Before buying a Narrow Boat, make sure to look for the size, stern types, assess the total cost, and take a broker’s help to get a good deal or rent one.
Owning a Narrow Boat & living in it can be amazing. Buying a boat, however, requires planning and time but it is not that difficult.
Narrow Boats are mostly common in the towpaths and have several perks. The outdoor experience offers scope for adventures and exploration. You can use the canals to explore places you normally would not have access to and of course, you do not have to worry about traffic. The experience is tempting but there is always a flip side to everything. You will not be able to enjoy your Narrow Boat journey if you are claustrophobic.
To help you out we are going to discuss some important facts you need to consider before buying a Narrow Boat
1. Determine Your Purpose & Budget
It’s important to understand how often you want to use the Narrow Boat. Depending on your use, the price will vary as there are various types of boats available.
If you plan to spend only a couple of days of vacation yearly, you won’t need a well-built, sturdy, expensive Narrow Boat. Also, the number of people in your family can help you determine the size of the boat you need.
You need to make a budget for purchasing one. The quality of finishing and the need for repairs will influence the price of the boat.
On average, you may have to spend somewhere between £15,000 to £100,000+ to own a Narrow Boat.
2. Rent One Before Buying
Moving in a Narrow Boat is not so easy. You need to go through a transition period. Deciding to permanently live requires commitment. You will be on your own with little connection to the mainland.
You need to think ahead even further as gas, fuel, electricity, and food will be limited. You will have to take care of your boat & the new territories as well. So, it will be better if you take a few test drives first.
Find out how you fare against these adjustments before searching online for narrow boats for sale. These test drives need to be one/two months longer to find out how life on water will be.
3. Size Of The Boat
Narrow Boats are typically 70 feet long. The width of the beam is usually 6 to 7 feet.
The main reason for this shallow beam is that the inland locks & canals are not so wide & one has to struggle to navigate through those if the beams are not shallow enough
The size will vary depending on the number of people will who stay on the boat. Also, keep in mind the congested interior of a Narrow Boat. If you are claustrophobic, you may have to struggle.
But there are Narrow Boats with broad sterns to allow you more space and feel comfortable. Cruising through the canal will certainly be different than your average river cruise but it is worth the try.
4. Stern Types & Sizes
You will see mainly three types of Narrow Boats based on stern types. These are:
The Cruiser Stern
The cruiser stern’s specialty is the expansive deck. That’s why holiday parties choose these types of boats.
It has a very minimum interior space because of the large aft deck, the engine compartment remains vulnerable to rainwater.
The Traditional Stern
The traditional stern’s specialty is the attractive design with a well-sheltered engine & plenty of internal space. It is one of the most popular Narrow Boats.
The Semi-traditional Stern
The semi-traditional is the combination of the other two. It has the looks of a traditional Narrow Boat but has the deck facility of the cruiser type.
5. Thorough Inspection of the Boat
Before buying anything, a thorough inspection is a must. It saves you from unforeseen future trouble & helps you to get the best one. To inspect a Narrow Boat, you can take a marine surveyor’s help.
If you are going to self-check, make sure you know the boating terminology well. Then move to the engine, examine the gearbox. Look for any leaks in the stern. Check the interior odor & dampness to find the Narrow Boat’s real condition.
You will not be speeding your way through the Atlantic but that does not mean your boat should not be sturdy and in peak condition.
6. Learn About Annual Maintenance Cost
You will have to bear year-long expenses. The most common charges include repairing at the marinas and changing hulls every two years.
Change the halls & get blacker ones that cost around £130. Again you should also change the anodes & hull when needed. A good paint will ensure extended longevity of your Narrow Boat.
7. Miscellaneous Costs
These annual costs are not the only expenses you need to think about. Instead, other expenses like fuel costs, gas bills, licenses, mooring, etc. are worth noting.
The cost of the license will be around fifteen hundred pounds, depending on the size of the boat. Mooring charges are for security purposes. They may charge you up to twelve hundred pounds, depending on the security level.
8. Insurance Of The Boat
The marinas insist on boat insurance but many people skip this. However, keeping insurance is vital for important & expensive purchases.
Insurance for the boat is kind of similar to your car or vehicle insurance. The cost varies depending on the usage and size of the boats. On average it can cost you anywhere between £230-£480 yearly.
9. Brand New or Second Hand
When choosing between brand-new ones & used ones, we always tend to go for the new one. As boats have a low depreciation rate, going for a second hand is worth a shot only if it is in very good condition.
However, we strongly recommend you to buy a brand new one. That way, you will save maintenance & repair costs.
10. Take Brokerage Company’s Help
While making the ultimate decision of buying, taking a broker’s help is always advisable. You will find lots of boats in one place and it’ll be easier to make a choice.
Moreover, the broker will do all the talking & seal the deal on your behalf. So you don’t have to stress yourself.
Once you have carefully followed the above considerations you will be able to ease up the entire buying process. Whenever you decide to buy, take your time and do a proper background check of the boat and your financial state.