Are Narrow Boats Cold? – Yes We Really Are Going To Talk About This Again!

Next up in the series of questions we still/now get asked 18 months into Living Narrow seems to be everyone’s favourite and the most commonly asked in our experience.

Is it cold?

Honestly the thing I can most akin life aboard to is living in a green house. We’ve just been through one of the hottest summers on record, double scorchio! The Narrowboat really suffers in these conditions, as the steel box we decided to call home heats to astronomical proportions. We leave everything possible open, whenever possible, to try to encourage any airflow that we can through the boat. It gets seriously warm in there. Speaking to a fellow boater they have invested in freestanding air conditioning unit, which we may look into for when the boat is near any mains power next year.

The winter unfortunately gives you the flip side of this, it’s cold. The floor is even colder than normal our little steel box cools down pretty quickly, the one bonus, this tiny space home doesn’t take much time at all to warm up once they fire is going. We hate our fire, with a passion, take a look back at my weekly blogs from last winter, and everyone will reference my deep set hatred of our stove. It has a mind of its own, and it’s minds standard setting is to be as unhelpful as possible.

So yes it can be cold, we found a lot in the winter no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t successfully get our fire to bed in overnight. The solution to this, I have a lovely little oil filled heater, it’s great, particularly for our small space, we simply pop that on a timer plug to take the edge off in the morning, or the evening, before we can beat the Hobbit kicking and screaming into heat generating life.

I’m not going to sit here and lie, saying no it’s never cold, of course it can be, as a house would be if you never popped the heating on, and no you definitely could not happily live on there for the entire winter without lighting the fire.

It can be cold, light a fire, put a on a jumper and grab your snuggly buddy.

James & Kirsty

A diary of live aboard life

8 thoughts on “Are Narrow Boats Cold? – Yes We Really Are Going To Talk About This Again!

  1. Sending you warm and cosy thoughts. I don’t know why people always ask this question about being on a boat. I’ve also seen many boaters try to answer the “how much did your boat cost?” question, which I think is nobody’s business really!


      1. Ah yes but you’re on a boat and the natural assumption is that you live a simple relaxed life on the cut. A house dweller like me is very envious… until it gets to winter of course haha!
        So maybe the first question would be “what do you do all day?!”


      2. Haha it’s true they are really peaceful, at least until the Canadian Geese invade your territory!

        We both work most days, James in Motorsport and me in Marketing. But when we’re not working you’d be surprised how the day disappears with Boat Chores, whether it’s getting the water tank filled or just cleaning or tidying!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m sure some people don’t realise that it’s possible to work from a boat these days. It can’t have been easy before mobile internet!

        Boat chores are very important! I imagine the days do go quite quickly …


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