Monday, 6 June 2016

Boat life

Through the winter people asked us about storms and the cold. As the weather has changed to warmer days and lighter evenings the comments have changed. I am now being told how lovely it must be to live on the water.
It is lovely on the river
If you were to ask twenty people what it was like to live in a house you would get twenty different replies. In the same way living on a boat will always be a different experience for different people.
This blog is an attempt to answer some of the questions we are asked most frequently.
Do we go sailing all the time then? No, we need lots of work done. She is an old boat and showing her age. The holes in the back deck particularly need to be sorted as coming alongside could be dangerous at the moment. We are looking forwards to more adventures in the future though.
Messing around in boats
Have we sailed her anywhere? Yes. we spent almost three years cruising from Topsham in Devon, along the South coast of England then to France, Spain and the Basque country.

How big is it? Big enough for us. Boat people comment on how much room we have whilst land people make comments about ‘cosy’, ‘cute’ or simply just ‘it’s amazing how you fit everything in’.
'It's this big'
What about bad weather? Unless the storms are particularly bad we have developed ways of living with them so that they don’t affect us too much. Then being in England you get wet days which mean lots of walking in the rain. Just like if you live in a house.
Winter 2013/14 Brest, France
How do we get on and off? It can be a challenge in certain places. Now we are more stationary we have a set of steps which we were gifted and make getting on and off much easier. In other places we have had to climb down into the dinghy, up a ladder to a quayside or pass children and the dog up in a juggling relay.
Carrying the dog up the ladder in Topsham, England

Do we have water? We have big tanks which we fill up regularly from the supply on the pontoons. The taps work as pumps rather than just turning them on. It makes you very aware of the amount of water you use.
Water supply on the pontoon
What about electricity? We have solar and a wind turbine providing us (usually) with enough for lighting and radio, we have shore power for additional needs like kettle etc. Our oven is gas and runs off of bottled calorgas – bigger than the ones you use for camping but smaller than the ones you found round the back of the science block at school...
Electric hook up
Do we have a normal kitchen? Yes, sort of. We have a four ring hob and an oven. Both of them run on gas bottles. We don’t have a dishwasher but then we didn’t have one in the house either. Our fridge is different to a house one and there is no freezer but we do our shopping to take that into account. 
How much does it cost? – For some reason people seem to feel it is OK to ask about our mooring fees although they wouldn’t dream of asking someone about their mortgage payments. Maybe it’s old fashioned or too British or something but there are plenty of other sites around which discuss money if you genuinely want to know.
Some things are priceless
Do we have a washing machine? No, not on the boat. We have washing machines and dryers up the top which we use. It involves a bit of a walk but you get used to it. And of course we have 80 foot of drying lines.
Do we have a car? Yes. There is plenty of parking but it can be a long walk along the pontoons. We have trolleys to use to carry heavy stuff backwards and forwards to the boat.
Trolley park

Will we move back into a house sometime? Can anyone really know what will happen in the future? We had originally intended to move back into a house but then…well, we haven’t yet, it’s rather nice here.
Nautical signal AF - I do not intend to abandon my vessel



  1. How big is your boat! Lol wonderful photos and great post, these days make the hard winter ones worth it x from the Pirates x

  2. Thanks, they certainly do :) Hope you Pirates are all well!