Living Aboard by Adric Smith

Needing my own place and a place to call my own I started to research alternative living ideas. This also coincided with my catching up with an old friend who now lives on a narrow boat. After the visit and many cups of tea I agreed to look after their- boat while they went away for a two week holiday. This opened up my eyes to the world of narrow boating and the community of life aboard. 

That was my mind set, and now the plans were forming and budgets being set for the future investment and home. After many viewings I decided on a boat called Foxy for around £25k soon to be called Flogging Molly (after the folk rock band). She was a 58ft traditional narrow boat built in 1988 by R and D and lucky for me it had a Russel Newbury DM2 engine as its heart. 

Just one day in and disaster, I could not get the boat to start and I had no power at all and my brand new generator would not start. To my surprise this is where the community of boaters starts. Within 30 minutes the word had got around the local boaters and I had offers of help and a generator was lent. 

I must admit any time that I’ve needed help with the boat, power or engine or to be fair anything at all I have needed, one of the boaters always comes to my aid. This community feels like what I would imagine people were like many years ago. No prejudice and always willing to support and help. 

After a few years of cruising up and down the local canal I decided to finally get a mooring down at Trinity Marinas in Hinck- ley on the Ashby Canal. Now I had 240v power and a secure mooring away from any trip boats, who can be a bit speedy and well shall we say loud! 

This gave me an opportunity to make friends and get to know a whole new community of boating people who I’m sure will be- come life long friends who are always willing to lend a hand any hour of the day or just be an ear to listen. 

After a while I swapped boats for a better narrow boat with solar panels and other funky electric items that meant I could leave the safety of the mains power and move on to the linear canal side at the marina. I had new neighbours again and what a com- munity this was full of good cheer and camp fires at night in the summer and many laughs along the way. The best time was spent on the linear but I admit it was harder in winter but com- pletely doable and I just had to be prepared and never let my stove go out and usually sitting in my shorts while its snowing com- plaining about being to hot. 

Now after six happy years its time for me to move back on to dry land but I would always advise this life style. Anyone can join so if your looking for an alternative home and a different way of life look at narrow boats. Maybe you’ll see mine for sale at Trinity Marinas so look for a boat called Serenity Sunrise and buy a home for under £25k.