What Are The Real Cons Of Living On A Narrow Boat?

Its now to pretend I didn’t mess up at in the releasing of any blogs and move onto the second question I wanted to cover as a part of questions we still get asked/now get asked. Following on from Fridays post on space issues, today’s question is:

So, come on you’ve been on there a while now, be honest, what’s not so good with living on a boat?

We get asked this a fair amount, probably thanks to my Instagram being filled with all the lovely side of boating: the scenery, baby swans, beers by the water, baby swans, pretty sunrises and sunsets, baby swans and of course baby swans. So, I suppose it’s only right that every now and then you’re asked to expose all on the not so good side.

Although I would argue how often have you asked someone what’s not great about living in a house, but who am I to judge! So here we go, as I see it 18 months in this is what’s not so great about a boat:


The floor

I’ve talked about this a lot, and I don’t just mean that I want to change the style of it, I mean that it’s blooming cold. We’ve had a summer that’s smashed records, tell that to our floor, it could be 45 degrees C outside, but thanks to the floor sitting below water level it’s always cold. Great thing is we have these wonderful things called slippers, they’re available in abundance in the UK, for an extra boaty look I would recommend the ones shaped like swans. (Note I would not recommend wearing these around the Marina unless you want strange looks, I imagine these are looks of pure jealousy).


What goes bump in the night?

A lot when it comes to boats it would seem. Whether it’s the water lapping against the Hull in a storm so strongly you think you might be taking in water, or the randy carp bashing into your boat in mating season. There are a lot of noises, I think this is magnified as it’s so peacefully quiet all around you. But if you’re of a nervous disposition, as I am, prepare for the ocasional nervous blood run cold wake up of are we about to sink. (This fear is deep in me, one night I woke and could be sure I could here dripping, James was working away, and I started to panic, it took me a good 90 minutes to realise it was the dog’s heartbeat, so yeah boats are pretty quiet!).


Space is a premium?

Believe it or not you’re tight on space. I know I know this contradicts entirely my last post, but that still stands, we do have space which we don’t use, but from a more general perspective space it tight. You need a distinction from cirque du soleil to both be in the kitchen cooking at the same time, for example. But really it means you need to really like one another, and get used to operating within a restricted space, either that or rely on the fact you both work away a lot. (I’ll let you guys decide which of those works for us).


Canadian Geese

I mean why? Do I really need to say more? Should a gang of Canadian geese venture into the marina you will soon feel like your boat has drifted, from tranquil Northamptonshire, to the downtown streets of Mexico, slap bang on the border of where two cartels meet. It’s loud, it’s violent, and the funny thing about critters, they don’t seem to understand 0530am on a Sunday is not the best time for takeover.


Guard Swans

Do not get me wrong I love my swans to death, they are one of my favourite things about boat life, hearing them tap at the side hatch is just the greatest sound. Want to know when they’re not quite so great? We’ve been in the Marina a bit over the summer, when returning from work, or being away for a few days we’re greeted by an angry guard swan, stood right on our pontoon angry that you’ve been away. The only real option? Retreat to the pub.

Now this post as you may have guessed it has been 90% tongue in cheek, granted they are the real drawbacks of life aboard, they’re hardly a big deal though are they. One thing I started to write but realised deserved a topic of its own is the worry of boat life. I’m working on this post now and should be releasing it in a couple of days, so stay posted for me being extra pensive!

James and Kirsty

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