Now you may think that buying a Narrowboat is a simple as popping down the local Marina and picking one you like. And occasionally it may be that easy, but if you are going to make this boat your home you need to apply the same dedication to looking as you would a new house.
In fact the process is similar.
First of all you need to think about your budget. We were lucky in the fact that we had a sizeable chunk of equity in our house so knew how much we could spend once the house was sold, but you do need to think about affordability. Especially if you are getting a loan to make your purchase. (There are still bills to pay and maintenance to do so you have to be able to afford these as well as the actual purchase.)
I would recommend that the next step to take is to actually have a look at a couple of boats at your nearest marina. This will help to give you and idea of what you need. This is particularly important if you have never been on a canal boat before. We had a look at a Widebeam and a Narrowboat. Both of these seemed very cramped but this was down to the internal configuration not being great, but from the start we knew that we would never be able to live amicably on a Narrowboat. So the decision was made that we needed a Widebeam.
Next we had to think about what we needed this boat to provide. Hamish needed an office and I needed a decent Kitchen and living area. As there are only 2 of us one bedroom was adequate. And we needed a decent amount of storage as we were downsizing from a large house and had lots of things we didn’t want to get rid of.
Once you have these criteria defined it’s time to go on your boat hunt. This isn’t going to be a quick and easy process. The regulations for selling a boat are similar to selling a car. i.e. anyone can do it. you can buy from a private seller, or through a broker. We recommend going through a broker, simply because there is less fraud and there is more protection for you and your hard earned cash. Also you are less likely to be sold a lemon. We found most candidate boats on www.apolloduck.com and www.boatfinderbrokerage.co.uk.