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Liveaboard Forums In this forum you will find several sub-forums covering subjects such as houseboats, moorings, legal issues etc

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Old 07-04-2012
Johnnyboy Johnnyboy is offline
 
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Default Same old question

Hi everyone
I have loads of questions for you guys but to start with it's the same old thing what to get as a livaboard ?
I thought I had it all straight in my head after some years of thinking about it and now the wife has agreed and the house is up for sale this may be a real option for us.
I started looking at motor cruisers but decided may be to expensive to run, then dutch barges, even looked at narrow boats in the last couple of weeks but I'm now more confused than ever.
There will be myself the wife and two kids (boy 12, girl 14)
So space would be good but I would also like to travel around the rivers etc and maybe short costal trips (not to far) will a barge be unsuitable for this ?
We will after paying everything off have a little over 100k to spend, have seen some with mooring for around this price.
We are in Kent at the moment what's our options for moorings.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-04-2012
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Russ T Hinge Russ T Hinge is offline
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From a personal point of view the top priority is space, next is more space followed closely by.........you guessed, even more space.
A family of four would find it almost impossible to co-habit on a narrowboat or any other relatively small craft, it cannot be compared to the post war days when such a life was the norm for those who made their living from the waterways, why ?, simply because of all the paraphernalia we now expect and need to enhance our standards of living,tv's/video's/computers/washer/drier/fridge/freezer........the list is long indeed, the pioneers of such a lifestyle had none of it !.
When the novelty of a new lifestyle is a distant memory the reality of everyday living will be even more apparent and the possible regrets of a poor choice will linger and doubtless be the subject of many an arguement, the blame,of course will never be attributed but passed to and fro.
There are companies who specialise in procuring for sale the larger craft best suited for conversion to liveaboard, they can be found quite easily via a search engine, I would not entertain such an option since they will be expecting a healthy profit for their services, my course of action would entail finding a suitable boat myself.
On that subject, take your time and consider the costs, not only of the purchase and conversion but day to day disbursements for they will be ongoing and will doubtless increase, not least of which is the mooring, make sure you own it you will not then be at the mercy of any outside influences beyond your control.
Although 100k would make sitting uncomfortable were it to be in your back pocket it will limit your choices in procuring a liveaboard with decent proportions.........buying and converting would be my choice simply because I am able to do the work myself (when my lower lumbar condescends).
A "Ready made" craft may be found if you have the time to wait but even then it will be necessary to make such alterations as you require to facilitate your personal choices.
Give the matter plenty of forthought coupled to many hours of discussion with all those involved, in that manner any subsequent pitfalls can be addressed as a group without recourse to blame ?.
Number one on my list of priorities would be to enlist the advice of those already enjoying such living for only they can speak with experience and reality not conjecture.
There was a time, not too far distant, when swmbo and I had considered the same option, in the end we have decided on a self build for similar outlay.
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Old 08-04-2012
Johnnyboy Johnnyboy is offline
 
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Thanks for that very informative reply
As far as space is concerned a barge would be the way to go although I can do most of the work needed myself I wouldn't want to start from scratch but don't mind a part conversion or a new fit out to an old barge.
I have seen a couple on the web (Apollo duck) for around 100/120k and some come with moorings the thing that bothers me is that we would like the oppotunity to travel the rivers estuaries etc and would a big barge with space for us all be a problem for us to handle ?
I do take your point about the narrow boat but would love the amount of navigation available (still can't have it all) .....
I'm in Kent so I was thinking the Medway Thames Etc would a large motor cruser be better for that inviroment ,
But we would be willing to re- locate ( work schools not a problem)
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