Static or Cruising, what type of boat?
Where do you want to BE??
It may be your job determines the area you need to live in, or a need to be near family or friends. If so you know what area you should live in and even if you choose a Residential Cruiser, you will need a secure mooring within travelling distance of that area
But if you are retired, or can work from anywhere (maybe you work over the internet, or as an artist in studio, or you are regularly travelling all over the country to clients. ) Then you can consider a life of freedom, using the many moorings provided free on the waterways.
You can choose to be a Continuous Cruiser all year round as I have
Sometimes for a particular contract, or family reasons, choosing a suitable Marina to stay in for a few months.
I love the freedom of the river. It is kind and friendly if you treat it with proper respect, no tides to worry about, being inland there are very few harsh gales.
It feels so civilised to be able to cruise gently up to a nice Restaurant mooring, tie up and saunter in for a drink or a meal.You may well, like me, love to see grass and trees, they are always in view on the River.
Go through any town in Europe by train, you will see the worst views, go any where by boat and you will see the best views, partly because for hundreds of years, many people with the means have bought riverside land for its beauty and often made the effort to enhance that beauty with landscaping and architecture ).
Only Buy a Static houseboat if you have a Long-lease mooring or a freehold mooring....
Electrical systems must be carefully installed for safety reasons. I admit that I started wiring our first floating home using the Readers'Digest DIY guide and never looked back. You may prefer to employ a qualified electrician! It is important to minimise the risks from shortcircuits and overheating cables. Also, I don't use the old-fashioned unsealed batteries, because they produce hydrogen when charging (I still always make sure that batteries are stowed in a ventilated area,that batteries and cables can't move around, that fuses and circuitbreakers are correctly installed and rated for the circuits they protect. I like to look over the wiring a couple of times a year to see what is worn out and needs replacing.I also have cut-off switches for main circuits, clearly marked and easily accessible. ( extract from The Houseboat Book by D Greenaway. If you want to read the full text click here. )
If you are new to living afloat, And have any dependents, I strongly recommend you to buy your new home already on an established residential mooring. This means the mooring has planning permission for residential use and you have official residents status at that address, essential for bank accounts, driving licence, benefits etc.
If you are continuously cruising or on a mooring that doesn't have residential planning permission, there may be many others living on the same mooring and it is worth asking their advice as to the local situation and how things happen in that area. If you have family responsibilities, a mooring with residential planning permission has to be favourite.
(ESSENTIAL for a STATIC houseboat is a long leasehold OR Freehold Mooring.
Many lives have been shattered when their static (= unpowered) houseboat has been told their rented mooring is no longer available.
These moorings are disappearing fast due to development and you have no protection as you would in a house or caravan.
It then cost many of them thousands of pounds to have the boat towed away and broken up for scrap. Study the mooring agreemant and imagine the worst case scenario - THAT is the risk you are taking. The true valuation of a Static houseboat WITHOUT a long leasehold OR Freehold Mooring is the scrap value of the weight of metal, less the cost of towing away and breaking up plus what you can get on ebay for any re-saleable contents. ) NEVER buy any houseboat without an "Out of the Water Survey" If that costs too much (get a quote first) Then it will cost too much every 4 years for maintenance and insurance survey.
There are some things that need to be done in any home. But it is worth considering them here.
The basic example is, having a spare.
If you use something regularly, like hand-soap in the bathroom or jam, then keep a spare in a handy place.
When the jam runs out, replace it with the spare and write jam on the shopping list under the magnet on the fridge door.
This applies to fan belts in cars as well as boats, certainly Gas bottles if you use gas on board.
If you have a fuel tank in your car or boat, carry a small can of fuel just in case. On a Static houseboat the spares will be identical to those in a home. But one ESSENTIAL for a static houseboat is a long leasehold OR Freehold Mooring
A residential cruiser has two extra areas of consideration. All the spares needed for the engine, generator and cruising equipment. Depending on the length of cruise, more household spares maybe needed if planning to be out in the country away from boat- yards, roads and shops.
YOU'VE never lived on a Houseboat before? Order the Houseboat Book, read the book first, then
CALL for a FREE INTERVIEW
~Everything you ever wanted to know about Houseboat living but didn't dare to ask!
~ That's right, YOU make an appointment and get a free interview discussing all the ins and outs of houseboat living.
secure residential moorings,
how to buy a boat.
What about finance?
How long does it take?
Will the boat sink?
or let the rain in? etc etc
Act now if you are thinking of selling your house etc and moving on to a houseboat for the first time.
Talk to the expert, he claims to be a State-Registered Boat-Maniac (Tongue in cheek),
to have lived on houseboats for over 35 years - made most of the mistakes and to be keen to help others avoid them.
We ask that you prepare by purchasing and reading "The Houseboat Book " first, then you can book your free , no-obligation, interview ~ You can call The Houseboat Centre on 020 3287 2977 to make the appointment, or have a chat about the boats you like.
If you already have your houseboat, or can't manage the interview, you can still get THE HOUSEBOAT BOOK here.
It is still in early stages, but the idea is that if you use readily available basic cheap diy materials and avoid fancy-priced sea-going marine fittings It is possible to build a simple solar powered floating home with electric drive and basic home utilities, suitable for use on inland lakes and canals.
The design is modular, so that a small home can be dis-assembled and transported in a standard Ford transit van. You will probably find it by searching for ayb houseboat.
It employs some modern materials and techniques unseen elsewhere on boats.
There is currently a DIY manual and various Kits and components to supplement your local supplier.
Top of the range built and delivered is under £15000 while a complete kit is less than £5000.