There’s been a lot of press for boating recently, largely concerning the lifestyle’s popularity with young people looking for a cheap way to live.
And also because it’s pretty cool.
Admittedly, renting a boat is cheaper than renting a flat in London but since that venture often comes with various life-threatening side effects depending on how conscientious your waterlord is, I’ll leave that topic for the meantime and focus on Buying a Boat. Which is what We Did.
Buying a boat is decidedly Not Cheap. Yes, okay, it’s cheaper than buying a house but it comes with all sorts of hidden costs like Anti-Sinking Repairs and Getting Rid Of That Weird Engine Noise Callout Fees. None of which are mentioned in the ‘Boats are really cool!’ articles because rooting around in a gungy bilge trying to find which bit of your engine fell off isn’t so cool, I guess.
So I thought I’d write a little bit about what buying a boat actually costs, to save you collecting all those stripy tops and getting that anchor tattooed on your head just yet.
Firstly, before you can buy the boat of your dreams, it’s really recommended that you get a survey done to make sure your new home doesn’t sink two minutes into its maiden voyage.
From what we could see, a full survey can cost anywhere between £300 and £500 (if anyone’s interested, we opted for Michael Clarke at Northern Star Marine who was lovely and thorough and helpful and should be hired immediately to survey everything in your life to make sure it won’t sink).
In order to have a full survey, you’ll need to take your dreamboat out of the water so its hull can be properly tested. Depending on whether you do this in a dry dock or lift it out of the water with a crane, this too can cost anywhere between £150 and £300.
Hurray! Your dreamboat passed its survey! Don’t sail away just yet though, you’re going to need insurance for that sexy 11-tonnes of steel, just in case…
I do have to admit the insurance wasn’t actually anywhere near as expensive as I’d imagined BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. You didn’t think you could just waltz around on the canals willy nilly without contributing to society, did you?
No, no madam or sir, you also now have to pay for a Canal & River Trust license to give you permission to rove the British inland waterways without being hung, drawn and quartered or being forced to get a giant black ‘P’ tattoo.
And that’s before you take into account any building work you might want to have done. Boat building is a specialist skill and doesn’t (or shouldn’t) come cheap.
Oh also, just before you sail off to apologise to your bank manager, have you bought a windlass?
A BW key?
Spare rope? A coal bucket? An Ecofan? A tool box?
Elsan blue? Fenders? A carbon monoxide alarm?
Coal? A poker? A tippy?
Kindling? A chimney brush?
A novelty tiller pin (compulsory)?
There’s one saying that’s been repeated to us a few times since we bought Albion: “Do you know what BOAT stands for?”
“Bring Out Another Thousand.”