great at trip reports/blogging/etc so here's a list of canals used and if anyone has any questions out of curiosity or to help with future planning of trips, please ask away! Birmingham and Fazeley Tame Valley Rushall Daw End Wyrley and Essington Walsall Walsall Junction Canal (Town Wharf) Wednesbury Old Canal BCN Main Line Oozell St Loop Birmingham and Fazeley I spent 17 days over this trip. The stretch from Longwood Junction (Top of the Rushall Canal) through to Pelsall was a highlight, with the water being incredibly clear and as a very casual fisherman I found myself gazing at the various fish. You could literally see the fish biting at the bait! Low point was ultimately the weed in the Tame Valley, terrible shame otherwise I'd pop back round to the Aldridge area for a couple of days fishing again if it was easier to get through! I stayed overnight in a lot of places as I didn't rush this trip, so as I say if I can help anyone out feel free to ask any questions...and thanks again to all who helped me out!
  13. By the considerations your giving it I presume your likely to be classed as a mature student (I wouldn't hazard a guess as to how mature!?!) and not a school leaver, but do consider how much time you need to dedicate to studying and how much to the live aboard lifestyle. I moved onto a boat in April (start of lockdown) and tbh it's gone fairly smooth but I still learn something each week. I'm personally living on a canal side mooring, much more scenic and idealistic, but being off grid power consumption is paramount. Not an issue in a marina wired to a shoreline. Coal is cheap enough (£10-15 a 25kg bag), firewood can be sourced if you have a trip out along the canal (probably not in a marina). Budget £20 a pump out of your toilet (probably a bit less), I can get a month to 2 months...portaloo is free to tip into an elsan point, choice is yours! Diesel also lasts forever, a weeks cruising (obviously how intense varies) will burn less than £10. Gas does vary (an astonishing amount) on price but a 13kg bottle is £25-35, again it'll depend how you use it but I budget a bottle a month. I am intrigued as to which marina's you've eyed up, remember train stations open up a vast more options! I've just reread your OP and initially thought you were studying in Birmingham, however see it says a university in the Midlands...could you expand on that, Wolverhampton is going to be very different to Leicester?!?
  14. Thank you, that's all such good news to hear after the Perry Barr experience (which was quite satisfying after, certainly not during)!
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