The most commonly asked question to those who live aboard a canal boat is, “Is it cold in winter?”
Gone are the days of needing to be on dry land to use the phone or the internet; though if you’re using a mobile phone, you might find that reception is rubbish inside the floating steel box that is a narrowboat -they make an excellent Faraday cage, so you’ll be safe in a thunderstorm, but they don’t distinguish well between lightning and a mobile signal.
We talk a lot about boat interiors, after all, space is a premium, and there are some brilliant designs and wonderful innovations on your average narrowboat, that make the most of every nook and cranny; but what about the outside?
Boatshed’s unique Preferred Partners Scheme connects boat buyers with marine suppliers and service providers, internationally, nationally across the UK and locally. When buying a used boat from Boatshed, many of our buyers require equipment, accessories, sails, insurance, transportation, berthing facilities, upgrades and other essential products and services associated with boat ownership, maintenance, cruising and racing. Often, these are required immediately upon purchase of the boat, or soon thereafter, and are regarded by our customers as part and parcel of buying and equipping their ‘new’ boat.
Boatshed is a yacht brokerage that was originally set up in1999, by Neil and Mandy Chapman and has now grown into one of the largest international yacht brokerages in the world, specialising in buying and selling second-hand sail and motor boats. Today, Boatshed has a team of about 120 specialist brokers and sales agents, operating from more than 60 locations in 18 countries, supported by a UK team of 10 professionals.
If you get a bunch of boaters sat around in a pub it’s never long before they begin to discuss toilets: Pump out or Elsan, which is better? How long does your tank last? How can you get the best from your cassette and make it last longer?! Is it acceptable to use the sink, in an emergency? If so, do you use a plastic step to stand on so that you can reach the sink? Have you tried using a jug? Yes, these are all real life discussions overheard among boaters!
Boatshed is one of the largest international yacht brokerages in the world, specialising in the sale and purchase of second-hand sail and motor boats. The original business, set up in Milford Haven Marina some 15 years ago, by seasoned sailors Neil and Mandy Chapman, after years of adventures offshore, has grown into a major international business and is a cornerstone of the yacht brokerage industry in the UK and overseas.
We are always told that Boatshed's website and online platform for the sale of boats is 'the best in the industry', but our technical engineers are always trying to improve it. We have added new features to our website and boat search system to make these even easier and quicker for boat buyers and boat sellers to use.
It’s time to come clean about narrowboat bathrooms, so what do you want to know?! I asked the canal boaters of Facebook, what they wished they had known before buying their first boat and what tips and advice they had to offer. Before I had children a shower was all I needed on board my narrowboat, but when we became a family I had to improvise a bath, and I bathed my kids in a plastic "trug"!
Canal boat kitchens can range from basic to luxurious, and can include a Rayburn, dishwasher and washing machine - with a decent water and electric supply! However, your available power will dictate to some extent what facilities you can have on board.
A canal boat or narrowboat galley can vary from the very basic to almost as advanced and modern as a kitchen on dry land. Your power sources, gas and diesel may all have an effect on the facilities available. Likewise a kitchen fit out can range from the quaint and traditional to the modern and functional. If you’ve ever wanted to peer into other people’s boats and check out their galleys, here are three kitchens that are cooking on gas.
A Birmingham canal bridge has been adopted as part of the “lovelocks” trend that has been appearing on bridges across Europe. The Birmingham Mail reported that couples are keen to commit their love publicly, by writing their names on a padlock and fastening it to a bridge. However, due to this popular passion causing rust and damage to paintwork, stonework and metal railings, The Daily Mash amusingly reported,
Because the canals and waterways are generally very slow flowing they freeze easily at this time of year. For anyone living aboard this means that the water in the domestic water tank may freeze, and even the pipes at the local supply tap may freeze. Bearing that in mind it’s best to keep an eye on the weather forecast at this time of year and get some essential boat chores done in advance of the big freeze.
I love this time of year, when you can look forward optimistically to the year ahead and nostalgically review the year that you leave behind. Our blog this year has included canal news, boater’s stories and more of our useful ‘How To’ guides. Here are five of our favourite highlights from the Boatshed Grand Union blog in 2014.
Boatbid.com is an online auction site for used boats. Set a reserve, enter your boat into an auction and our clever algorithms will highlight potentially interested buyers from millions of boat viewings our systems collect and then match these buyers to your boat. Sellers can be confident as sales are still handled by trained and experienced brokers, and boats are still inspected and surveyed, with all the usual contractual requirement, giving buyers peace of mind.
This is the final instalment of the incredibly true story ofall the boats that I have loved before. From my first true love, (IHad a Gut Feeling: I Wanted This Narrowboat!) to my unlikely bargain (I Bought a Narrowboat for Just ONE POUND!) my life of living on narrowboats was never dull!
Last week I told the tale of how I met my first true love, a little red narrowboat called Emily Rose, and that much as I loved her, I eventually had to sell my boat.
I’ve bought and sold four narrowboats in my life – not as a broker, I mean I have personally owned four narrowboats; although not all at the same time! When you own a boat it’s like a chapter in your life; the time that you spend together, the places you go together and the people that you bring along. So it’s as if every boat has its own story. Here’s the story of how I bought and sold my first narrowboat.
There’s nothing worse than confusing your windlass with your winding hole. The next time you’re cheesing your ropes, breasting up, blacking your bottom, opening the paddles, or shafting off, spare a thought for those non-boaters who don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. I asked my liveaboard Facebook friends if they had any favourite or peculiar words or phrases from the waterways and I was surprised to discover several that I’d never heard of! Which ones of these have you heard?
An important part of what we do at Boatshed is help our owners’ boats stand out from the crowd and attract serious interest in a busy, often crowded marketplace. The strength of our website and IT platform, and the attention and importance our brokers place upon extensively photographing and detailing every aspect of a boat for sale, is a key part of that philosophy, but we are always devising new ways to support this effort.