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Eyup. I've yearned for a NB since watching Walt the cobbler & the ECP&DA restore the Erewash at Langley Mill as a 6yr old. Over the years I've come pretty close a few times, especially when I worked away from home, but somehow the final jump has always escaped me.

 

Now, at the ripe old age of 53 & 3/4 I find myself semi-retired with lots of time on my hands. I've a missus who won't fly in no aeroplane, yet I still feel the need to travel, see things & get away from 'normal' just once in awhile. We've been booking holiday cottages 3-4x a year & take several weekend breaks in various parts of the UK, which is nice & enjoyable whatever the season, but you always feel like you're a guest in someone else's house. I'm no church mouse, but there is no way I can afford the £250k+ for the 2nd home I'd want to call my 2nd home.

 

So, a NB would be ideal for us. We could winter moor it somewhere easily accessible & move it a new location a few times in the season during the 3-4x a year I feel the need to explore. It's either this or a caravan . . . 🙂

 

Problem is I'm not a numpty, I'm hitting the very same signals that have traditionally prevented me from buying one before. We've looked at a few, she likes the colour of some & she likes the cleanliness of the kitchen layout in others. Me, I'm left wondering why is this boat asking £35,000 & that other one is £75,000 ?

 

I know what I want in regards to layout & functionality, I know how much it would cost to build that steel hull from 10/6/4 & I know how much it would cost to line it & fit it out. But I still don't understand what is inside the head of a chap that is asking £75k for £200's worth of scrap metal & I will never understand why anyone would ever think that someone just about to spend 308yrs of their pocket money on a blurry photograph & the briefest of brief descriptions on t'internets is somehow their 'bitch'.

 

Is buying from a broker (a reputable broker) my only option?

 

 

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Wow where to start.................

Deciding on your budget is pretty critical and whether the reasons for high price are an issue for you like who built it what vintage engine is inside and what level of electrical provision you want being a particular one - IMHO you don't need to go over over £60k and for under £40k you will be buying work or compromises

I wouldn't buy privately but that'd just me and it depends on budget as cheaper boats say below £30k tend to transact without brokers (all of these are generalisations but based on 50 years experience and ownership of app 15 very different boats over that time).

I'm not so keen on the reputable broker philosophy as there are good and bad but I would rather buy the right boat than worry too much about which broker - BUT you do need to understand who you are dealing with so you react accordingly.

You will get many opinions on here as to who are good and bad based on hearsay and direct experience so work out which is which.

Based on actual experience I would be careful buying from Whilton/Venetian and GHBS and would have no issues buying from Rugby Braunston Longport Limekiln and ABNB - many others are available..........

If you are a real newbie HIRE first and look at as many boats as you can in your local area and definitely visit the Braunston Triangle.

That will get this topic going so lets see what others have to say .............

 

Just noticed you have a connection to Langley Mill so visit Paul Barbers Yard and go and see Ian Parrott at New and Used both are boaters and both will give you good advice 

Edited by Halsey

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There is a hell of a lot to decide before you decide from where you buy your boat.

Such a decision is always a comprimise, in fact lots and lots of comprimises.

At it's most basic do you want a boat or a wife?

Once it is firmly established you both want a boat you can proceed further.

So your partner needs to be fully involved in the decision making otherwise you may only end up with one of the options in the previous question.

With your wife you need to proceed along the following lines or variations thereon.

Is the boat to be additional to your residence?, or to be your residence?

A good  four season boat is different to a three season boat, better heating, and perhaps less outside on deck space in favour of more interior space.

For how many years do you intend to cruise? and then what?

How much have you got to spend?, and how much do you want to spend?

How do you intend to wash and dry laundry?

Do you intend to largely self cater? or rely on pub feed? This determines the size and facilities of the galley.

Where do you intend to cruise? The full network? This determines maximum boat size.

So presumably your wife is onboard so far?

Then go canal boating, make a few hires, at different times of the year,

Both still on board? 

See as many as you can together, a few weekends around the brokers in the Midlands, and others around Cheshire.

If your wife is still onboard? 

Then the questions you both need to ask will be pretty self evident.

In my case my wife led the charge through most of the above process.

The result was an absolutely fabulous few years of canal boating.

 

 

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Great advice so far.... sounds like you are still at the stage you need to hire to check out the different layouts and if you can spend time in a narrow environment. Is there any hurry to proceed with buying or is this just the looking stage - have you sold your house etc!!??

 

Well done for not buying a caravan by the way!

  • Greenie 1

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If you can't tell the difference between a £35k boat and a £75k boat then in my opinion you haven't looked at enough boats yet.

 

As itherschave said, get the wife on board and thrn look at as many boats as you can to determine what features you like and don't like.

 

Only then refine your search.

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We're fairly flexible with regards to the facilities of the actual boat, I think the essentials are pretty much covered by any boat but we have a list of what's desireable in a loose order of importance.

 

The idea would be to cruise maybe 2-3x a year for 1-2wks to move the boat to different locations & then travel to/from the boat for long weekend breaks. Liveaboard is not a plan & is not an option. We have hired boats in the past & discovered that I would be essentially sailing single handed with the luxury of an onboard chef.

 

What I'm struggling most with is how the boats are actually valued when put up for sale? Non of it makes sense to me & it is difficult to work out exactly why someone thinks . . . say a £500 recent paint job would add  £5k+ to a boats resale value???

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6 minutes ago, Barnaby Wilde said:

 

 

What I'm struggling most with is how the boats are actually valued when put up for sale? Non of it makes sense to me & it is difficult to work out exactly why someone thinks . . . say a £500 recent paint job would add  £5k+ to a boats resale value???

   You aren't the first, don't worry!

Do you know the Apollo Duck Narrowboats sales web site? Have a look. You can select the length of boat you're looking for, and also the price range. So, for example if you want a 45 foot boat (a good length for a couple) try putting in "45" and "£25,000" in the boxes and see what comes up. Then change the price band to "£40,000" and compare what you see. You should discern differences in age, condition and appearance, and you will notice that some builders' names come up frequently in the cheaper bracket, and others in the more expensive one.

   Depending on where you live, you can then try the same experiment in "real life" at a boat brokerage - for example Whilton Marina near the A5, which always has a large number and good variety of boats on offer, and which allows you to take the keys and look on board the boats with no sales pressure.

   You know why a 2010 Dacia Duster sells for far less than a 2018 B.M.W.  Well it's not dissimilar with narrowboats, just a bit less obvious - but with experience you'll be able to sort out the Dusters from the Beamers. 

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12 minutes ago, Barnaby Wilde said:

We're fairly flexible with regards to the facilities of the actual boat, I think the essentials are pretty much covered by any boat but we have a list of what's desireable in a loose order of importance.

 

The idea would be to cruise maybe 2-3x a year for 1-2wks to move the boat to different locations & then travel to/from the boat for long weekend breaks. Liveaboard is not a plan & is not an option. We have hired boats in the past & discovered that I would be essentially sailing single handed with the luxury of an onboard chef.

 

What I'm struggling most with is how the boats are actually valued when put up for sale? Non of it makes sense to me & it is difficult to work out exactly why someone thinks . . . say a £500 recent paint job would add  £5k+ to a boats resale value???

 

Where did you get £500 for a paint job? More like £5000 for a cheap one up to well over £10,000 for a top notch one from a well respected painter.

 

Have you any idea how long it takes to do a quality fit out on a bare shell? I can tell you that a workman like fitout on a 37ft wide beam hire boat with two chippies and two engineers takes about 3 months and then there are the painters. If they had built the cupboards, kitchen units etc. rather than buy in it would take longer. A great deal of the £75000 you mention will be labour costs. There will also be an amount related to the perceived desirability of the builder and boat fitters. You would not expect to buy a Rolls Royce for the same price as a Skoda of the same year.

 

I don't think you have researched the cost of boats and why some seem expensive. I also suspect you need to investigate the costs related to boating. For a 50ft boat in the Midlands think close to £5000 a year plus maintenance, fuel, toilet disposal and gas costs.

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I bought a narrowboat because I intend to travel from North to South, but a wider beam appeals, but not a squashed flat narrowboat style, only a boat shaped boat/dutch barge style .

I would like a well built hull, reliable engine and I have that.

What I don't have is a beautifully fitted out modern interior, I don't have the cash.

I suspect it would cost about £25-30K for that, so I compromised, and am painting the cheap wood panelling and adding oak trim.

I would like solid wood flooring, but I compromised with carpet and vinyl.

I would like a swish modern bathroom all expensive and shiny, maybe walk-hrough. I compromised.

A modern glass and chrome U shaped kitchen would be nice.

One or two sharing, I would go for a single pullman diner, not the kind that convert to a double bed., this makes the saloon spacious, and integral with the galley.

So, you see, even the basics are difficult to find, and you are stuck with most of your choices until you sell it and buy another.

I suggest you go for a boat which you really like, so spend a lot of time looking at boats, but only those which have been well cared for, as you don't want to spend half your time on board sorting problems DAMHIK!

A well thought out 52 foot narrowboat should be easier to handle than a 57 footer, the idea is to have maximum fun and minimum stress.

If you want stress free electrics, you might need maybe 500 watt solar, 500amp hour modern batteries.

A compatible (60 amp) battery charger, and maybe a couple of quality inverters, so  this lot will cost (materials), maybe £4K, labour £1-2K very much ballpark figures, but you can see that alone adds £5K to the price.

A good solid fuel stove and diesel central heating might cost £4K, but comfort is a big factor of on board living.

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

Where did you get £500 for a paint job? More like £5000.

The O.P. was probably referring to the cost of materials if the boat's owner had painted it himself.

If not, O.P. please be aware: professional repaints are expensive.

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32 minutes ago, Barnaby Wilde said:

What I'm struggling most with is how the boats are actually valued when put up for sale? Non of it makes sense to me & it is difficult to work out exactly why someone thinks . . . say a £500 recent paint job would add  £5k+ to a boats resale value???

The narrowboat I bought had a full fresh paint job done by a professional company the year before I bought it which cost the owners £10000. That was 1/3 of the price I paid for the whole boat. 

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9 hours ago, Barnaby Wilde said:

I know what I want in regards to layout & functionality, I know how much it would cost to build that steel hull from 10/6/4 & I know how much it would cost to line it & fit it out. But I still don't understand what is inside the head of a chap that is asking £75k for £200's worth of scrap metal & I will never understand why anyone would ever think that someone just about to spend 308yrs of their pocket money on a blurry photograph & the briefest of brief descriptions on t'internets is somehow their 'bitch'.

Just remember that a 1960's E-Type Jaguar will cost around 4x more than a brand new 2020 Ford Mondeo.

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1243760

 

Why ?

 

Its the same with SOME boats.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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1 hour ago, Barnaby Wilde said:

We're fairly flexible with regards to the facilities of the actual boat, I think the essentials are pretty much covered by any boat but we have a list of what's desireable in a loose order of importance.

 

The idea would be to cruise maybe 2-3x a year for 1-2wks to move the boat to different locations & then travel to/from the boat for long weekend breaks. Liveaboard is not a plan & is not an option. We have hired boats in the past & discovered that I would be essentially sailing single handed with the luxury of an onboard chef.

 

What I'm struggling most with is how the boats are actually valued when put up for sale? Non of it makes sense to me & it is difficult to work out exactly why someone thinks . . . say a £500 recent paint job would add  £5k+ to a boats resale value???

Well I am not sure that it does, but a £10K pro paint job would.

I reckon to have spent £450 on paint and stuff, plus three months on prep, three weeks hire of a painting shed and a bit of labour , would be around £800 plus another £500 if I paid somene to do the blacking.

Edited by LadyG

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12 minutes ago, Athy said:

The O.P. was probably referring to the cost of materials if the boat's owner had painted it himself.

If not, O.P. please be aware: professional repaints are expensive.

If that is the case he is still unlikley to be correct. I did mine  1 x local primer, 2 x undercoat, 2 x top coat for about £200 but rather more if I had used "marine" paint, still not £500 though.

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52 minutes ago, Barnaby Wilde said:

What I'm struggling most with is how the boats are actually valued when put up for sale? Non of it makes sense to me & it is difficult to work out exactly why someone thinks . . . say a £500 recent paint job would add  £5k+ to a boats resale value???

Proper paint jobs start around £5k and range to £15K - they are called "maintenance" and add limited value unless just done and you know by whom and can see pictures of before and after - they are however one of the main reasons a boat is put up for sale and a good bargaining point for you - don't rule out doing it yourself 

 

On price/valuation quite simply you don't know enough to make sense of it but generally brokers are pretty accurate - they don't want boats on their books for ages - that is where a private boat will sometimes catch you out they may be pushing too hard and not finding a broker to agree to sell at their figure so they try it themselves

Edited by Halsey

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Interesting, having seen the way boating has been changing over the years since I started in 1975, and the way costs have risen (and will keep rising), I would go down the caravan/motor home route. Moorings are tricky and expensive on canals and safety requirements and inspections on a 4 year basis can prove costly.

 

Unless you are very practical and have researched boating costs and have deep pockets take the other route.

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1 hour ago, Barnaby Wilde said:

We're fairly flexible with regards to the facilities of the actual boat, I think the essentials are pretty much covered by any boat but we have a list of what's desireable in a loose order of importance.

 

The idea would be to cruise maybe 2-3x a year for 1-2wks to move the boat to different locations & then travel to/from the boat for long weekend breaks. Liveaboard is not a plan & is not an option. We have hired boats in the past & discovered that I would be essentially sailing single handed with the luxury of an onboard chef.

 

What I'm struggling most with is how the boats are actually valued when put up for sale? Non of it makes sense to me & it is difficult to work out exactly why someone thinks . . . say a £500 recent paint job would add  £5k+ to a boats resale value???

Last time I got a quote for a proper back to clean metal repaint, from a reputable painter, I was quoted just under £8k.  How are you determining a £500 paint job?

 

How about the OP post some links to cheap and expensive boats and we'll tell him why they are priced as they are?

  • Greenie 1

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7 minutes ago, Halsey said:

Proper paint jobs start around £5k and range to £15K - they are called "maintenance" and add limited value unless just done and you know by whom and can see pictures of before and after - they are however one of the main reasons a boat is put up for sale and a good bargaining point for you - don't rule out doing it yourself 

 

On price/valuation quite simply you don't know enough to make sense of it but generally brokers are pretty accurate - they don't want boats on their books for ages - that is where a private boat will sometimes catch you out they may be pushing too hard and not finding a broker to agree to sell at their figure so they try it themselves

Thank you, nail hit firmly on head.

 

On a recent visit to one particular marina/brokerage I formed the impression that several of the boats were so ridiculously overpriced that maybe they weren't actually for sale & just taking advantage of the free mooring . . . .

 

You previously mentioned Rugby (amongst a few others), I do seem to be drawn to them, I like the video, I like the info & I especially like the fact that boats there seem to sell very quickly. Do you know if they actually turn boats away? Do they make the decision not to get invloved with the 'wrong 'uns' ???

 

I'm well aware of what I'm getting into so to speak. I know that I'm looking for a NB & I know that PRICE - PRODUCT - PEOPLE is far more important than being drawn to a paint job or a solid wood floor.

 

I remember the first time I heard "a boat is a hole in the water into which you throw all your money" 🙂

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1 minute ago, Barnaby Wilde said:

Thank you, nail hit firmly on head.

 

On a recent visit to one particular marina/brokerage I formed the impression that several of the boats were so ridiculously overpriced that maybe they weren't actually for sale & just taking advantage of the free mooring . . . .

 

You previously mentioned Rugby (amongst a few others), I do seem to be drawn to them, I like the video, I like the info & I especially like the fact that boats there seem to sell very quickly. Do you know if they actually turn boats away? Do they make the decision not to get invloved with the 'wrong 'uns' ???

 

I'm well aware of what I'm getting into so to speak. I know that I'm looking for a NB & I know that PRICE - PRODUCT - PEOPLE is far more important than being drawn to a paint job or a solid wood floor.

 

I remember the first time I heard "a boat is a hole in the water into which you throw all your money" 🙂

Bring Out Another Thousand..........

 

I rate Rugby very highly and their integrity/process - as to your other comments I couldn't possibly comment - BUT remember they are working for the owner and are very good at achieving quick sales so get on their email list and be prepared to travel the day after you get a notification 

 

I'd like to say this will be a fun process - the end product will hopefully be worth it but the process particularly at the moment will be fraught!

 

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1 hour ago, LEO said:

Interesting, having seen the way boating has been changing over the years since I started in 1975, and the way costs have risen (and will keep rising), I would go down the caravan/motor home route. Moorings are tricky and expensive on canals and safety requirements and inspections on a 4 year basis can prove costly.

 

Unless you are very practical and have researched boating costs and have deep pockets take the other route.

He hankers for a boat

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Having recently bought a boat from a broker here are my views fwiw. I bought from a broker, Great Haywood, I found them efficient and helpful. New and used I thought the boats they were selling were overpriced, they were helpful though and allowed us to look around with no pressure of following you they just handed the keys over. I also went to view some that were for sale on boat finder brokerage who had some nice boats that sold quickly so obviously well priced. Rugby boats had some good ones but I never got chance to view as they sold as quickly as they went on. Some brokers never bothered to reply to my phone calls or e mails enquiring about viewing so I stopped looking at boats they were selling.

I think I ‘dropped on’ with our boat as it came with a very nice private mooring on the Shropshire Union. I trawled Apollo duck for weeks.  Narrowboats are selling quickly atm and imo it is very much a sellers market, so you have to be cautious but also act quickly if you find the right boat. Good luck and I hope you find your ‘Shangri La’.

Edited by Jinna

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1 hour ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Before you buy a boat, do find out where you can moor it. Its not easy finding good moorings where you want them.

TD'

Very true... We paid our deposit to go to Ventnor Marina who only had 5 spaces. Yelvertoft on the other hand have lots of spaces free.

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Have you thought about starting with the half-way house of a boat share for a few years? It would fit in very well with your plan to have 2/3 holidays a year although the long weekends wouldn't work so well. You would save a lot of money and have some time to really find out what you liked and didn't like about boat layouts.

  • Greenie 1

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Just now, John Wareing said:

Have you thought about starting with the half-way house of a boat share for a few years? It would fit in very well with your plan to have 2/3 holidays a year although the long weekends wouldn't work so well. You would save a lot of money and have some time to really find out what you liked and didn't like about boat layouts.

 

Just now, John Wareing said:

Have you thought about starting with the half-way house of a boat share for a few years? It would fit in very well with your plan to have 2/3 holidays a year although the long weekends wouldn't work so well. You would save a lot of money and have some time to really find out what you liked and didn't like about boat layouts.

Sounds good advice especially as you can buy a second hand share for a lot less than 2 weeks hire and try boating summer and winter.

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