Renting a Houseboat (UK)

The contract on the house i’m renting at the moment comes up in about 4 months and i’ve been brainstorming about what to do when it does.

One of the brainstormed ideas that came up in conversation at the pub at the weekend was this - a house-boat.

Now i’m certainly not thinking “right! thats what i’m going to do!” but its now intriguing us here at work (its a slow day :slight_smile: ).

So i was wondering if anyone out there knew anything about the houseboat thing - how do you find one? what are the major pro’s and cons? how much roughly does it cost (if i was to do it i’d be looking at somewhere in London/ Greater London. I currently live in the Teddington area if thats any help)?

any help would be appreciated

I know someone who lived on a narrowboat for a while. He loved it, but had a terrible problem with damp (surprise surprise). Sounds like a dehumidifier would be a good investment.

As for looking for one: how about the small-ads or Loot?


haven’t actually done it, but it sounds like a grand idea. :wink:

Info you might find handy?

Hope this helps.

Mooring fees are charged by the foot, the larger the boat, the greater the fee.

A work colleague has a Seamaster, which is around 40 feet long(yet it is not a large boat at all inside) and he pays aound £400 per year.

This does only accounts for one season of residence of around eight months, you pay differantly for year round residency, it needs differant planning permissions for year round occupancy.

He also has to pay river and canal fees, these add up to a couple of hundred a year I believe.

Since he is moored on Yorkshire waters, and one can pay thre times or more in the upmarket river marina moorings like at York, I would imagine Lomdon moorings would be much more expensive.
Then of course you would either have to own your boat, or rent it, which will cost you more.

Try here,

Moorings are £6 per day, but you still need your boat!

I see other sites varying between £400pcm to £550 pcm.

I’d suggest you look here, and follow some of the links.

My guess is that you can do an awful lot better on price if you do lots of looking around and making contacts.

Hey Garius, I’m a little downstream in Richmond ! I often cycle past Teddington lock…

I had a friend who lived on a houseboat there once… he liked it but wouldn’t do it again because, according to him, emptying chemical toilets is the most disgusting job in the entire world.

cheers guys - certainly an option i’ll consider i think

yeah, i’m in hampton at the moment - went to uni at st mary’s and have never escaped :slight_smile:

and i don’t doubt the chemical toilets thing - guess i’d have to learn to sh*t at work… :smiley:

I can personally vouch for that, though the blue fluid they tend to use makes it slightly less bad. Most of the bigger houseboats I saw didn’t use those portable chemical loos though; they had an internal tank which was pumped out using a special machine at the marina. I think I recall overhearing that it was about a tenner to get it pumped out, but I may be wrong.

Also, bear in mind that narrowboats seem to be fairly high maintenance affairs. When we owned an old but fun 23ft river cruiser (plastic, hence referred to by narrowboat owners as ‘tupperware’) it never ceased to amaze us to see how much effort was put into keeping the narrowboats shipshape (well, most of them, anyway).

If you plan to take this further, I’d strongly recommend hiring a narrowboat for a week to see whether it agrees with you. There are plenty of places that do this. Also, googling for ‘narrowboat sales uk’ turns up more hits than fast-breeding family of hits from hitland.

yeah - i tried that first - “renting” was trickier though (with regards to residency rather than holidaying.)