Before buying my Boat I made a good few decisions. I spent three months researching and searching for Boats. I love Space, Narrowboats do look lovely and easier to move about and can navigate the entire Canal Network depending on length. Widebeam’s are very spacious, so ideal to liveaboard. Depending on width they are far more limited on the Canal routes they can navigate in the UK. And places like Birmingham are a no go. And you still cant travel from the North to South yet via a Widebeam. But you can have all the mod cons you want on but come with more costs.
I went for a 60ft x 12.6ft Widebeam Sail-away with Additions from Collingwood Boats. As I wanted space and a full size Kitchen as when living on the Boat I wanted to cook. I’m not a great cook but can do Curry’s very well and quiet a few dishes from scratch . And needed space for a Fridge and Freezer and Washing Machine. I won’t bother with a Dishwasher as not a luxury I need. I needed a lot of storage. And ample space for my Tools and for my Music. I also wanted a large Stern for Summer Dining and Entertaining as I do have some friends. Even if most people find me weird.
My original plan was to move to a Marina. But most to overcrowded and cost would of been over 4k a year. I found a Home Mooring alongside the Canal instead. For over half the price. The CRT offers them but nothing for this size of this Boat came up in searches. I did luckily post a question on a forum called Canal World and got a message giving a number for a Private Home Mooring. Luckily it came with Water and just had to pay for Shoreline Electric use.
The Drawbacks we’re moving during a storm which hit the day after it should. Which meant the wind made the Journey very difficult and slow for a new boater like myself. There’s many old Bridges which have their bases intact that creep up on you on The Leeds & Liverpool Canal. There’s many low Bridges you have to duck you’re head to get through. And being hit by the elements did give me a cold. My boat will need some minor cosmetic Touch Ups paint wise. But don’t regret the learning experience. As pretty much hit every issue you could on its first journey off a Dock.
The Benefits I have found is the Space, ability to store, build everything I want on the Boat. Not have to pay VAT due to The Pirate Boats size ! Having a full size Bathroom and ample space in the Bedroom is great. My Dog can runabout in bad weather and do what he has to on stern deck underneath a pram cover. I have room for several large Sofas. And can buy a lot of standard furniture and only have to slightly modify it. Space for Solar Panels means I could have 10 easily.