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We're buying a Narrowboat!

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by forest_girl, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. forest_girl

    forest_girl Forager

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    Ive been really inactive over the last few months so sorry about that, things have been busy and internet scarce!!

    In short, I met a woodsy girl who is studying a PhD in permaculture design, we fell in love and, with both of us always wanting to do some kind of off grid living, be it eco home (she's helped build a few) or log cabin or converted van, we decided to restore a narrowboat together!!

    I know it's not exactly traditional homesteading, but a narrowboat means we can live in a traditional and off grid context, with a wood stove cooker, power from solar panels and the ability to be somewhat nomadic!

    It also means we can homestead while sometimes living in city centres, which is important as being involved in conunity gardens, permaculture community classrooms, and generally sharing bushcrafty/sustainability knowledge within communities, to us, is more important than practicing the same things independently and privately. A boat means we can do this wile still living a homestead woodsy lifestyle!!

    Anyway this has been a bit rambly and probably uninteresting, but I thought I should get involved on the forum again and give a bit of a bushcrafty life update!

    I will definitely make future posts about the process of building the boat interior once we have a hull, we're doing it in a forrester cabin style with lots of wobbly shelves, axe hangers (our joint sharps collection is substantial) and wood in the round. I'm very excited!

    Anyway, I'll see you all around on the forum,
    Phoebe
     
    Dogoak likes this.
  2. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    That sounds lovely. My mum and dad had a narrowboat for many years (Downton Castle), so I'm very familiar with the pace of life aboard. To design one to your specs must be dead exciting, you must post up some pictures as you go.

    I see you're fairly well up north, but if you ever make your way down to the South Oxford, you'll find it a great pleasure to cruise on.
     
  3. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    Good for you, and congratulations. I have often thought about buying a narrow boat, but mortgage and mooring fees put it out of my range.
    Please keep us updated on your progress on the boat.
     
  4. bigboned

    bigboned Tenderfoot

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    Subscribed! Very interested in the development of this thread, congratulations finding a kindred spirit, I wish you both well
     
  5. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Uninteresting? Hardly! I too want pix as you progress.
     
  6. Dreadhead

    Dreadhead Maker Plus

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    Good for you, i used to live on a narrow boat for a couple of years. It was both home and workshop, loved every minute of it. Though I do rather like having plenty of working space these days :)
    A few challenges I found was tools rolling off my table when I moved, not having enough space to store firewood (big problem when its your only source of heat), and getting heat from one end to the other (get one of those who stove fans they are a godsend).
    Great way to live and a really interesting community you become part of :)

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
     
  7. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    The heat powered fans are brilliant. I've had an eBay generic cheapo for years and use it to wash the heat out from around my burner as it's recessed into the old hearth and I reckon I lose heat if it's not moved around.
     
  8. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Sounds idyllic; not many people can take their 'homestead' into the city and maintain the lifestyle! Living on the water has been a very traditional form of living in the wilds in many parts of the world and for a very long time; it would be nice to hear how you get on.
    Good luck and I hope it all goes well.
    Cheers,
    Broch
     
  9. forest_girl

    forest_girl Forager

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    Thanks everyone you're all so sweet!! My girlfriends actually renting a berth on a boat in Edinburgh now so I am spending a fair bit of time on water anyway - the stove has a fan and it's brilliant, but the stove is at one end of the boat and the bed at the other!! When we do ours the stove/cooker will be in the middle and the bed will be nearby!!
    The residential moorings in Scotland come with storage sheds so firewood storage isn't a problem at least while we are in Scotland.
    Things will be slow with it for the next few months but I will definitely keep people posted on progress :) I'm even considering doing a Wordpress blog about boat living and other exploits (art, home brewing, home baking and conservation voulenteer projects) so will let people know if/when I start that up!
     
  10. snappingturtle

    snappingturtle Forager

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    My brother an old flame and a mate bill, all lived at some point on narrow boats, bill was doing it for 20 years plus, its rustic and a bit gritty at times but for sure a more free living than most, I kind of like the Dutch barges.
     
  11. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Congratulations! You have a home.
    Is it complicated to pull up the anchor and move for a different scene?
     
  12. mousey

    mousey Native

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    A friend of mine lived on a narrow boat while at university in london, there was no way they could afford rent and a berth was considerably cheaper. They bought an ex-rental / holiday barge and I helped them move it down. Good fun travelling down, would leave one person onboard go into a pub get a few pints catch up with the barge, drink the pints then hand the empties and re-stock at the next pub down the canal :)

    I've often thought canals are a good long distance walk option as they are generally very flat:)
     
  13. Gaudette

    Gaudette Full Member

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    I’ll be really interested in this. We looked long and hard but in the end it wouldn’t have been practical for us. We spent two weeks living on the one we were looking to buy but realised it wouldn’t work for us. Good luck and I’ll be looking forward to updates and pics.
     
  14. forest_girl

    forest_girl Forager

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    Long term residential moorings (that include sheds electric hookup and facilities) are contract based so a little more complicated to just leave behind but not too bad, and you can still do trips away from those mornings really easy. Some people don't have a mooring at all, you can stay up to two weeks anywhere on the canal for free so sone people pernenahtky travel!

    Being able to live on a boat for a while (in winter) without owning it has definitely helped in dispelling romantic fantasies but made us realise it's still the way we want to live.
     
    Robson Valley likes this.
  15. mousey

    mousey Native

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    permanently or pernickety ??? :)
     
  16. Dogoak

    Dogoak Native

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    Looking forward to reading more about your adventure, keep us up to speed please.
     
  17. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Very interesting, please keep us updated!
     
  18. dodgerdog

    dodgerdog Member

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    Lots of interest here! Its been said before but lots of pictures please!
     
  19. JohnC

    JohnC Full Member

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    I often run along the canal in Edinburgh and see the boat moorings, usually in very nice locations..
     
  20. uncleboob

    uncleboob Full Member

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    You will never look back. We live on our boat in Warwickshire immersed in the quiet, beauty, wildlife and nature. I wake most mornings to the sunshine breaking through the trees and end the day staring at the stars...life on a boat is a beautiful gift...anyway here is ours

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Tiki and santaman2000 like this.

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