Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Sunday 11 November 2012

Be careful what you wish for ...

That's how the saying goes.  So we're wishing for our 'perfect' boat, and choosing thoughtfully what's on our list! It's all about what you give your energy to, as we're constantly discovering as our  'to do' list shrinks each time we focus on one aspect of it during our return journey to the waterways, so now we're testing it out on the blog.

Having worked as a recruitment and retention specialist during 2002 to 2005, I believe finding the best person for a job involves knowing who you are looking for - otherwise how will you know when you find them?   It's always worth investing time putting together a 'person specification'.

So here's our 'boat specification' - a list of essentials and desirables for our 'dream boat':

  • Up to 65' long - preferably 60' to 62' so we can travel the whole system
  • Traditional - but we'd accept semi-traditional if it had other essential features
  • A pump out toilet - absolutely NON-negotiable!
  • Mostly or all windows - we'd accept a few portholes at the rear, but much prefer windows
  • Spray foam insulation
  • Stainless steel water tank
  • Solid fuel stove and radiators
  • Engine NOT in an engine room on the boat
  • Side hatch/es
  • Inverter
  • L-shaped seating rather than single chairs
  • Lots of storage space
  • Less than 10 years old
  • A washing machine (this is actually essential, but we're aware we could put one in, so there must be room available)
  • Prefer not to have a walk through bathroom
  • A boat name we can live with - some of them are just so off-putting! (By the way, can anyone tell me why it's 'bad luck' to re-name a boat?)
There's no rush at this stage.  We have money in UK to put a cash deposit down and our house sale settlement date is the end of January 2013, so we're cash buyers which should prove an advantage. We very much feel we'll know when we find the right boat, and hope to be ready to jump in - but we do need willing and able volunteers in UK to check out any boats for us if possible?  We'd much prefer to have bought before we arrive.

So there it is, down on paper so to speak - we'll be visualising living aboard and focussing on finding her in the next few months ...


  1. Its funny the must have list, our list was...
    No more than 58ft..bought 68ft.
    Windows...ended up as portholes.
    Pump out...ended up with cassette.
    In saying that, absolutely love the boat and are really happy with the 68ft boat with portholes and a cassette bog!
    Then again we are very flexible lol.

  2. Funny! We'll see what happens aye ...
    Who knows what miracles and magic we can weave to get our dream boat ...
    Sandra :-)

  3. ok - paul and elaine and barry and sandra - i stand on the threshold of taking my pump out out and replacing with cassette. I am fed up with whiffs, emergency emptying and the knowledge that i am sleeping on several gallons of poo. You both clearly have a view - am i right or wrong?

  4. There is no right or wrong! It's whatever works for you - I know I couldn't bear the whole emptying frequently thing - Barry would never be allowed to leave the boat, lol!

  5. I think we may be a bit strange, because we find it very satisfying emptying the cassettes....and of course it is free! With 2 cassettes we can go for about 7-8 days

  6. Mmmm ..., and there was I thinking it had to be done more frequently. What about odours in the bathroom? And when emptying :-( Even after 35 years in the health service, or maybe because of that, I am not good with the toilet stuff on a day to day basis!

  7. The Elsan blue that you add to the cassette breaks down the....solids so when emptying its virtually all liquid!
    No smells in the bathroom as when the stuff drops into the cassette the door seals it off plus add a bit of water too that and its just like a normal toilet.
    They are very very simple.
    With macerator types they can get blocked and pumps do fail, with a cassette there really is nothing to go wrong and impossible to block, unless you have been constipated for a month!!
    You should start a thread on toilets, I'm sure you will get lots of different opinions :-)

  8. Hmm ..., interesting, will have a chat with Barry. I'm seeing some advantages I must admit.
    A toilet thread, I may just do that!
    Thanks Paul :-)

  9. 58 feet is the generally accepted maximum go anywhere length. Some people claim you can get away with 59 feet if you keep taking the fenders off in tight places. Sixty feet will definately restrict where you can go.

  10. Paul (Caxton) Strange to say this but I know your loo from its past life under the previous owners - so to speak....

  11. Oh dear, I've opened up a can of worms - or something, lol!

  12. Cassette all the way! I have had one for eight years, I do not mind emptying, in your case just wear a peg on your nose! I like the satisfaction of knowing the cassette has been properly cleaned out and disinfected on a regular basis. No smell in my bathroom, apart from when the seal needed replacing which was easy and quick to do! Good luck with your search for your boat!

    ps you can change the name of the boat if you don't like it. Just do it when she is out of the water for the survey, and relaunch her with the new name!

  13. Thanks Tickety Boo, lots to ponder ...