Saturday 19 March 2011

Financial considerations

Aside from the cost of buying a narrowboat there are many others we need to consider in our budget.

Firstly, there are the costs of airfares, accommodation and car hire for the time we’ll need to look for the right boat.  We’re hoping that if we do some homework before we leave, and immediately get stuck into our search on arrival, we should be able to look at any boats that fit our criteria and make a decision within a couple of weeks.  We pretty much have the attitude that there are a finite number of boats available at any one time so it’s just a matter of choosing the one that best fits our requirements.  We don’t want to get in a situation where we keep waiting to see if more come on the market in case something better comes along.

The next issue may be if we were to choose a boat that isn’t just sitting in a marina waiting for a buyer to come along and take it away.  For example, a liveaboard selling their boat may need time to arrange other living accommodation.  In this case our accommodation costs may be even higher.

Another major financial consideration will be if the boat we choose needs modifications or maintenance.  It’s likely there will be some things we’d rather change so it will depend who urgent or important those things are.  We’ll definitely keep this matter in mind when considering our boat buying budget.

We intend to book ourselves in for a helmsman’s course.  I’ll look into what is available and the costs involved.  Blog entry coming up.

How much will it cost to live?  This subject has been covered in many variations on other blogs.  The expenses we’ll need to consider are : insurance, BW licence, servicing and maintenance, diesel, other fuel (gas/coal), food, communications (mobile phone/internet).  I'll post a separate entry on estimates for these.

How do you support yourself?  Our budget includes enough money to support ourselves for 12 months.  If we are able to pick up some work along the way, no matter how little or poorly paid, we could possibly extend our trip.  The other option I’m hoping to pursue is to find work now, at home, that I could continue with while we cruise.  Thanks Ray, you put this idea in my head!  I have now resigned from my present job and once I’ve worked my notice, I’ll see what I can find to suit this possibility.

So there's a lot to consider and I'm sure this list will grow!


Peter Berry said...

Hello again Elly, Mick, We have just arrived home from another busy maintenance weekend at the boat, this time painting, I will write a blog on it shortly!
As we suspected, you have a logistical nightmare ahead of you to make your extended trip to the UK on a narrowboat a reality. Especially if you don't have friends or relatives here that you can turn to for advice, such as best but cheapest places to stay, which cities to stay clear of regarding cost of staying there etc. The list will be endless.
If, when you get closer to the time of departure, you need to make plans which involve you making decisions on subjects you know nothing about, just contact Margaret or me direct using the email address we now have in the contacts section on our website, or in our profile page, and we will try to offer the best local advice if we can. By then you may not have the time to write a blog post about a specific problem in the hope somebody might reply! To start, here is a fantastic hotel group in UK who offer cheap and chearful accomodation of a good quality. You may already be aware of them I don't know. Here is their website: another similar group is here: We often use one of these two when travelling around UK. They are good value, especially if you can make advance bookings.
Provincial accomodation will obviously be cheapest. You also have to be wary of some car hire companies who, if you are not "on the ball" will rip you off with a damage claim when you return their vehicle, when they point out a scratch on it that was probably there when you took it over, but they got you to sign the forms without giving you the opportunity to inspect the car first. That happened to friends of ours from Sydney who were here last Summer, and it cost them $700AUS as a result. Lots to think about.

Elly and Mick said...

Thanks so much for the offer of advice. We may just need it! We've stayed once in a Travelodge hotel and a friend in the UK mentioned them and also Premier as a good solution if we have visitors from Oz while we're over there.
We're very lucky to have established, or discovered, some new friendships in the UK. Firstly the lady we house exchanged with in 2007, then we discovered Mick's half brother at the end of that trip, and finally we met up with the sister of one of Mick's childhood friends. We get along well will all of them and we're glad to "know" somebody over there now. When we first started with this crazy idea we knew nobody!
Funny you should mention the car hire topic. We were just discussing this very thing with Ray and Diane (new Gypsy Rover owners) when we saw them on Sunday. It's a very good point.