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Thread: babies, children and boats?!

  1. #1
    Noobie mummaRaverchick's Avatar
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    babies, children and boats?!

    Hi all,
    Me and my partner have recently been looking at buying ourselves a barge, we have a 5 year old nd a 1 year old. Neither of us have ever lived on a boat and I wondered if there was anyone on her who has or does and could give us some advice or tips ? Space, safety and practicality of keeping it tidy and washing clothes etc. are all issues for us at the moment. The lifestyle is so appealing but I don't want it to impede on my children's life's too much, especially with my eleldest and going too school!


  2. #2
    Shed Junkie alices wonderland's Avatar
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    I suggest you look at this guys website. He offers weekly newsletters on subjects regarding boating life.


    Paul Smith
    Narrowboat James
    Calcutt Boats Ltd
    Tomlow Rd
    Stockton
    Southam, CV47 8HX
    Tel: 07450784007
    Email:
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    even a gypsy caravan is too much settling down.
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  3. #3
    Noobie mummaRaverchick's Avatar
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    Thank you! Will do x

  4. #4
    Afloat ... or adrift? marshlander's Avatar
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    Do you mean a barge, or do you mean a narrowboat? The reason I ask is that, living on a narrowboat, I would not like to have to bring up children in such a confined space. I know people do it, but even a five year-old will need reasonable supervision. As for a one year-old, getting to the stage of getting into everything ... well when my grandchildren come to visit they don't really seem to appreciate the dangers. Even older people aren't always careful enough. There was a middle-aged woman used to live on a boat near me and she fell into the river a few times and couldn't get herself out. The farmer who owned the land ended up putting a ladder into the river and tying it to her jetty.

    I'm sorry being so negative ... all that washing with nowhere to dry it. I'm finding it difficult in this weather with just me. If you have a child at school you'll need a residential mooring if you want to sustain continuity. Again, I know some people thrive in a nomadic life, but many children can make better use of their time in school if they are not always being taken from their friends. Would you be able to repay with reciprocal visits for school friends who invite your children to tea? Assuming you can cover the concerns about water safety (yours and the other parents), the space would be a real concern, specially with a growing family. If you have the financial wherewithal would you look at widebeam boats? Do you envisage your children are going to be scrambling on and off the boat and skipping about in fields all day? If the safety aspect of that worries you then your children are likely to be confined to the boat for extended periods, in which case a widebeam might serve you better. I have heard that there are more incidents of people falling into the water getting on or off a boat. I don't know whether that is correct. On a narrowboat I'm sure there must be a way of employing a fireguard, but you would lose valuable space.

    Apologies if this sounds as though I am dismissing your plans. I don't mean to do that, and it is certainly not my place to do so, but these are just the first thoughts that came to mind. Even my thirteen year-old grandson gets bored on my boat, but I suppose it is a thirteen year-old's job to be bored.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck and I hope you enjoy it. I love living on the river.

  5. #5
    Tuning In
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    hi guys,i use to live on the canal at Rickmansworth for a few years,and while I had a great time there,at the time there were very few families living on boats.Hate to sound negative but there are probably good reasons why this is the case.

  6. #6
    Batshit Crazy. groove's Avatar
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    hiya!

    first you need to know why you want to do this.......and as marshy asked, narrowboat or barge/widebeam?
    keeping a boat tidy is a pice of piss - a place for everything and everything in its place.
    for washing you can have a washing machine.....will you have hook up? or you could use a launderette.
    space - not much.........safety - down to you.
    the woodburner will be the major issue.
    stairgates can be employed, same as anywhere else, but it won't be long before your 5 yr old is hot footing it out the side hatch and racing around the gunwhales and along the roof......
    will you have a residential mooring? if you do school won't be an issue at all, just like living in a house.

    how much thought have you really given this?

    abby

  7. #7
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    There are lots of different sorts of boats, canal boats or sea boats. There are lots of creeks in Cornwall where you can moor for free.
    There are lots of mud flats in all estuaries of the UK where its free. Beaches on the west Coast of Scotland are free clean and easy.

    I was brought up on canal boats along time ago, the life is good... Sure beats a council flat.
    Kids are made of rubber, immune to cold and damp and soon learn to swim and not do things that hurt.3

    Solar and wind power are cheap these days, led lights and mobile internet make life easy.

    Let me know if you need electrical advice I am an electrician.

    Catamarans can be cheap and sit upright on a beach. Ferro cement is cheap. A good wood/coal burner is always my first priority when buying a new boat, they suck damp air in and prevent condensation, a boat is a small space and easy to heat.

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