Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Our Narrowboat Wishlist

We have had a new distraction for the last few weeks. We have been perusing numerous boatyard websites and adverts, we have bean learning narrowboat terminology and we have been watching lots of narrowboat youtube videos. This 'research' has lead us to start to formulate an idea of what we would like to have on our own live aboard narrowboat.

Room to work
This boat is going to be our place of work as well as our home and mode of transport, and therefore we are going to need somewhere aboard where we can do this work comfortably. This could be simply in the form of a dinette, but ideally there would be room for office desks and chairs.

The ability to carry a motorbike 
Whilst traveling and India and Vietnam in 2013, Michael spent a lot of time on motorbikes and when we lived in New Zealand I got my own bike and learned to ride too.  As well as the pleasure that riding brings us, especially for Michael, we think that it would be a really useful addition to boat life. It would give us more freedom to travel away from the boat, both for fun and for any practical needs that may arise. We have seen pictures of a number of boats that have done this, either storing a bike on a tug deck, in a specially build "garage" or on some kind of extension added to the stern. There would also need to be some means of easily getting the bike on and off the boat.

An open Bow
This is more of a 'like to have' for me than Michael. I personally don't like the look of the cratch covers and think we would find very little pleasure in sitting under one. I admit they are probably useful for storage, but at the moment I have this romantic image of myself sitting in the bow, watching the world go by, as we 'put put' along. Of course if we use this area to store a motorbike we would likely need a tug style bow and I would be sharing this space with a oily bike. 

Semi traditional or cruiser stern 
We don't have particularly strong feelings about this. Michael quite fancies a pram cover but I quickly poopooed this idea believing that to truly enjoy the changing scenery we should be outside. This is also with the assumption that if we do need to do any navigating in bad weather, I would be safely tucked up inside while Michael braves the elements to get us to our destination. The traditional sterns look a little precarious for my liking, so at least with a semi-trad or cruiser stern there should be room enough to safely accommodate both of us, when the weather is dry that is.

Reverse layout
I find it quite strange that the traditional layout of a narrowboat means that you step down from the stern straight into the bedroom. I think a reverse layout would be more practical for us, it will be much easier for me to supply Michael with hot chocolate or hot soup on winter travel days if the galley is close by.

Solar panels and even a wind turbine
Not essential for the initial purchase as these are things that we can add ourselves however we both really love the idea of being able to generate our own electricity. 

Less than 58 feet
We like the idea of having the ability to 'go anywhere' on the canal network in England and Wales. While it seems you can access much of the network on longer boats we don't want to limit ourselves for the sake of a few extra feet. The other advantages of a smaller boats are the cost savings, the license fee and mooring fees are based on length not to mention the maintenance incurred by longer boats. Having relieved ourselves of most of our possessions a number of years ago, we will not need much storage space anyway. So then there is just the issue of us both having to occupy the same confined space which we think we would handle pretty well.

Speaking of confined spaces, Michael is 6'2" and so we would need a boat with a cabin that he could easily stand up in.

Engine Room
Michael also has the fantasy of having a vintage engine in its own engine room. This is not something on my wish list but if we fount the right boat it is not something I would object to at all.

The final item on our wish list is a four legged friend, something we have both been missing while traveling around so much. This is something we can add when we find the right pup, and probably shouldn't come with the boat.

So if anyone has a boat like this for sale, please let us know... cash monies paid!