living on a boat in london
Finding a mooring spot in central London is pretty easy for a 30ft narrow boat but not so simple for a 60ft widebeam. With house prices and rents on the rise in London, many people are turning away from land to pursue a home on the water. It does not constitute financial advice. The pair found their beloved boat, Gina, on eBay, and moved there in September 2018. Up to a third of those who live on water in London have a nomadic existence. You don’t want to damage/sink your home but then again you don’t want to lose control and damage anyone else’s either. And if you've got a short-stay mooring licence, you'll have to get used to moving around regularly. You do toughen up … * The costs were given to us by Mantas Pastolis and Jakub Zálešák. When we bought the boat the seller said you won't need a fridge and we thought he was crazy. Scroll right... Moored at Hammersmith Bridge, the barge offers fantastic river views and benefits from excellent transport links via Hammersmith Broadway. Then you have to have a cushion of about £1,000 in case something goes wrong. Check out the reasons why you should (and shouldn't) live with friends. Many boaters are creatives looking for an alternative way to live in this crazy city of ours. It's a complete change of lifestyle and it's not for everyone. Permanent moorings are often hard to find — or simply too expensive. You will need a mooring licence to be able to live on a houseboat in London, of which there are two kinds: short-stay and long-stay. Trial and error is a big part of living on a boat and it’s not for the faint hearted. This one-bedroom 31ft converted lifeboat has a private, end of pontoon mooring and offers panoramic views of the Thames. The engine, however, I leave to the professionals. However the mooring fees can often be astronomical, even as much as renting without the cost of the boat. by Meanwhile, London Waterways Projects, a social enterprise, is working on providing affordable moorings for Londoners at a trial site at Corbridge Crescent in east London, near Broadway Market. Pontoons could also be used to create more moorings on larger waterways. The worst thing about living on a boat is probably walking back down dark towpaths at night on your own and feeling worried about the security of your boat. It's the first time that either of them have tried living on a boat, but they decided to throw themselves into the deep end for their third and final year at University College London. It was very much a baptism of fire. What’s are the best and worst things about living in a boat? Claira has a quick cuppa aboard Bobbies Girl (Image: Ben Broomfield). There’s a lot to think about and there are so many options. The mooring is on a marina in Richmond, which is owned by its residents and so offers low mooring fees and long-term freehold security. If you cruise like me you have to move every two weeks and cover a certain distance each year. Electricity is finite so you have to figure out how many batteries will work for you for the things you want to power. If you don't have parents that already live in the Big Smoke, student life in the city can seem virtually impossible. However, until recently, they were living without a central heating system, which Mantas said he struggled to cope with. Is living on a houseboat in London safe? I was really worried about the personal space thing but actually it's been fine. There’s really nothing you can’t do yourself with a bit of internet research and friendly advice. At the beginning it was a bit tough, but I saw it more as a personal challenge. We met them in 2019 to find out if it really is possible to live on a houseboat as a student and how much money they're saving by opting for alternative accommodation. The size of your tank defines how often this needs to happen, in my case about once a month. It’s a great life, the city, the countryside, the friends and cruising but it is hard work too. This is why physics students Mantas Pastolis and Jakub Zálešák ditched communal bathrooms and kitchens to start living on the Thames. When viewing a boat, make sure you know exactly how good/poor its condition is and how much work you'd have to do on it, like fitting central heating or wiring electricity. Designed by an engineer and an architect, this two-bedroom houseboat combines English and Japanese style. The worst thing about living on a boat is probably walking back down dark towpaths at night on your own and feeling worried about the security of your boat. At the beginning it was like a full-time job because of the repairs we had to do. Save the Student provides free, impartial advice to students on how to make their money go further. The trust is working to increase the number of moorings, with new berths established at Matchmakers Wharf, Homerton; Atlip Road, Alperton; Burdett Road, Limehouse, and Bow Wharf in the last year. Built in Holland in 1924, this fully converted Dutch barge features original brass portholes and, as well as new stairs, skylights and carpets, complete rewiring and new wood flooring with underfloor heating. We needed it for heating, but you might run into problems with the engine. We invited a friend who also lives on a boat but he had moved on to Hackney, so we decided last minute to sail to him! Having to move in the pouring rain or heavy winds, learning the art of keeping your stove lit 24 hours in the winter so you don’t wake up frozen. Paying for everything upfront is not a cheap affair. But even those can be fairly pricey, especially in London. You don’t have to move and you’re hooked up to electricity and water so you don’t have to worry about that.


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