What? You’re going to live on a Narrow Boat – The 3 questions everyone asks

Since deciding to make the move to Narrow Living, and more specifically since deciding to tell people, there are three questions we have been asked more than any other. Firstly 9/10 of the people we have told have been super supportive of us, behind their furrowed brows at least. But there are a few questions that keep cropping up.

  1. It’ll be freezing! 

Ok I admit it’s not really a question, more an exclamation. Will it be freezing? Who knows! So far we’ve spent one day together on a tiny narrow boat exploring the cut, and granted it was freezing Narrowboat Hire – Our first experience on the water. However we have it on good authority (we’ve read it lots of places) that actually it isn’t that cold, so long as you keep your fire stoked, oh and have the basic ability to light a fire then there is no reason why Narrow Boat living should be cold. Granted the floor will always be cold, it’s underwater, wear slippers for goodness sake, what self respecting 20+ year old doesn’t own slippers!


2. Will you have a toilet?

Really? I’m getting to a stage now where I am tempted to say no, we will be at one with nature and dig ourselves a hole in the ground, in the woods, should we get the urge. Yes we have a toilet! Our boat has a standard cassette toilet, so don’t worry, we are not becoming complete cavemen.


3. WHY!?!?!?!?

This is the toughest one really, and honestly you can’t blame people for asking! I can see why it seems a strange concept. So in short: We had what we thought was a good sum of money for a house deposit, turns out it was, if we wanted to live in the middle of a town in a tiny flat with a brothel next door (I’m sure they were lovely people), but seriously we just weren’t getting very much for that hard earned money. The boat offers us a great living space, in the middle of the countryside, something we could never of afforded. Secondly we save a small amount on living expenses and we own our own asset, win, win. Finally, well the lifestyle that goes along with boating is incredible, the people that surround it are great, and we can move our home, how amazing is that, we are not at an age where we know this is where we want to be forever. Win win!

    This                                                        Vs This

These are the main questions we tend to get asked, it’s not annoying, we can understand why people wonder, but should you be looking to buy a floating home, it’s worth remembering you will 100% be asked the above by 90% of the people you tell. Some other common questions:

  • How big is it? – 57ft, and yes 6ft3 wide, narrow hey?
  • Do you need a boat driving license? – No, but you need to understand two million boat driving rules, which we are yet to find out about really. But you do need expensive boat tax (CRT License).
  • Amazing so you can be hammered and be sailing around! – No same rules as the road apply (only sssshhh less police).
  • Are you having a boat warming? – Yes, and you can all come, but only two at a time, we’re not made of space.
  • What are you going to do with all your clothes and general tat? – I’m not ready to talk about that yet!

Honestly I mean this post with the lightest of hearts, we love being questioned about Fantine, we love talking about Fantine, have we mentioned we brought a boat called Fantine, she’s so pretty. Ahhhh. But if you are looking to buy a boat, be ready, and perhaps have little Q&A cards you can hand out to everyone you intend to tell.

James & Kirsty

4 thoughts on “What? You’re going to live on a Narrow Boat – The 3 questions everyone asks

  1. Dear James and Kirsty
    I am the other half of Pete and Maggs who owned Fantine. The questions about being cold. I can assure you that when you have the wood burner on, the boat is so cosy and warm. Some of the time we would have to open the windows and doors it got so hot. I am so pleased that she is with someone who loves her as much as we did. Happy Boating. Maggs xxx


    1. Hello Maggs, Lovely to hear from you, and thank you for the pictures and video you sent over, it’s great to see, such a shame the owner before us painted over so much of the beautiful wood work! Glad to hear she will be nice and toasty. We are over the moon to own her and are itching to get out on adventures with her. Kirsty xxx


  2. Hi Pete P again. Maggs is right with the wood burner replaced and back boiler she will be very toasty. I was going to replace the wood burner as it was very tired the owner before us was live aboard so it was well used. As you may have seen from the video she was very homely with a nice red carpet and curtains not blinds. Why they painted the wood is beyond me? There is so much I wish to share with you about her. I did loads to make her better as we wanted to live aboard but circumstances change. As I have said if you have any questions on anything I will gladly answer them. Take care. Pete


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