Houseboats: Family shares secrets of liveaboard life – ‘it’s not cushy’

4 mins read


Tony and Diana made the life-changing decision of moving to London’s waters two months ago, as the spending between their house and their shop in Camden Town was becoming unbearable. The couple – and their two dogs – couldn’t afford rent in the city, so they decided to trade it all in for a life afloat in a single space two-meter wide narrowboat.

Tony and Diana are “continuous cruisers”, which means that in order to avoid paying for a mooring, the couple move to a different spot every 14 days.

But how is it really like to live on a tiny narrowboat?

“It’s a little more cramped than living in a house, of course. We sort of live on top of each other. We sleep in the same room as the kitchen, so you can imagine how it’s like.”

The couple shared some “secrets” of their life afloat.

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“It’s not cushy at all. There’s a lot of planning around it. People might not know that when you live on a boat you have to empty your toilet and get your own water,” explained Tony.

“The main disadvantage is emptying your toilets, as you actually see your poop and all that!”

“It’s not romantic at all!” said Diana.

Tony continued: “You also have to go to a water point and fill up your water tank.

“And in the winter it is a bit of a struggle sometimes to keep warm.”

But all of those are minors things for the couple, who believe that the most important issue when living on a houseboat is security.

“We are quite secure, although if someone wants to break in they would find a way. So you always have to be aware, never park in an isolated area. We always park where other boats are.”

“There are other challenges like every time you move somewhere new you have to learn where the nearest supermarket is and all that, but after all, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages,” explained Diana.

“For us is a great lifestyle because we love the natural world, so we are close to that being on a boat. While we work in London, this is the closest you can get to the countryside.”

“For us, it’s a good way of life, but it’s definitely not for everybody,” concluded Tony.



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