I was recently contacted by a friend of a friend, who is planning to live aboard next year. He asked me if I had any advice that I could share, as although I now live on dry land, I lived on narrowboats for 13 years. Lots of ideas sprung into my head and as I kept sending him links and resources I realised that it would be useful to share these on the blog

1) Living on a Boat

My first suggestion was our free eBook Living on a Boat. It’s free if you pay with a Tweet or a Facebook post and covers everything from finance and insurance, to finding a mooring and living aboard with pets or children. Get the eBook here Living on a Boat: The Boatshed Guide.

2) Narrowboat Families

I also have a free eBook about families living on board. This describes the pros and cons of bringing up children on a boat and includes several interviews with families who have lived aboard with different ages of children. It also includes my personal story of how I started out living alone on a 45ft cruiser narrowboat, but with my husband I eventually shared a 70ft trad with our two young daughters. Narrowboat Families.

3) Twitter

He then mentioned that he thought he had seen me on Twitter. There is a real boating community on Twitter and therefore a great opportunity to ‘meet’ and chat directly with people already living aboard. Follow the hash tag #boatsthattweet and check out some lists of narrowboaters and you’ll get the gist of the realities of life afloat by following some of the tweets in your time line. You could start by following our official account at BoatshedGU, my personal account Boat_Wife, (views are my own not those of Boatshed – as they say!) and the Canal and River Trust, to get you started.

4) Facebook

There are plenty of boaters groups on Facebook where people chat along various different themes, and most folk are friendly and helpful to those new to canal boating. I find this group to be good fun: Canal Dwellers R Us, and if you’re on or near the Grand Union you’ll want to try Grand Union Boaters.

Make sure you ‘like’ our page too, and select ‘get notifications’ to keep up with our blog articles, boats for sale and canal and waterways news. Boatshed Grand Union on Facebook.

5) London Boaters

This is a community website for all boaters with a connection to the London canals. They say, “Keeping ourselves safe and our homes secure is an issue for boaters, as for people in all walks of life. However, there are certain things that boaters can do as a community to minimise the risk of crime and support each other when a crime does take place.” London Boaters.org

6) Canal World

This forum is a great place for asking questions, or you can simply read the previous threads on any topic you’re curious about! Canal World.net

7) Association of Continuous Cruisers

If you’re thinking of continuously cruising instead of living in one location on a mooring then this website is a really useful resource. A relatively new organisation it was founded in 2013 to represent boaters who continuously cruise, and for those with a mooring but who cruise for the majority of the year. ACC website.

8) Boatshed Grand Union

Naturally I also mentioned our brokerage to him! If you’re considering living on a boat our website is a great resource for researching what boats are within your budget, and what different styles and layouts are available. You can also contact us directly if you have any particular queries about a boat you are considering as a liveaboard.

Image credit: www.narrowboatwife.com


UPDATE: Someone on Facebook has just pointed out to me that I forgot to mention Dan Brown on YouTube. His videos cover all aspects of narrowboat life, and his unlimited enthusiasm for the lifestyle will have you wanting to get afloat asap!

You may also like:
Living on a Boat: The Boatshed Guide (free) / How to Sell a Boat: The Ultimate Guide (free eBook) / How to Buy a Boat: The Ultimate Guide / The best blog articles of 2013/ Don’t miss: The Boatshed Grand Union Daily/ A slideshow of our boat of the moment./More articles.

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