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Looking to become liveaboards: Thoughts and Experiences


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11 minutes ago, Chris Taylor said:

Plus we're not selling our current property even if we do try this out.   We should be able to rent it out for more than the mortgage due to the housing shortage over here, so we;re not really losing anything.

As you would appear to have an exit route then a lot of the negatives disappear in which case I would say go for it I wish you well.

Just now, Chris Taylor said:

Thank you, :). That is a nice way to summarise it. 

    

Yes, we do have an escape route. Just in case we need it; there is a 'Brick and Mortar' property.  That amount of money is sort of the upper limit of what we would be looking to spend.  Common sense?  Sadly I was back of the queue when that was handed out.  

Good man, a lack of common sense certainly makes for a more interesting life.

Edited by reg
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7 hours ago, Chris Taylor said:

Thanks for the input :) 

 

Oh gosh, not while they are still in school.  I already imagine that being a disaster, besides, they are in the Dutch school system at the moment, so changing to a different language in a new country would be too unsettling.  Come to think about it, there is the very real possibility that at least one of them will move out anyway by the time this becomes a possibility.

 

Lived up North, some lovely people there and some really nice years.  Also lived Wales, Taunton, Netherlands and South Africa.   We really don't know how to settle down.  :)      

If you contact me by PM, I'd be happy to meet up with you in August to discuss the matter and I live in the Bath area. Where I'm  moored there are plenty of liveaboards in the area and most are happy to chat about the pros and cons of liveaboard life.

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13 minutes ago, Boatless in Bristol said:

If you contact me by PM, I'd be happy to meet up with you in August to discuss the matter and I live in the Bath area. Where I'm  moored there are plenty of liveaboards in the area and most are happy to chat about the pros and cons of liveaboard life.

 

That would be very kind, thank you.  I'll figure out exactly when my holidays are and send you a PM over the weekend.  :) 

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8 hours ago, Slow and Steady said:

All in all, if I was in your position I'd be looking for a house but it wouldn't be in Bath - lovely as Bath is it's expensive.

 

I was thinking the £100k the OP has available would make a reasonable deposit on say a three bed terrace around Bath near a good skool like what I went to, and it would probably rise in value considerably over the next 25 years (unlike a boat), what with inflation looking likely to run at 10-15% for the next decade or two now. The days of low inflation are gone now, until our current crop of child politicians experience it directly and learn the pain like the politicians of the 70s did. 

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19 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

I was thinking the £100k the OP has available would make a reasonable deposit on say a three bed terrace around Bath

If you check back a few posts you will find that the op has a property which they will retain and to which they could always return.

 

 

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1 minute ago, reg said:

If you check back a few posts you will find that the op has a property which they will retain and to which they could always return.

 

 

 

 

Look you, who here bothers to read the thread nowadays before jumping in with both feet with uninformed comments eh? eh? 

 

:giggles:

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I can't recall the specific name but I know there's at least one group on Facebook (it can be useful for boating communities if not much else!) dedicated to families who liveaboard. If you can't find the specific one, join one of the many others and ask - there's a good chance someone can point you in the direction. You'll find people who have direct experience to share :)

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Your best bet is to hire a boat in an area that appeals to you for a fortnight and see how it feels. 
It’s hard to say much more as ultimately it’s difficult to second guess how you will all feel in a small space with variable weather conditions and having to move regularly. 

Edited by Stroudwater1
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18 hours ago, LadyG said:

This is the thing, children expect their own room, and access to the internet 24/7 , they will not necessarily adapt.

And it will kill your sex life!

Whoa!! Massive sweeping statement on both fronts. My daughter has her own room - but most definitely doesn’t “expect” it and spends disappointingly little time there. And I have sex when she’s out 😜

And she couldn’t care less about the internet. She loves boating and boats. Spends most of her spare time dangling somewhere outside, usually upside down, looking at boats or mud or seeds or leaves or ducks or bugs. She’s 10. 

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12 hours ago, Chris Taylor said:

 

 

 

We're only looking at a return because Brexit is slowly introducing challenges; the uncertainty that I'm even going to be able to live in my own home with a visa renewal every 5 years isn't fun.  Plus, an increasing number of jobs in my line of work are starting to ask for EU27 only.

 

Leaving the Netherlands now might affect your ability to return later tho?

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There is no one way of living on a boat, but from what is said so far you appear to be looking simply at moving on to a static boat. This would almost certainly have to be somewhere with planning consent for residential use, probably in a marina. If you are looking instead at the other extreme - moving your boat regularly - that is something altogether different, and known as being a continuous cruiser. You will find a lot of (conflicting) information here about that, but I think that would be very difficult to go into with two post-schoolage children, and in a foreign land. That also introduces potential difficulties if you need absolutely reliable internet for your work. The in-between position is of course to have a regular base but make voyages from time to time. For all the above there is also the choice of vessel - remember that the UK canal system is not a unified system but has locks and bridges which impose differing limits on the maximum size of craft you can have according to your desired location - the most elementary being a beam of 7' or 14' (you will be back in imperial measurements too), though there are plenty of rivers where you can enlarge your expectations.

 

Tam

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14 minutes ago, Tam & Di said:

There is no one way of living on a boat, but from what is said so far you appear to be looking simply at moving on to a static boat.

 

which would probably be cheaper in the Netherlands

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24 minutes ago, Phoenix_V said:

which would probably be cheaper in the Netherlands

I assumed OP was an expat moving back to UK, if he wanted to buy a Dutch barge for living on board on a wide canal in the UK then I expect there would be more choice where he is, boats with real character. Probably not practical, but needs research. 

 

 

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On 01/06/2022 at 09:27, Tracy D'arth said:

I wish you well, an admirable way to live.

 

But a word of caution. 

 

If you think living aboard is cheaper and easier than on the land you are wrong. 

But compared with the Netherland it is possibly a little cheaper in the UK or it was till two months ago.

You will be shocked at the price of boats now.

I think a cash buyer would still be able to buy a decent used boat at a reasonable price, yes prices have risen, my boat bought three years ago might have gone up twenty percent, but so have houses, and everything else!

PS the Bath area is pretty expensive, if you look in the North boats and moorings should be cheaper. Be aware, however, widebeam boats are restricted to wide canals, they can't navigate everywhere, particularly North to South. The bigger, wider ones may be much more difficult to handle, and if everyone bought one, it would be a nightmare!

Edited by LadyG
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On 02/06/2022 at 10:02, LadyG said:

I think a cash buyer would still be able to buy a decent used boat at a reasonable price, yes prices have risen, my boat bought three years ago might have gone up twenty percent, but so have houses, and everything else!

PS the Bath area is pretty expensive, if you look in the North boats and moorings should be cheaper. Be aware, however, widebeam boats are restricted to wide canals, they can't navigate everywhere, particularly North to South. The bigger, wider ones may be much more difficult to handle, and if everyone bought one, it would be a nightmare!

 

You might be surprised by how much boats have risen.

 

When I had the BSC done on my boat last month, the inspector (who is also a surveyor) said "did I know that boats have risen in price dramatically over the last 2 years?" I replied "yes, and I increased the insured value of mine by £10k last year."

 

He then asked its insured value and when I told him he said "it's still under insured by £15k". This means my boats value has increased by around 50% since I bought it in 2014, with most of the increase in the last couple of years.

 

I have now increased the insured value and am paying significantly increased premiums as a result.

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3 hours ago, cuthound said:

 

You might be surprised by how much boats have risen.

 

When I had the BSC done on my boat last month, the inspector (who is also a surveyor) said "did I know that boats have risen in price dramatically over the last 2 years?" I replied "yes, and I increased the insured value of mine by £10k last year."

 

He then asked its insured value and when I told him he said "it's still under insured by £15k". This means my boats value has increased by around 50% since I bought it in 2014, with most of the increase in the last couple of years.

 

I have now increased the insured value and am paying significantly increased premiums as a result.

I increased my insured value last year, with Craftinsure this triggers a new policy , but I looked on Appollo Duck last winter and was mildly disappointed, I'm not far off with my twenty percent in three years, I might have another look.

With all that has happened in last twelve months, prices might have peaked, remember 'staycation'?

There is a boat on brokerage, same as mine but ten years younger on AD, it's £48K, , so  obviously mine should be significantly less, disappointing, and makes me less willing to spend any more money on my boat. There is a brand new one, but it's poa and has a nice pro fit out, and another 2002, but pretty much mint condition at £68k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by LadyG
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The market for cruisers has certainly peaked. I was thinking of selling my boat for various reasons this year; two brokers have told me that they didn't want the business, and that "larger" boats (it's 36') weren't selling so I popped an a up on the Duck - two enquiries in two months. Risked the eBay nutters - in ten days over 1400 views, 35 watchers, not a single enquiry.

 

(And, no, it isn't up for "a strong price to take advantage of the current market", it's up at the same price it was three years ago when it needed painting and got a lot more interest, and compares favourably with all similar vessels.)

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10 hours ago, Bacchus said:

The market for cruisers has certainly peaked. I was thinking of selling my boat for various reasons this year; two brokers have told me that they didn't want the business, and that "larger" boats (it's 36') weren't selling so I popped an a up on the Duck - two enquiries in two months. Risked the eBay nutters - in ten days over 1400 views, 35 watchers, not a single enquiry.

 

(And, no, it isn't up for "a strong price to take advantage of the current market", it's up at the same price it was three years ago when it needed painting and got a lot more interest, and compares favourably with all similar vessels.)

Ouch.

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Assorted points

- £110k is at least a decent budget for a boat (brand new boats and massive Dutch barges excepted). It'll also buy a bricks and mortar place oop north in cash that isn't as small as the boat...

- Bath isn't going to be easy to find moorings in. Other parts of the country more straightforward

- How close are the kids to leaving home permanently? A narrowboat really isn't much space for them, even if it's only in between university terms or jobs.

- Standard drawbacks of boats apart from lack of space are managing changes in temperature especially in winter since you're living in a lightly insulated steel box, weird toilet arrangements and lots of little things going wrong which require time and money to solve. Living in a boat might reduce some stress, but it can create other stress

- Standard upsides is that they look cute, can go to a lot of unspoilt rural locations and are great fun to cruise around in, but is that what you're after?

- The market for boats might have changed a bit in six years. It has in the last six

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On 04/06/2022 at 08:31, Bacchus said:

The market for cruisers has certainly peaked. I was thinking of selling my boat for various reasons this year; two brokers have told me that they didn't want the business, and that "larger" boats (it's 36') weren't selling so I popped an a up on the Duck - two enquiries in two months. Risked the eBay nutters - in ten days over 1400 views, 35 watchers, not a single enquiry.

 

(And, no, it isn't up for "a strong price to take advantage of the current market", it's up at the same price it was three years ago when it needed painting and got a lot more interest, and compares favourably with all similar vessels.)

Too cheap, raise the price by £10,000 add a couple of different photos, showing ducks or cygnets. 

 

Bod

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55 minutes ago, Bod said:

Too cheap, raise the price by £10,000 add a couple of different photos, showing ducks or cygnets. 

 

Bod

 

LoL - you might be right. Or paint over the beautiful teak ceiling with "London white" and call it a live-aboard?

 

150 more views and seven more watchers since yesterday morning. Still no enquiries; nothing. Not even "wot's yorr lowest price mate?"

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12 minutes ago, Bacchus said:

 

LoL - you might be right. Or paint over the beautiful teak ceiling with "London white" and call it a live-aboard?

 

150 more views and seven more watchers since yesterday morning. Still no enquiries; nothing. Not even "wot's yorr lowest price mate?"

 

 

That's curious. I listed one of my boats for sale on The Duck late last summer and got an avalanche of enquiries. Most of them utter time wasters but not all. I put the price up a bit and the response rate tumbled but it sold immediately for the new asking price.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bacchus said:

Or paint over the beautiful teak ceiling

Dark interiors are like dark furniture, not in vogue, so sadly you're probably right about painting it white. It's funny that people can't see past that and if they really wanted to, paint it themselves. It's a travesty but that's fashion for you.

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Considering that the OP is only looking at doing this in 6 years time, I suspect that things might be very different then. I would suggest hanging for atleast 3 more years and then see how the land lies, here, in the Netherlands and on the canals.

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