What To Know About Your First Narrowboat

Many folks yearn to experience life living on a narrowboat. This type of lifestyle brings with it a new sense of freedom, lots of fresh air, and adventure.

Owning a narrowboat means being able to explore different parts of the country (or even the world) and enjoying incredible scenery and even making new friends on the way.

The Basics

Owning a narrowboat brings with it the superbly unique experience of living on a floating home.

Narrowboats are traditional British canal boats with a slim design. They typically measure around 7 feet in width and up to 72 feet in length. They were originally built and designed to make their way through the narrow canals and waterways of the United Kingdom.

Today, as floating homes, they provide a rather extraordinary way of life.

Choosing Right

When choosing a narrowboat, several factors come into play.

Things you should consider before investing in a particular boat include layout, size, and the number of berths it offers. This will determine how many guests you’ll be able to accommodate at any given time.

Based on your budget and preference, you’ll also have to decide whether to be a new or used boat.

A good idea in this regard is to visit boat shows and talk with other boat owners before making a final decision.


Also keep in mind that owning a narrowboat will entail further financial obligations beyond the purchase price of the boat. Expenses to prepare for include licences, insurance, mooring fees, and maintenance costs.

It’s important to draw up a maintenance sheet and set up a savings account to make provision for unforeseen expenses that may arise.

About Navigation

Owning and operating a narrowboat also means you’ll have to learn the basics of navigating the waterways and canals. This will include understanding the rules of canals, lock operation, and safe boating and mooring practises.

Most boat owners find training courses to be helpful in gaining confidence and learning the necessary skills and practises.

Training courses typically cover a wide range of topics – such as boat handling, general safety procedures, and different lock techniques.

The Lifestyle

One of the supreme joys of living on a narrowboat is a lifestyle that fosters a strong sense of community among fellow boaters.

Floating markets, canal-side pubs, and other shared experiences create a truly welcoming atmosphere. It’s quite common for narrow boat owners to form lifelong friendships and to regularly participate in communal events and social gatherings.

Even so, it is important to prepare for certain restrictions, including limited storage space and resources like electricity and drinking water. You will also have limited access to the internet unless you set up a proper Wi-Fi spot or similar. So, if you need to work remotely or love playing the blackjack online NZ offers, this should be a priority.

Life On The Water

Another great joy of life on a narrowboat is getting to explore entire networks of waterways and canals.

Boaters will tell you that each waterway offers its own unique charm, from beautiful rural scenery to bustling cityscapes. By planning your journeys by mapping out interesting routes, you’ll be sure to come prepared and even discover some hidden gems along the way.

Don’t be afraid to set sail and enjoy an enriching narrowboat lifestyle.

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