I have to start by saying we are realists, we know that for now and for this first foray into living on a narrowboat there will be compromises. We still have a few things that are deal breakers or possible deal makers.
The boat has to be sound, we do not want to take on major hull repairs or have to strip the interior out and start again. The engine needs to be reliable and easy to get serviced. Sorry vintage engine fans, they are just not for us. All the more for me I hear you chorus. We are not too worried if the inside is tatty, we can do work on the basics, like electrics, simple plumbing, decorating etc.
We would prefer a reverse layout, but at the price point we are looking (and age of boat) these do not seem to be common. So we will just go with the flow.
Does size matter?
We have thought about this a fair bit, from what we can see 45ft plus but under 60ft would be ideal. To have a fixed bed, a bathroom and a decent size kitchen I don’t think we could go under 45ft, it would be a heck of a squeeze. We are currently in a 4 story Victorian house, which is to be honest far to big for us, that said I do not think we would cope in a 30ft boat with just a tiny loo and shower cubicle. We need a little separation if one of us want to go to bed early. Or indeed lay in a little later.
Ideal boat walkthrough
Galley: Gas hob and oven, good deep sink, plenty of cupboards and at least one large worktop area. A fridge is necessary a freezer would be nice.
Saloon: Space for a freestanding sofa, shelves for books. We do not want a tv, so no need for any particular layout, we would prefer no dinette as we rarely eat at the table.
Bathroom: walkthrough, I really do not like the closed in bathrooms. I want the extra space. Spacious shower, cassette or compost loo, hand basin.
Bedroom: cross fixed bed with loads of storage underneath. Not too fussed about huge wardrobes as we are not dressy people.
Other stuff: Solar would be nice, good batteries are a must, ability to hook up to mains another desirable feature as we might well be in a marina for a bit.
Really, so long as she floats, the engine runs well, she does not leak. I think we can work on the rest.
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