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Matt&Jo

Cost offsets between wide and narrow

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Hi all, it' been a while since I was last on here and I had to cancell my build slot due to a bit of a change in circumstances temporarily anyhow......this has tho given me a ot longer to ponder what I'm buying and how etc......

So I am set really on buying a USED!!!! Over new build wide beam of appox 57 x 10 max for southern based cruising. I am going to CC. with my wife 2 dogs and a cat. I did have a pioneer 60 x 9 pioner in the pipe line but as I say that had to cease but we are bk and sorted......we have also decided to sell up the house and our wares and make the move by summer so we get some fair weather acclimatisation done first

So those of you who have lived on both or have knowledge what are the significant increases in costs associated with wide when CC.....we do know marina costs are significant.....any info would be grand from first hand knowledge as I can speculate the main stuff such as berth costs as and when plus increased heating etc and perhaps fuel ??

Great to be bk on track and back on this forum again and back asking silly questions. Thank you all in advance for any replys and comment.

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Be prepared for a wide beam licence increase following the current review. I only read what was in the consultation survey, but an increase of some level looked almost a done deal to me. 

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Fuel and heating costs will really be insignificant when compared to a narrow boat. Insulation is more important, and unless you push it on the rivers the amount of fuel used to push the boat will be roughly the same.

Edited by Robbo

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Right okay......so an increase in annual costs i am prepared to pay licence wise......still have a bloody issue finding high use leisure moorings or long term moorings on the southern end of the grand union or K&A that 1 are available and 2 are not extorsionate......

Im right in thunking that its clear run all the way from the start of the leicster branch down to the K&A? As this will be our cruising ground once we establish some remote working if possible......

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Are you absolutely sure you can't make a narrowboat work for you? As well as removing the obstacles you've identified, even a full length one would allow you to enjoy so much more of the system.

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Thing is as this going to be our home im of the mind set we need to be as comfortable and we can be and a luxury of space is one we think is a worthwhile financial burden in order to make this transition as positive and perminant as possible.

We understand many do it but few stick past a few seasons so i hope for us its something we can make work.....

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24 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Are you absolutely sure you can't make a narrowboat work for you? As well as removing the obstacles you've identified, even a full length one would allow you to enjoy so much more of the system.

I think that is the question you (the OP) need to answer. A wide beam  is a great idea for a boat to live on but as a boat to CC on I am not so sure. The majority of people I talk to - and the majority on here - do not like wide beams navigating our canals for various reasons. You will have less mooring options than a narrowboat and a lot more difficult to cruise around the canal network whilst restricting the movement of others. Maybe a 9' wide is not as bad as 10-12'. I think you will have more friends with a narrowboat. Sharing locks is a great part of boating. The money wouldnt put me off having a wide beam - but cruising it would.

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Ive been to see countless narrow boats and infact almost took the plunge on one last year before this venture had to he put on hold but i truly think that we will be suited to a wide beam........we intend to work part time if we can not make working on the move work so cruising would be limited anyhow eventualy once we settle.

I guess the benefit we have is that we can probably take a year out to decide so we would be in no major rush to do so.

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2 hours ago, Matt&Jo said:

Right okay......so an increase in annual costs i am prepared to pay licence wise......still have a bloody issue finding high use leisure moorings or long term moorings on the southern end of the grand union or K&A that 1 are available and 2 are not extorsionate......

Im right in thunking that its clear run all the way from the start of the leicster branch down to the K&A? As this will be our cruising ground once we establish some remote working if possible......

Where do you mean when you say Leicester Branch. The way I see it you can go from the edge of Birmingham to London, Lee and Stort, Thames and K&A

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Okay cool thank you ditchcrawler... 

Sooooo been ringing around and i think my best bet would be to stay compliant with the cc rules not straying too far off the K&A and southern GU and pop into marinas for a few weeks to charge up and dissapear off the network until we sort out work or make decisions on location.......

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To clarify it in case you don't already know, a boat of those dimensions will fit all the way along the GU (to the top of the Camp Hill locks in Birmingham), Thames and K&A unless its air draught is too much for certain bridges. Air draught is a particular constraint on the Lea and Stort I gather. However the wide beams built for canal use generally have the same air draught as narrow boats so should be OK.

By "the start of the Leicester branch" I assume you mean the GU end at Norton Junction, because you'd only get a few miles along the branch from there before meeting the narrow Watford locks.

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Having lived on a fat narrowboat for 3 years and several narrowboats for many more years along the way I can from first hand experience categoricaly state that for living aboard a widebeam is HUGELY more comfortable in so many ways. We loved ours and if the uk had sensible locks throughout no one would buy a narrowboat. HOWEVER we decided we wanted to go cruising again and the ONLY way to make use of the bigger part of the joined up system is a beam of 7 feet or less. Yes we all know that we can confine ourselves to either the northern waterways or the southern waterways but to move one to the other without a couple of cranes and a truck is not possible over 7 feet. Next spring we are going to York then turning round and going to Bristol visiting fab places such as Fradley and Bath on the way so it must be 7 feet or less and that's why we sold the widebeam. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near London personaly but if you are unlucky enough to have to be there then a fat boat may suffice if you never want to go far. The good news is that all boats be they fat or narrow sell instantly if priced accordingly, they always have done so you will not be stuck with your boat whatever you buy unless someone mugs you over on the purchase price in the first place. Edit to add that running costa at present are less for a widebeam than narrow for space involved, this may well soon change.

Edited by mrsmelly
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13 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Having lived on a fat narrowboat for 3 years and several narrowboats for many more years along the way I can from first hand experience categoricaly state that for living aboard a widebeam is HUGELY more comfortable in so many ways. We loved ours and if the uk had sensible locks throughout no one would buy a narrowboat. HOWEVER we decided we wanted to go cruising again and the ONLY way to make use of the bigger part of the joined up system is a beam of 7 feet or less. Yes we all know that we can confine ourselves to either the northern waterways or the southern waterways but to move one to the other without a couple of cranes and a truck is not possible over 7 feet. Next spring we are going to York then turning round and going to Bristol visiting fab places such as Fradley and Bath on the way so it must be 7 feet or less and that's why we sold the widebeam. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near London personaly but if you are unlucky enough to have to be there then a fat boat may suffice if you never want to go far. The good news is that all boats be they fat or narrow sell instantly if priced accordingly, they always have done so you will not be stuck with your boat whatever you buy unless someone mugs you over on the purchase price in the first place.

Great answer well put mrsmelly, thatnks for your input on this

Out of interest how did you find accessing marinas etc? Or were u CCing? Or a mixture of both?

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4 minutes ago, Matt&Jo said:

Great answer well put mrsmelly, thatnks for your input on this

Out of interest how did you find accessing marinas etc? Or were u CCing? Or a mixture of both?

With both wide and narrow I have done both ccing and fixed moorings marinas etc. With narrow there is more choice and no hassle. The widebeam I bought in Huddersfield and had moorings on the Aire and calder and a marina on the Trent and a private boatyard on the Erewash all of which I got with zero hassle but remember the north is BUILT for, not just putting up with widebeams and there is MUCH more available space for your boating. The boat previous to the widebeam was 70 foot narrowboat and the wide was only fifty feet, however fifty wide is way better than 70 narrow. Also the Licence and mooring costs of the widebeam were considerably less and other costs where similar so the widebeam was a cheaper thing to live on. You will note though I am again on narrowbut if I decide sometime to stay up or down then I will simply sell and buy a fatty again :cheers:

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4 hours ago, Matt&Jo said:

 

Im right in thunking that its clear run all the way from the start of the leicster branch down to the K&A? As this will be our cruising ground once we establish some remote working if possible......

CanalMap.gif

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I have had a narrowboat and now have a widebeam, as Tim says the widebeam is by far the best boat for both cruising and living on, as long as you are in the North! I have just bought another boat again its a widebeam [broads cruiser] at 32 feet x 12, it has far more usable space than say a 60 x 7 narrowboat. Like Tim if I feel the need to travel I can buy a narrowboat, but I dont think I could live in one now having sampled a real size boat its a comfort thing

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Beware that map. The bits are marked in red if they have wide beam locks, ie 14' or more wide. That doesn't necessarily mean that a 14' boat will get all the way along. The GU has wide locks, but was widened in the '30's to mostly take two narrowboats side by side to speed the movement of motor boats and butties. The rest of it isn't designed with broad beams in mind. You can get up there by all accounts, but it is tricky. You'll have to book passage through tunnels for example, so you don't meet a boat coming the other way. Proper wide canals like the Leeds and Liverpool have traffic lights, or timed working in each direction.

The bits I know about:

The Erewash canal has wide locks, but a bridge restricts the width to below 10' 6". Similarly on the Chesterfield up to Retford. There is a narrow bridge not far from Stockwith basin that severely restricts the beam to 7'6" or less despite the wide locks. Some of the locks on the Rochdale have bulged and two narrowboats will no longer fit side by side, so wide beams have to be less than 14'. All of these are in the north. I've not cruised below Fenney Stratford, or Worcester yet, so no personal experience darn south.

I am sure there are others.

My boat is my home, but I also love exploring the system whenever I can. As a consequence mine is a go anywhere length narrowboat. I put up with living sideways inside for the pleasure of being able to boat anywhere.

Jen

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7 minutes ago, peterboat said:

I have had a narrowboat and now have a widebeam, as Tim says the widebeam is by far the best boat for both cruising and living on, as long as you are in the North! I have just bought another boat again its a widebeam [broads cruiser] at 32 feet x 12, it has far more usable space than say a 60 x 7 narrowboat. Like Tim if I feel the need to travel I can buy a narrowboat, but I dont think I could live in one now having sampled a real size boat its a comfort thing

Yow Peter so true. However living on a narrowboat is still better than a house. Funny thing is missus and I laughed the other day as we were er how shall we put it " passing " each other in the kitchen ont boat as we got stuck and had to wriggle past each other wheras near on thirty years ago on our first boat we could pass without touching :lol: have boats got even narrower?

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5 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Yow Peter so true. However living on a narrowboat is still better than a house. Funny thing is missus and I laughed the other day as we were er how shall we put it " passing " each other in the kitchen ont boat as we got stuck and had to wriggle past each other wheras near on thirty years ago on our first boat we could pass without touching :lol: have boats got even narrower?

Well physicists tell us that the universe is expanding, so it must apply to people too. It just doesn't apply to narrowboats.

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Well i would prefer to be down south unless i feel the nomadic urge and head off in a narrow beam boat if i can afford one aswell.......unlikely but you never know.

Its great and an adventure for us at the moment sat with jo my wife running through budgets and outgoings and looking at flats to purchase to rent out for an income boost etc....

The real thing will be what it costs to actually live on a boat.....what do we need to earn.....food costs will be similar no doubt at aprox £100 p/w and we know the outgoings remaining we need to cover but fuel, coal, wood (foredge if i can?) gas, maintenance budget etc its a difficult one to account for..... marina visits once perhaps every 1 or 2 months to drop off the network and full charge up..... its all tge unknown....

Scary but exciting....

Dogs.....how will they adapt to the environment...sorting mailing addresses and health care etc etc....all the unknown untill we find an area we want to stay in or perhaos just cc the possible areas we can...

Edited by Matt&Jo

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1 hour ago, Matt&Jo said:

Well i would prefer to be down south unless i feel the nomadic urge and head off in a narrow beam boat if i can afford one aswell.......unlikely but you never know.

Its great and an adventure for us at the moment sat with jo my wife running through budgets and outgoings and looking at flats to purchase to rent out for an income boost etc....

The real thing will be what it costs to actually live on a boat.....what do we need to earn.....food costs will be similar no doubt at aprox £100 p/w and we know the outgoings remaining we need to cover but fuel, coal, wood (foredge if i can?) gas, maintenance budget etc its a difficult one to account for..... marina visits once perhaps every 1 or 2 months to drop off the network and full charge up..... its all tge unknown....

Scary but exciting....

Dogs.....how will they adapt to the environment...sorting mailing addresses and health care etc etc....all the unknown untill we find an area we want to stay in or perhaos just cc the possible areas we can...

You can make it as hard or as simple as you like. Some people seem to have to plan everything they do all their lives with meticulous detail, my bro in law is just such a person. The missus and I decided to buy a boat about thirty minutes after first mentioning it in 1989 so we went out and bought one literaly just like that, best thing we ever did. Eight boats later and still going strong. All the " Stuff " you mention here is doable and in most cases much easier now than it was thirty years ago with the advent of tinternet. All our dogs have loved the life so far. If you do it right you will get a miniscule amount of mail, we get about on average one piece every fortnight at most. If you don't need a car you will get even less.

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This is my biggest issue.....i over think stuff and get scared from doing it......ive been relativley fortunate from being safe and steady....i got into small money diffficulties when i was 18 i owed £2000 :rolleyes:laughable now im a little older at 33 and had mortgages and car loans etc when i think bk but it scared me sooooo much as i didnt own up to it or pay it just head in the sand job....

It almost went to a CCJ at one point until i told my nan who paid it for me god bless her.......i paid her back....

So ever since that point ive sworn to always be in controll of my debt and now have very little in way of monies owed out but that control has carried over into everything really so doing this for me is a big thing and i need to not worry so much and just do it but being cautiouse i dont go in blind and unawares of pit falls and reality checks....

Edited by Matt&Jo

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22 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Where do you mean when you say Leicester Branch. The way I see it you can go from the edge of Birmingham to London, Lee and Stort, Thames and K&A

You might be able to get to the edge of Brum in a fatarse boat, but please don't.

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