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Should I Buy A Narrowboat Or Just Rent One?


Narrowboats are becoming increasingly popular as a way of enjoying the outdoors, exploring nature, and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Buying a second-hand narrowboat is a great way to save money on rentals, but it does come with some risks. Knowing how to spot a good bargain is vital to getting the most out of your purchase.


The first step in buying a second-hand boat is to find out what's on offer by visiting boatyards and viewing different boats for sale. Ask about the history of each boat and ask for documents and references from previous owners. Many residential marinas often have a few boats for sale too!


You can also find boats for sale on websites like Gumtree or eBay, but it's essential to be wary of scams when dealing with these sites. If you're looking at buying a narrowboat online, make sure that you only deal with reputable dealers recommended by other boaters and can provide references from previous customers.


Things To Consider When Buying A Second Hand Narrowboat


This blog will discuss various crucial factors when buying a second-hand narrowboat. It will cover the different types of narrowboats, the costs associated with owning one, and the importance of conducting a thorough inspection. It will also explain how to identify a good bargain and avoid being taken advantage of.


Despite this, Buying a second-hand narrowboat can be an exciting prospect. It is a significant investment, but with careful research, you can find a great boat at an affordable price.


There are many factors to consider when buying a second-hand narrowboat, such as:

  • The cost of the boat and registration

  • The cost of insurance

  • The cost of maintenance and repairs

  • The resale value of the boat

  • Where will you moor your boat, and what's that cost?

  • Trad vs Modern? What style do you want, and what will you use it for? Need to look good or feel good?


Buying a second-hand narrowboat can be a daunting task. There are many things to consider, from the type of narrowboat to the price tag. Here are some tips to help you navigate your way through this process:


Consider Your Needs


You should first decide what type of boat you want and what it will be used for. You should buy a bigger boat if you want a home on the water. Longer boats have more room and can accommodate a small family comfortably.


Know Your Budget


The next step is knowing how much money you have to spend on your new purchase. This will help determine whether or not your dream boat can become a reality! Most people look for bargains when buying second-hand narrowboats because they don't want to overspend on something that may not be worth it in the long run. However, splurging is a good idea if you want something unique that will last forever!


Trad vs modern - is it looks vs living quality?

The first step in identifying a good bargain is understanding the available narrowboats. There are two main types of narrowboats: traditional and modern. Traditional narrowboats were typically made of wood and are older in design; they are often more expensive and require more upkeep and maintenance. On the other hand, modern narrowboats are often cheaper and usually made from steel; they typically require less maintenance, and there are many more to choose from.


Trad. boats had crew quarters at the rear and a large cargo hold in the middle. Often bigger narrowboating families built a secondary cabin at the boat's prow. These days, there's little goods traffic on the network, so ex-freight boats that have survived are mainly converted into fully live-aboard boats.


From the start of the previous century, almost all boat hulls were of steel fabrication, though a few iron boats still plying the cut. Wooden boats are still manufactured, although rarer, and builders who make narrowboats from wood are few and far between. We are fortunate to have a wooden boat builder close by Cow Roast Marina - at Bulborne, right opposite the entrance to the Wendover Arm!


Some basics to check before buying


When considering the cost of second-hand narrowboats, it is essential to consider the purchase price and the ongoing costs associated with owning and maintaining one. These include mooring fees, fuel costs, and ongoing maintenance such as painting and repairs. It is also essential to consider the cost of insurance, as this can be a considerable expense.


Before making a purchase, it is essential to conduct a thorough inspection. This includes checking for damage, particularly corrosion pitting and other damage to the hull. A professionally conducted survey will ensure that all essential equipment is in working order and that the narrowboat meets all safety regulations. It is also a good idea to ask for any receipts or documents related to the purchase, as this can provide helpful information.


Buying a new or second-hand narrowboat can be the start of an engaging lifestyle or hobby choice, but knowing how to spot a good bargain is essential. Understanding the different types of narrowboats available and the costs associated with owning one is critical. A thorough inspection and asking for relevant documents or receipts are also essential. With the proper knowledge and preparation, it is possible to find a tremendous second-hand narrowboat at a great price.


Whenever you're looking at purchasing something second-hand, you have to remember that, above all else, you should be realistic. Set your expectations and budget based on the cost of owning a boat. And remember to research everything you can about what it's like to own one before making any big purchases or taking out a loan. Then, follow our advice for ensuring that the boat you're buying is in as good a condition as possible. If done right, a second-hand narrowboat can be a rewarding purchase for many years.


If you're looking to buy your own narrowboat but need help knowing where to start, talking to other owners is a great place to begin. Experienced boat owners may have insight into what you should know before you buy your own narrowboat and can help you avoid costly pitfalls. Whatever you do, don't rush in. Talk to a few of these owners, ask them about their experiences with the boat you're considering, and make as informed a decision as possible.


Our tips for buying a narrowboat have been helpful so that you can feel confident in your purchase and be happy with what you have bought. Buy from a reputable dealer who has checked the boat out thoroughly. They will always go through the boat with you before you hand over any money to ensure everything is as it should be. If the boat is not suitable for you at the time, then don't let anyone pressure you into buying; walk away and try another dealer.


The benefits of owning a narrowboat can be undeniable. Still, before you make the leap, it's essential to consider the potential drawbacks. There are many factors to consider, some of which might surprise you. Once you've taken care of these details, you'll be ready to begin your new life on the water—and there's no better way to see England than from the banks of a canal.


You can always rent...

Be sure to get a taste of narrowboating by renting a boat from us for the day. You can rent traditional '38 narrowboats Albert and Victoria from Cow Roast Marina on the A41 between Berkhamstead and Tring.

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