Living Aboard a Narrow Boat – Our one year anniversary

So now we have been with boat for an entire year, whilst the time has flown it’s also quite difficult to remember the time pre-Fantine, isn’t it strange the way that happens! Looking back at the post where we first announced that we were narrow home owners it’s hard to believe she is even our boat, I barely even recognise it. Whilst the changes we made were minimal and mainly cosmetic she feels entirely different now, I guess that’s all the bits and pieces which make a place feel like home.

So in a changing rooms style this is how she looked:



And this is how she looks now:



It’s mad to believe that we’ve been with her for a whole year, whilst this was originally a ‘Let’s give it a go’ idea it’s now transformed into life, and we couldn’t imagine it any other way.

We’ve had to learn a lot, from the rules and regulations, to the terrifying driving and even down to the idiosyncratic chores and noises. We’re now at a point where rather than seeing Fantine as a short term solution, we see her as home, and are planning developments with hopes for both a new kitchen, and floor in the next twelve months.

Has it changed us? I honestly struggle to see how it couldn’t, yes while our day to day going to work life is the same, our habits on the whole have altered. Whether that’s the extra long dog walk of an evening because you have so much beautiful space to explore, not the block after block of houses of before. The sitting out on the front of the boat with a beer, while the latest batch of ducklings cackle around, before going out into the garden on the nice day would entail three hours of battling the mower followed by 4 hours weeding, just in time for the sun to go in. Or for me the inability to hoard rubbish, over the last year the amount of pointless stuff I buy has continued to dwindle, which has resulted in Mr Lloyds Bank being much happier with me!

I like to be careful that I don’t go too over the top in these blogs, I worry about presenting a version of life that is too rose tinted. Boat life has it’s difficulties, you have to be prepared to sell your soul to be able to keep buying coal to keep warm, and to risk frost bitten feet if you want to run for a wee in the night. You get great annoying games like water and gas roulette, and days where the power has gone out, and you realise that unlike with a house, some overall wearing superhero will not be out to fix this, or if they do you’ll be trying to find someones soul to sell to pay for it, nope in the first instance it’s down to you.

Where as before I spent so much time trawling through rightmove, trying to find glimmers of the things we liked in row after row of houses, I now spend my time looking at the boat sales pages. Looking for inspiration on layouts, interiors and design options.

Whilst it’s crazy that it’s been a year already, time has also flown, and we are so settled into this glorious life, I can’t imagine it any other way!

James & Kirsty





4 thoughts on “Living Aboard a Narrow Boat – Our one year anniversary

  1. I love reading posts like this. Me and my partner are a year into our 5 year saving plan for our narrowboat. And I can’t wait to get there. This post makes me even more excited 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa, Thank you so much! It’s lovely to hear. And great to know you are saving towards your own Living Narrow dream! It’s quite honestly the best thing we ever did, and we now can’t imagine life any other way. If you have any questions ever feel free to get in touch! We are the king and queen of the daft question so have learnt a lot over the last 12 months! 🙂 Best of luck with the saving, keep going it will 100% be worth it 🙂


  2. Thank you for sharing your story… We are planning to ‘float’ next year and I’m in the ‘looking at boat sales’ and magazines and ideas and well… everything. Heading to Crick this year (a first) and hoping to have a plan soon after that. It is so inspiring to read your story, just goes to show I’m not barking mad!! my biggest fear is the locks – but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it , I keep practicing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mel, thank you for taking the time to read my witterings! That’s exactly how we began as well, if you are close I would really recommend a trip to see the guys at Whilton Marina, they are super friendly and let you take the keys to view as many boats as you like, this really helped us in deciding what we did and didn’t want, as we found pictures can be very deceiving! We’re hoping to pop along to Crick this year as well, we didn’t go last year and feel we missed out! I still hate the locks but you do get more comfortable with them. If you ever have any questions please just pop us a message we’d be happy to help if we can, and if you read back in our blog there is a lot on here about the buying process 🙂 Best of luck and we hope to see you on the waters in the not to distant future, Kirsty


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