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Tasemu

Bristol narrowboat long term renting?

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Hello! I was hoping to get some advice regarding renting a narrowboat. I am 26 and very interested in purchasing my own narrowboat eventually but thought it might be prudent to spend some time on one beforehand, ideally 6-12 months. My father owns a lock cottage on the Kennet and Avon canal, I thought it would be nice to be able to take it there on the "holiday's" (hah full time work). I live and work in Bristol full time at the moment as a programmer and have had a look online hoping to find one to rent. unfortunately despite my efforts I have come up empty. I am now hoping someone here might possibly be able to point me in a general direction, or at least give me some closure that renting a narrowboat in Bristol is a no-go.

 

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

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4 minutes ago, Tasemu said:

Hello! I was hoping to get some advice regarding renting a narrowboat. I am 26 and very interested in purchasing my own narrowboat eventually but thought it might be prudent to spend some time on one beforehand, ideally 6-12 months. My father owns a lock cottage on the Kennet and Avon canal, I thought it would be nice to be able to take it there on the "holiday's" (hah full time work). I live and work in Bristol full time at the moment as a programmer and have had a look online hoping to find one to rent. unfortunately despite my efforts I have come up empty. I am now hoping someone here might possibly be able to point me in a general direction, or at least give me some closure that renting a narrowboat in Bristol is a no-go.

 

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

Escape the Rat Race - long term boat rental

 

http://www.etrr.co.uk/

 

It can run at about £1000 per month, so many people find it cheaper to buy one and if they don't like it take the hit on the sale price.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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4 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Escape the Rat Race - long term boat rental

 

http://www.etrr.co.uk/

 

It can run at about £100 per month, so many people find it cheaper to buy one and if they don't like it take the hit on the sale price.

Thank you! Is it possible to find out which boats are in bristol, or should I just use the enquiry form for each one listed, i don't exactly want to spam them.

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Just now, Tasemu said:

Thank you! Is it possible to find out which boats are in bristol, or should I just use the enquiry form for each one listed, i don't exactly want to spam them.

Their boats are all over the place - that's the benefit of a boat - it moves. You pick it up and drive it where you want to go.

The problem is not renting to get in Bristol area - the problem is getting a mooring along with the hundreds / thousands of others looking for a 'cheap apartment'.

 

Try Phoning ETRR and talk the situation thru' - its always good to talk rather than dozens of emails going back & forwards

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2 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Their boats are all over the place - that's the benefit of a boat - it moves. You pick it up and drive it where you want to go.

The problem is not renting to get in Bristol area - the problem is getting a mooring along with the hundreds / thousands of others looking for a 'cheap apartment'.

 

Try Phoning ETRR and talk the situation thru' - its always good to talk rather than dozens of emails going back & forwards

I'll take a look at moorings over the next few days. I had a look for a phone number on their website but it doesn't seem to be listed.

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2 minutes ago, Tasemu said:

I'll take a look at moorings over the next few days. I had a look for a phone number on their website but it doesn't seem to be listed.

Send a mail - "I am looking to have a 6-12 month rental and would like to talk to you, can you please either call me on XXXXXXXXXXX, or send me you phone number and I'll call you".

  • Greenie 1

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14 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Send a mail - "I am looking to have a 6-12 month rental and would like to talk to you, can you please either call me on XXXXXXXXXXX, or send me you phone number and I'll call you".

Done and dusted, thanks a ton!

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I understand that their is a waiting list for moorings in the harbour at Bristol and few other longterm moorings to have on the river or K and A. I suggest you check before buying a boat

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3 minutes ago, adrianh said:

I understand that their is a waiting list for moorings in the harbour at Bristol and few other longterm moorings to have on the river or K and A. I suggest you check before buying a boat

Cheers for the heads up. I am slightly confused though. I assumed you had to purchase a mooring from a marina or the like. Do you instead apply for one from the Bristol City Council and hope one becomes available?

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I think you need to talk to the harbour authority as the whole river and floating harbour from Hanham lock is controlled by them. They operate strict policies on mooring unlike CART.

Edited by adrianh

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You can download lots of information about moorings in Bristol Harbour. Last time I looked there was a very long waiting list. Bristol is a very cool and trendy city and living on the water is cool and trendy, and so you are not the first person to fancy living on a boat in Bristol. Moorings are very finite so its not surprising that they are not easy to get. 

 

Get down to the little yards at the far end and try a bit of face to face investigation.

 

.................Dve

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1 minute ago, dmr said:

You can download lots of information about moorings in Bristol Harbour. Last time I looked there was a very long waiting list. Bristol is a very cool and trendy city and living on the water is cool and trendy, and so you are not the first person to fancy living on a boat in Bristol. Moorings are very finite so its not surprising that they are not easy to get. 

 

Get down to the little yards at the far end and try a bit of face to face investigation.

 

.................Dve

Cheers mate! Are you referring to annual berths or residential moorings... Or both? (I don't actually know the difference to be honest)

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There are very few proper residential moorings anywhere, most people take on a leisure mooring and maintain a low profile and hope for the best, or just come to a very informal arrangement with a boatyard. In general life on the water is a lot less formal than life on the land. A full residential mooring with security of tenure would be a very desirable thing to have.

 

.............Dave

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I have noticed the bristol mooring page states that the licensing for an annual berth runs from the 1st May to the 31st of April each year. Does this mean that I cannot join the waiting list until may next year? Sorry if it is a stupid question.

 

ref: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/mooring-and-berthing-in-the-harbour

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11 minutes ago, Tasemu said:

I have noticed the bristol mooring page states that the licensing for an annual berth runs from the 1st May to the 31st of April each year. Does this mean that I cannot join the waiting list until may next year? Sorry if it is a stupid question.

 

ref: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel/mooring-and-berthing-in-the-harbour

If you read down that page a bit further you will sadly see that the waiting lists are currently closed. This usually means that there is no prospect of a getting a mooring in the foreseeable future.

 

..............Dave

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23 minutes ago, dmr said:

If you read down that page a bit further you will sadly see that the waiting lists are currently closed. This usually means that there is no prospect of a getting a mooring in the foreseeable future.

 

..............Dave

I do see that leisure mooring and residential mooring waiting lists are closed, but nothing about annual, or are they covered under one of these two?

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I just got a reply from ETRR and the bloke seems really nice. However it appears the rate for renting a boat long term appears around £800 - £1250 per month, that is more expensive than my top floor apartment in Clifton Village (one of the most expensive areas in bristol) without a mooring. I must have misjudged this renting venture, back to the drawing board. :)

Edited by Tasemu

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7 minutes ago, Tasemu said:

I just got a reply from ETRR and the bloke seems really nice. However it appears the rate for renting a boat long term appears around £800 - £1250 per month, that is more expensive than my top floor apartment in Clifton Village (one of the most expensive areas in bristol) without a mooring. I must have misjudged this renting venture, back to the drawing board. :)

See post #2

 

The owner of the boat, having spent (maybe) £100,000 would expect to get some return on his investment.

He will have licence, insurance and safety checks running at about £2000 per annum, so if he rents the boat out and achieves 8 months usage he will get an income of £8000, less his £2000 running costs, less 'extras' (servicing, general maintenance),  his nett income is probably around £5000, he will need a re-paint every 5 years (£4000-£5000) and probably a new engine & Gearbox (£8,000) every 10 years - it will take him 25 years + to get his money back before he starts making a profit.

Not a good business model.

 

Peak Summer Hiring for 1 week can be £1000 so the 'long term' prices are a good deal.

 

Moorings will vary between £3,000 and £15,000 per annum (North of England to London)

Then you have the usual 'running costs' (Diesel, gas, paying to have the toilet emptied, etc etc etc)

 

I currently have one of my boats in Plymouth, the moorings are £60 per night (inc. electric, water and Wi-Fi)

 

Boating is not cheaper than living in bricks & mortar but it does have some advantages.

 

Just out of interest - what sort of figures did you have in mind ?

 

I did suggest that many folks find it easier (cheaper) to buy a boat, try it and if the don't like it, sell it 6 months later - in the current market you would be unlikely to lose £6k.

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8 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Peak Summer Hiring for 1 week can be £1000 so the 'long term' prices are a good deal.

Twice that or more with some fleets.

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You mention that you work, i think full time, in Bristol so it would be difficult to continuous cruise while commuting, and the chances of finding a suitable boat at a cheaper costs than you have been quoted I suspect are very slim to non-existent. At the moment,  everyone and their dog are asking very similar questions about living on a boat thinking, I suspect,, that it is a cheap way to live, and they ask the question possibly thinking that they are unique in coming up with the idea, but this is so far from the reality. I would, however, ask what your own thoughts were on what you intend to do with the boat, other than to use it as a houseboat? If the latter is the intention, personally, I would much rather live in Clifton than on a boat either in the Floating Harbour or on the K&A, even if you can find a suitable boat & mooring. For example, have you considered what it is like during the winter - toilet pump out or Elsan disposal, taking on water, fuel etc. etc. when you may be frozen in and can't get move the boat? Sorry to be a wet blanket.

 

Howard

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9 hours ago, Tasemu said:

I just got a reply from ETRR and the bloke seems really nice. However it appears the rate for renting a boat long term appears around £800 - £1250 per month, that is more expensive than my top floor apartment in Clifton Village (one of the most expensive areas in bristol) without a mooring. I must have misjudged this renting venture, back to the drawing board. :)

 

As Alan's back-of-envelope breakdown of the costs of offering a narrowboat to rent illustrate, running a boat is EXPENSIVE done right.

 

The way to live on a boat cheaply is firstly to buy an old bot for not much money, then don't maintain it as a landlord (boatlord) would be obliged - just fix the urgent stuff as and when it goes wrong.  Secondly, don't rent a mooring (typically £3k a year), move the boat around continuously (this means move a sensible distance once a week or once a fortnight) on CRT waters. 

 

This probably doesn't fit in at all well with your job (unless you can work from home), but this is how the people you may have heard about living on a boat very cheaply are actually doing it. 

  • Greenie 1

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Thanks for all the feedback, yes I was under the impression I could do it cheap but I see why this is not the case. It appears finding a mooring is also unlikely, continuous cruising will likely not work well with my job. Seems I might have found a dead end until I lose this life-sucking career. Cheers a ton for all the help everyone, hopefully i'll be back one day. :)

  • Greenie 2

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You can have a job and continuous cruise, you just need a car and need to ensure you move enough each two weeks, i did it fine.

 

Buy a £15k boat, keep it in the same condition, maybe make some improvements over the year and chances are you will get most of your money back, but be prepared for it to need work.

 

 

 

 

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Just now, Dave Payne said:

You can have a job and continuous cruise, you just need a car and need to ensure you move enough each two weeks, i did it fine.

 

Buy a £15k boat, keep it in the same condition, maybe make some improvements over the year and chances are you will get most of your money back, but be prepared for it to need work.

 

 

 

 

I have been looking into this today, i do own a motorcycle currently and thought this may be an option. Though i hear it is hard to get a loan for a boat if you are planning on continuous cruising, does anybody know more about this? Also on a side note, are there regulations on how far you need to move each fortnight? I know it's 15-20 miles recommended per year.... Also are narrowboats cheaper in winter hahaha?

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16 minutes ago, Tasemu said:

I have been looking into this today, i do own a motorcycle currently and thought this may be an option. Though i hear it is hard to get a loan for a boat if you are planning on continuous cruising, does anybody know more about this? Also on a side note, are there regulations on how far you need to move each fortnight? I know it's 15-20 miles recommended per year.... Also are narrowboats cheaper in winter hahaha?

Just a small correction - it is NOT a movement of 20-30 miles per year, it is a RANGE of 20 - 30 miles, so 20 miles North, 20 miles South, 20 miles East, 20 miles West,  you will probably cover some hundreds of miles per annum.

 

Others will say that you just need move 1km per week, (but keep going forward) for say 30km, then turn around and start coming back at 1km per week.

 

The 1st is what C&RT would like you to do and the second is what (some) boaters would like to do.

 

If you were somewhere like Birmingham which has 'dozens' of canals radiating out of the city you can be in 100s of different 'places' every two-weeks but never more than a few miles from the centre (They don't point out that Birmingham has more canals than Venice for nothing !!)

 

At the end of the day it is what C&RT (and the courts) decide is correct when they revoke your licence and take you to court, the question is are you complying with the law ?

 

...the vessel to which the application relates will be used bona fide for navigation throughout the period for which the consent is valid without remaining continuously in any one place for more than 14 days or such longer period as is reasonable in the circumstances.

 

 

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