Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
OTL

Budgeting considerations for first time liveaboard buyer.

Featured Posts

Hello.

 

I have been browsing this forum for a couple of weeks and found some useful information but would be very appriciataive to have some advice towards those like myself who looking at the lower end of the market with the intention of becoming full time liveaboard boaters.

 

I am looking to purchase a liveabaord NB for my partner and I whilst I am studying at university in the Midlands. I have a few marinas in mind which offer residential moorings so I won't be a CC if I can help it.

 

My budget is around the 40-45k mark and I'm quite sure about the sort of boat I'm after. 55-60 foot trad or semi trade stern, pullmans dinette, large saloon, funtional kitchen for two people to cook, and a cabin head space of over 6'3 at least. I'm not too fussy about the cosmetic features of the outside. The right size and funtion is far more important than presentation to me at this point.

 

What I'd like to hear more about from experienced boaters or those who have done this before is:

 

 a) What costs do I need to consider as a full time liveabaord at a marina?

 

b) Is my budget reasonable for what I am looking for?

 

c) Would it be best to buy privately than from a broker given my budgetry limitations?

 

d) Has anyone been stung with surprise costs soon after they have made thier boat purchase?

 

I am aware of the CRT Lisense as well a insurence. I have also worked blacking and survey into my budget.

 

Thank you very much in advance for your advice. Myself and other first timer boaters with bugetary reatraints will surely be very grateful.

 

Oli

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, OTL said:

Hello.

 

I have been browsing this forum for a couple of weeks and found some useful information but would be very appriciataive to have some advice towards those like myself who looking at the lower end of the market with the intention of becoming full time liveaboard boaters.

 

I am looking to purchase a liveabaord NB for my partner and I whilst I am studying at university in the Midlands. I have a few marinas in mind which offer residential moorings so I won't be a CC if I can help it.

 

My budget is around the 40-45k mark and I'm quite sure about the sort of boat I'm after. 55-60 foot trad or semi trade stern, pullmans dinette, large saloon, funtional kitchen for two people to cook, and a cabin head space of over 6'3 at least. I'm not too fussy about the cosmetic features of the outside. The right size and funtion is far more important than presentation to me at this point.

 

What I'd like to hear more about from experienced boaters or those who have done this before is:

 

 a) What costs do I need to consider as a full time liveabaord at a marina?

 

b) Is my budget reasonable for what I am looking for?

 

c) Would it be best to buy privately than from a broker given my budgetry limitations?

 

d) Has anyone been stung with surprise costs soon after they have made thier boat purchase?

 

I am aware of the CRT Lisense as well a insurence. I have also worked blacking and survey into my budget.

 

Thank you very much in advance for your advice. Myself and other first timer boaters with bugetary reatraints will surely be very grateful.

 

Oli

 

 

 

Hi OTL and welcome. You mention that you have  had a try at  a budget so why don't you let us see it and then we can comment on what may need tweaking, and what may need adding ?  I presume you have also seen some of the similar attempts at budgets which can be found through the search function..

 

Howard 

Edited by howardang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds to me like you've thought about most things. 

Judging from your description you're looking at narrowboats.

Beware of responses on here from people who neither live aboard nor have a narrowboat.

 

Answering your questions:

a) Mooring fees, electric hook up charges, diesel, heating costs, regular maintenance, alcohol.

b) Your budget makes me feel like a pauper!

c) Irrelevant.  Just find the boat you like.  The type of seller doesn't matter.

d) Yes.  Almost everyone.  Boats constantly go wrong and need ongoing maintenance to a far greater degree than houses.  Living aboard makes this more so.  Have a contingency fund of a couple of thousand or more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, howardang said:

Has anyone been stung with surprise costs soon after they have made thier boat purchase?

Yes - I expect most people have - even if it is only £500 for a new set of batteries.

 

I had a 'bad one'.

Bought a boat after a glowing surveyors report. 

Found it needed over £20k spending on it to Make it 'sea-worthy'. Tried to take the surveyor to court and get compensation but "no chance" the surveyors standard small print says "I am not responsible for anything I have not found" My Solicitor said 'drop the case' it'll just cost you more money as you cannot win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Oli. We don't live aboard but recently bought our first new-to-us NB. Your budget sounds fair especially if you are flexible re layout. Don't expect your surveyor to spot all the potential issues with any boat you buy; be prepared to spend time checking out as much as you can yourself. Our big unexpected job was to scour out and paint the water tank. This wasn't expensive (couple of tins of Rylards and some grinder discs) but it took the best part of a week and we only had water from a plastic tank in the meantime. We also replaced the mild steel pickup spout and tank connector with copper while we were at it. We knew it was part of the regular maintenance schedule for the boat however, so had to be done sooner or later. We also had to replace the leisure batteries. Best of luck and let us know when you find a boat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

C.  Not necessarily. Look at whatever boats meet your requirements and budget, and judge each on its merits. Some brokers are good, some not; some add value, some add costs. ABNB and Rugby often feature in people's good ones list, others are available.  Many folks' experience is that the right boat finds you.

 

Residential moorings are subject to Council Tax, so legally you ought to add this to your budget. For this reason, some marinas don't do residential moorings and others simply claim they don't. Your attitude towards paying Council Tax will affect your choice of marina and how you approach them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your finances will stretch to 70’ then think about it seriously. Within 6 months that extra 10-15’ will be priceless- how do I know? We had a 60’ built (due to available cash) and out of the whole liveaboard experience the only thing I would have changed would be to somehow find the money for the extra 10’. 

We did cruise extensively but never got to anywhere a 70’ could not have gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?!?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, manicpb said:

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?!?

Thank you for your reply!

 

I'm glad to hear you have avoided any serious mishaps on your boat. I would love to cruise during break time from uni and mooring in a more scenic enviroment is definitely something I'm looking forward to.

 

I will indeed be classed as a mature student as I'm in my early 30s now.

 

I'm looking at a residential mooring at Sawley Marina with the intention to either go to Nottingham Trent University or Loughbrough University with Sheffield being a back up. I've checked the travel routes from Long Eaton and they seem quite reasonable.

 

What kind of things should I look out for to avoid a boat that guzzles gas?

4 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Yes - I expect most people have - even if it is only £500 for a new set of batteries.

 

I had a 'bad one'.

Bought a boat after a glowing surveyors report. 

Found it needed over £20k spending on it to Make it 'sea-worthy'. Tried to take the surveyor to court and get compensation but "no chance" the surveyors standard small print says "I am not responsible for anything I have not found" My Solicitor said 'drop the case' it'll just cost you more money as you cannot win.

That sounds horrific. I'm sorry you went through that. Sounds like an absolute nightmare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mike Tee said:

If your finances will stretch to 70’ then think about it seriously. Within 6 months that extra 10-15’ will be priceless- how do I know? We had a 60’ built (due to available cash) and out of the whole liveaboard experience the only thing I would have changed would be to somehow find the money for the extra 10’. 

We did cruise extensively but never got to anywhere a 70’ could not have gone.

Thank you for the reply and advice!

 

Unfortunately my budget is maxed out. I also heard the larger the boat the more compromised the crusing experience was? I think a 70 foot might be a little hard for me to helm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, OTL said:

What kind of things should I look out for to avoid a boat that guzzles gas?

The biggest user of LPG is Alde LPG central heating. A boat moored next to us was using 1 gas cylinder (£30) per week in cold weather.

Cooking doesn't use much, but if you are going into a marina the best (cheapest) power to use is the supplied mains -hook-up (230v) and use electric toaster, microwave, kettle and electric 'fires' for heating.

6 minutes ago, OTL said:

Thank you for your reply!

 

I'm glad to hear you have avoided any serious mishaps on your boat. I would love to cruise during break time from uni and mooring in a more scenic enviroment is definitely something I'm looking forward to.

 

I will indeed be classed as a mature student as I'm in my early 30s now.

 

I'm looking at a residential mooring at Sawley Marina with the intention to either go to Nottingham Trent University or Loughbrough University with Sheffield being a back up. I've checked the travel routes from Long Eaton and they seem quite reasonable.

 

What kind of things should I look out for to avoid a boat that guzzles gas?

That sounds horrific. I'm sorry you went through that. Sounds like an absolute nightmare.

It was a long time ago and I have bought 18 boats since them and never used a surveyor (I would never recommend not using a surveyor to anyone with minimal boating experience)

 

Its like paying the AA to come and do a 'survey' on a car you are thinking of buying - with experience you can make decisions based on your own accumulated skills and knowledge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, howardang said:

Hi OTL and welcome. You mention that you have  had a try at  a budget so why don't you let us see it and then we can comment on what may need tweaking, and what may need adding ?  I presume you have also seen some of the similar attempts at budgets which can be found through the search function..

 

Howard 

Hi Howard

 

So I was thinking for my monthly outgoings.

 

Marina mooring: £312

Internet £45

Mobile 30

Coal £15

Deisel £5

Electricy from marina £20

Pump out comes included in marina cost.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, OTL said:

Hi Howard

 

So I was thinking for my monthly outgoings.

 

Marina mooring: £312

Internet £45

Mobile 30

Coal £15

Deisel £5

Electricy from marina £20

Pump out comes included in marina cost.

 

I think your 'leccy' is a fair bit 'low', but of course it depends how you use it. We are getting thru about £10-£15 per week living on board for the Summer, but our gas usage is almost zero.

When I leave the boat for the Winter, the engine room heaters (to avoid freezing) costs just over £1 per day in electricity charges.

 

Again Coal - we used about 1 bag per week (£10-£12)

 

Internet is free as we 'hot-spot' onto my phone so we get calls, texts and unlimited data for £15 per month.

 

Don't forget that on an annual basis you will have maintenance, insurance licence etc etc to budget for.

 

An 'oft quoted' number for the running costs of a boat is £5000 per annum (depending on mooring fees it could be £15,000 pa)

 

Your totals are possibly not too far out but the 'split' is not correct - but it all depends on what you use the gas / diesel / coal / and electric for and in what proportions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, OTL said:

Hi Howard

 

So I was thinking for my monthly outgoings.

 

Marina mooring: £312

Internet £45

Mobile 30

Coal £15

Deisel £5

Electricy from marina £20

Pump out comes included in marina cost.

 

Annual 850 licence

insurance 300

 

4 year

certificate and docking.

circa 1000

 

our internet is 15 month including all calls.

£15  of coal is 3-4 days worth In mid winter, so you need to look at that. It’s not practical to heat a boat with electricity to a good temperature, and most marina power supplies are limited I believe. Never been in one in 40 years boating.

Diesel is not a fixed cost. Some months it’s 120 for us others nothing.
You will need calor gas too. Nowadays it’s costly.

 

Sawley moorings are fully residential so no issues there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Council tax for residential mooring?

CRT gold licence is £1294/year for 57'5" - 59'4" boat (not that you will need this if you aren't cruising widely)

Are you sure pump-out is included? We were charged £15 but then we don't have a residential contract.

We were at Sawley for a couple of weeks while Meadow Lane lock was being repaired. Plenty of people live there and commute to work. They  also had a fair few boats for sale - did you have a look? Best of luck for your boat hunt and studies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, MrsM said:

Council tax for residential mooring?

CRT gold licence is £1294/year for 57'5" - 59'4" boat (not that you will need this if you aren't cruising widely)

Are you sure pump-out is included? We were charged £15 but then we don't have a residential contract.

We were at Sawley for a couple of weeks while Meadow Lane lock was being repaired. Plenty of people live there and commute to work. They  also had a fair few boats for sale - did you have a look? Best of luck for your boat hunt and studies.

 

Yes - we were in a BWML Marina (as is Sawley) and pump-out and washing machine tokens are included.

You can either elect to pay full Council tax, or if you agree to move moorings 2x per annum you can pay a reduced Council Tax (based on the total Marina CT consolidated and divided by the number of Residential boats)

Edited by Alan de Enfield

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of great advise here, if not already done so then suggest you check out the Cruising the cut vlogs.    Very informative and this one will give you a good idea on monthly budget 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OTL said:

What kind of things should I look out for to avoid a boat that guzzles gas?

Do you mean Propane Gas, or are you thinking Gas Mileage as the Americans would put it?  If the latter, a typical narrowboat will average something like 1¼ to 1½ litres per hour, whether cruising or charging. By typical, I mean a 4 cylinder diesel, non turbo, of up to 2000cc or so, which is probably the market your in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mike Tee said:

If your finances will stretch to 70’ then think about it seriously. Within 6 months that extra 10-15’ will be priceless- how do I know? We had a 60’ built (due to available cash) and out of the whole liveaboard experience the only thing I would have changed would be to somehow find the money for the extra 10’. 

We did cruise extensively but never got to anywhere a 70’ could not have gone.

Very wise words. We all fall for the 57 footer go anywhere size at first, ours was actualy 56 feet. Our first ten years of boat ownership as liveaboards was on sub 60 feet boats and we did do such as the L and L etc etc over the time period. However over the following twenty years as liveaboards the shortest we have owned is 65 feet and included 70 feet with the present being 68 feet. The extra length restrictions pale in to insignificance with the vastly better more comfortable space and there is still a large cruising area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MrsM said:

Council tax for residential mooring?

CRT gold licence is £1294/year for 57'5" - 59'4" boat (not that you will need this if you aren't cruising widely)

Are you sure pump-out is included? We were charged £15 but then we don't have a residential contract.

We were at Sawley for a couple of weeks while Meadow Lane lock was being repaired. Plenty of people live there and commute to work. They  also had a fair few boats for sale - did you have a look? Best of luck for your boat hunt and studies.

 

37 minutes ago, Dharl said:

Lots of great advise here, if not already done so then suggest you check out the Cruising the cut vlogs.    Very informative and this one will give you a good idea on monthly budget 

 

 

This guy got me into the idea of living aboard in the first place. Lots of great info on his channel. I also watch Foxes afloat as I just like looking at areas I may one day cruise.

 

 

24 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Very wise words. We all fall for the 57 footer go anywhere size at first, ours was actualy 56 feet. Our first ten years of boat ownership as liveaboards was on sub 60 feet boats and we did do such as the L and L etc etc over the time period. However over the following twenty years as liveaboards the shortest we have owned is 65 feet and included 70 feet with the present being 68 feet. The extra length restrictions pale in to insignificance with the vastly better more comfortable space and there is still a large cruising area.

If I had the money I think I'd like to have a 65 footer for the extra bedroom or the luxury of a large walk through bathroom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Do you mean Propane Gas, or are you thinking Gas Mileage as the Americans would put it?  If the latter, a typical narrowboat will average something like 1¼ to 1½ litres per hour, whether cruising or charging. By typical, I mean a 4 cylinder diesel, non turbo, of up to 2000cc or so, which is probably the market your in.

Sorry I meant propane gas. I dont tend to do a whole lot of crusing but am a bit concerned by how much gas I may use cooking or heating the boat. Do you even use propane to heat a boat? I've heard a multi fuel stove can be enough to heat a 57 foot boat in the winter months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.