Hiring a Narrow Boat

It’s incredible to think it’s only a year since we went on our first narrow boating adventure Narrowboat Hire – Our first experience on the water. From one towpath it feels like a life time ago, we’ve settled into our little way of life and it’s difficult to remember anything else, from the other it is scary to think we’re a whole year older, and that little day trip feels like a only yesterday.

Our idea behind the trip was to settle a few things in our mind, by this point we had already gotten fairly deep into our search and had fallen in love with Fantine so time was of importance. Whilst a week of boating would of been much better from a trying the lifestyle point of view, it was a time luxury we simply could not afford.

So what were we looking to prove, or disprove? Three things really.

  1. James had spent very little time on boats, and the first few we had looked round had given in a bit of sea sickness.
  2. That it was something we could do and enjoy even on the worst of days.
  3. That the dogs were comfortable and didn’t try to jump overboard in seconds.

Looking back now I do find it mildly amusing that initially we were worried about James’ sea sickness, he settled in fine on this trip and that was a precursor of what was to come, who would of guessed I’d be the one to struggle with this so much!

I feel like January is a test even for the hardy among us, it can throw us the worst of British weather to enjoy. We picked a truly awful day, howling wind, driving rain and below five degree temperatures, honestly then we were thrilled with this, the idea being if we can cope in the worst of weathers we can certainly enjoy the best weather.

Finally our little fur babies, settled really well into the boat and enjoyed their time aboard. We really think that they are so much happier since we took to life aboard, we’re not entirely sure why, whether it’s the countryside surrounding them, the beautiful walks, or just that they are getting older and more chilled I don’t know.

For anyone considering bringing a boat into their life, for leisure or living purposes I would wholly recommend hiring in the first instance, and if you can hire on a less than perfect day, all the better! It gives you a small and rose tinted insight into boat life. Not to delude anyone it’ll never be an accurate representation of life aboard.

Is it how day to day life is? Well no not entirely, a short term hire will never replicate the feeling of rationing out your last few pieces of coal until you know you can get more, or the fun of Friday Night water roulette. For us it ironed out any initial concerns and made us feel we could take the next step and progress the Living Narrow dream, even if now it terrifyingly means we are another year older.

James and Kirsty

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