The 7 Most Ridiculous Excuses Ever Used For Not Buying A Narrowboat
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Mon Jan 4, 2016 at 12:08pm

We often speak to people who have a dream to buy a narrow boat, but they come up with every excuse in the book as to why they can’t realise their dream. This is a real shame because there is often no reason they can't be the owner of a narrow boat.

If owning a canal boat is also your dream, don’t be one of those people. Put excuses aside and we'll help you buy the boat of your dreams.

Unfortunately we live in a world where making excuses is common place. This can be true of complacent people or those who are too afraid to give something new a chance. By making excuses you are actually holding yourself back on so many different levels; professionally, emotionally and socially.

How many times a day do you find yourself making an excuse for not doing something, whether its going to the gym, starting a new project or investing in your future? Making excuses limits the possibilities that are open to us.

So what to do? Easy – STOP making excuses and allow yourselves to grow and fulfill your goals however big or small.

Don’t let excuses stop you owning your own canal boat.  We want to help you achieve your dream.

Here is a list of excuses we have heard people quoting for not buying a narrow boat and how we can answer that excuse in a flash.

I’M TOO OLD – Rubbish! 40% of our clients who buy a narrow boat are over 50. In fact we recently sold a 35 foot narrow boat to a couple in their 80s! Boating is a great hobby/investment for the older generation. The slow pace of life and the tranquility of the canal system makes it a great choice for all, especially those over 50!

IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE I COULD NEVER AFFORD IT – There are a variety of ways to finance a narrow boat from; re-mortgaging, getting a marine mortgage or personal loan, going to the bank of mum and dad or simply by saving up. Don’t let money stand in the way of getting your own narrow boat.

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO CRUISE – Nor do most people who buy a narrow boat for the first time, but that’s easily overcome. You can enroll on a boating course - see here for more details

The Inland Waterways Crew Course is an entry level course and can be run in conjunction with the Inland Waterways Helmsman’s course for mixed ability groups.This course is ideal for introducing friends or family members to crewing a vessel on the inland waterways, and for giving them an understanding of how they can assist the helm.  

Your instructor will cover all the basics of being a useful crew member, including personal safety; communication on board; throwing a mooring line; some basic boat handling; helping in locking operations; how to be a good look out; what to do in an emergency and looking after the environment.

IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN FOR ME, I’M NOT LUCKY ENOUGH – It has nothing to do with luck; look at your strengths and situation & make things happen for you. You can achieve any goal you set yourself. It’s sometimes useful to make a list of how you will achieve your goal and also set yourself time scales and targets to work to. Focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Leave lady luck to do her work elsewhere - you are in control of your future.

IT’S DANGEROUS – No more so than any other past time like driving, caravaning, and so on. If you use your common sense and follow the basic safety tips for boating you will be just fine.

IT’S TOO COLD IN THE WINTER! – You’d be surprised how toasty and warm a well heated and maintained narrow boat is! And if you are not planning on living on your boat full time, then you can winterise your vessel in the  winter and return in the spring when the better weather comes.

MY FRIEND SAYS THEY ARE  A WASTE OF MONEY - Total rubbish, your friend is more likely suffering from a touch of the green eyed monster and just doesn't want you to fulfill your dreams. Buying a canal boat can be a good investment and it can provide you and your family with additional living or holiday accommodation.

I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START – Well you are on the right path already, reading this article is the first step to looking into the possibility of buying a narrow boat. Have a good look around our site at the boats for sale and the articles in our blog for more help and advice.

If you would like a chat that’s great, give us a call on 01327 842577 and we will answer any questions you may have. then pop down and see us, we are conveniently located on the Grand Union Canal in the Midlands so its easy to access our marina from most places.

We all have doubts and fears, but we truly become empowered and lead a more fulfilled life when we trade in our excuses for our dreams!


David | Fri Feb 5, 2016 at 3:51am
done my research over the past couple of years, looking to slow my pace of life and cant think of a better way to get out of the rat race. Four more years of work left, but thinking will make it earlier am now 62yrs young don't want to get to 66 and regret not taking the plunge afore, you only live once. Only experience of narrow boating has been taking special needs kids that I have worked with on short breaks about 10 times in total. Also I will be doing it single handed and looking forward to the adventure, cant think of a better way of starting the beginning of old age if the 60s is old. hope to see you out on the cut soon if not sooner, I am at life's cross road for the fourth time in decision making and what path to travel, Just waiting for my new knee (not an excuse ) needs to be done then find me a boat and the necessaries needed to begin life in the slow lane. Mr Grumps (Nick name given to me years ago ) I wonder why.
Whilton Marina | Wed Feb 17, 2016 at 12:27pm
Hello Mr Grumps (Nick), We hope that you can make your dream come true very soon and make living on a narrowboat reality! Do come and see us when you're ready to start looking for a narrowboat to buy!
Alan Haire | Tue May 3, 2016 at 6:58pm
Reading Mr Grumps comment was like reading my own thoughts! I am in my late 50's. Me and my wife are looking forwards to retirement on the Grand union canal. I have to wait until I'm 66 though (unless redundancy lets us live our dream earlier) Kaz (wife) is 4 years younger than me, but we'll retire together. We are finding it quite difficult to locate a residential marina on the Grand Union! We're looking in the Milton Keynes area. We don't mind going slightly further north, just as long as we can cruise down to see family in Hemel Hempsted. Apsley Lock marina is far too expensive for us.Do you have any suggestions of a suitable residential marina? I don't think it's too early to start looking.Thank you,Alan
Heather | Fri May 6, 2016 at 10:23pm
I am about to take early retirement and want to buy a narrow boat to live on.My parents lived on a barge, so i have a little understanding of what its like. I want to buy a new narrow boat and have some of the fit out done and do some myself. I have lots of ideas how i would like it to be and want it very open plan and to live on it as it is fit out, so that i can see how i want it.Can you give me ideas of the best way to go about this.Thanks.
Whilton Marina | Tue May 10, 2016 at 2:02pm
Hello Alan, I'm afraid it's just a case of looking at a map and contacting all the marina's in the area you want to find a residential mooring, to see if they have availability. The problem with finding a mooing without a narrowboat is that you need to know the length of the boat and the available mooring size matches. It's doubtful whether the marina will reserve a mooring space without payment either. Good luck with your dream and do be sure to come and see us when you're ready to buy your narrowboat!
Whilton Marina | Tue May 10, 2016 at 2:48pm
Hello Heather, It's probably best to choose a narrowboat builder who you will be able to work with to build your narrowboat shell and part fit out. You will need to decide which part of the fit out you want them to do and what you are able to complete yourself. Alternatively you could buy a used boat and undertake a re-fit.
alan | Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 6:11pm
I am intending to move on to a narrow boat and do continuous cruising but require permanent medication,how could I get a repeat prescription.
Whilton Marina | Mon Nov 20, 2017 at 11:03am
Hello Alan,Some pharmacies offer a repeat prescription service, where they automatically obtain your prescription from your GP and dispense it for you on a monthly basis, however you would still need to collect the medication or arrange to get it posted to you which might be difficult if you are continuously cruising aboard your narrowboat. We suggest you speak to your GP about his.
Trinity | Sun Feb 16, 2020 at 6:03pm
We are Americans but have been dreaming and saving up for a narrowboat for years. We often look at your website dreaming and plan to purchase one in retirement and stay as long as a visa will allow us. Do you have a lot of foreigners purchase narrowboats? Is it difficult? We can’t find many articles on the pros and cons of foreigners owning narrowboats...but we don’t want to give up on our dream, even if we can only come to the UK six months at a time (visa).
Whilton Marina | Mon Feb 17, 2020 at 3:08pm
Hello Trinity, Yes we do occasionally get Americans or Australians, as well as other nationalities that come to the UK to purchase a narrowboat. Sometimes they just come across for holidays leaving the boat moored at our marina. Other times they take a sabbatical and purchase a narrowboat to spend the time cruising the UK canal network, then selling the boat back to us at the end of their sabbatical. It's a great way to travel around and see the UK.
Charmayne Redding | Thu Dec 9, 2021 at 1:52am
Hi my partner and I have just brought a narrow boat , it needs some work on it to get up a good standard we intend to live on it 3 weeks in a month there about We have discovered that we have a rodent problem whats your advise on the best way to solve this please

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