buying a boat...
Thinking of buying a narrowboat, widebeam, barge, cruiser or project boat? Canal boats come in all shapes and sizes and as with any purchase, the more research you do, the more likely you are to make the right decision. Waterway magazines, boat shows and marinas are all good sources of information. Then there are boaters - you will find that most boaters are only too happy to offer advice and information and there is nothing like getting it straight from the horse's mouth.
The type of boat you choose will largely depend on what you are going to use it for. Will it be in a marina or on a leisure mooring most of the time, or do you intend to live aboard as a continual cruiser or on a long term mooring. Residential moorings in particular can be hard to find, so you might need to buy a boat which comes with a mooring, or at least research availability in the area of your choice.
There are many different styles to choose from - traditional, semi-traditional, cruiser stern etc. Think also about the length & width of boat you want. This will dictate how much of the waterway system can be accessed. Then consider what you need on board - for instance, number of berths, type of heating, type of toilet system, whether there is a dining table and finally whether there is plenty of storage space.
Once you have decided what it is you want in a boat, then is the time to start looking. Best advice is to only look at boats which fit your criteria. If they don't fit, don't look - else you will be looking forever! And don't forget to get a survey done before you part with any money. You can purchase privately but many boat buyers find peace of mind purchasing from a boat broker and hopefully the selected boat brokers shown on this page will help you find the boat of your dreams.
Once you have bought your boat, you will need to register it with CRT and obtain a licence. There are different types of licence (gold, trade, canal & river, river...) so make sure you get the one you need for your purposes. You will also need a Boat Safety Certificate and Insurance.
about boat sharing...
Buying a narrowboat can be too expensive or too time consuming for a lot of people, but if you love the idea of the boating life, a good alternative is boat sharing. Shared ownership is the way forward for many boating enthusiasts as costs tend to be divided equally amongst share holders. Depending upon your share, you will have a certain number of weeks in which to use the boat, usually spread over different seasons. This can equate to a very attractive holiday cost.