What are the running costs of owning a boat?
One thing to bear in mind; the longer the boat, the more expensive many of the running costs will be.
Booking a boat survey?
What’s the difference between a Cruiser Stern, Semi-Trad and Traditional narrowboat?
Can I moor my boat anywhere along the canals and how long can I stay?
Canals and rivers have visitor mooring spots along the network. In most areas you can moor for up to 14 days. Note: some areas have permanent moorings which are reserved for those who pay a fee to stay there for extended periods. There will be notices advising if an area is permanent mooring only.
Pump Out or Cassette? Which is best?
Most boats have either a pump out or cassette toilet. A pump out toilet has a waste holding tank within the boat so that when the toilet is flushed, the waste goes into the tank. Tanks are usually large, so the time between having to empty them is much longer than a cassette toilet. There are pump out stations along the network and in most marinas. A fee is charged, usually between £15-£20. Advantages: Not having to clean the tank yourself. Toilets are usually ceramic and feel more like a house toilet. Disadvantages: Boat has to be moved to empty the tank and emptying the tank costs a fee. A cassette toilet is the same principle as a toilet in a camper van, although some modern types have a direct water feed and electric flush. The bottom cartridge is removed when full which you then take to an Elsan point to empty and clean. Advantages: Elsan points are usually free. No need to move the boat to empty the tank. Disadvantage: The cartridge is much smaller than a waste holding tank so it requires emptying more frequently.
There’s also a new arrival on the scene that’s becoming increasingly popular – the eco-friendly composting toilet. It’s quite an expensive alternative but kinder to the environment.
Opinion is divided amongst boaters over which is the best option. Choose the one that suits you best!
How do I get hot water on a boat?
There are various ways to have hot water on a boat. Some have gas boilers such as Alde, Morco and Rinnai. Some have diesel heating systems such as Webasto, Eberspacher or Mikuni. Some also have a back boiler from a multi fuel stove which feeds radiators and heats the hot water tank or calorifier. Most boats have a calorifier which heats up the water when the engine is run. Some boats also have an immersion heater which is useful when in a marina as the shoreline electric power heats the water. It’s always ideal to find a boat with at least two methods for heating water.
What about heating on a boat?
There are several ways to heat a boat. Many boats have a multi fuel stove which uses coal and/or wood. Some stoves have a back boiler which is a closed water system. The hot water passes through the piping to radiators which heat the full length of the boat. Other options include gas central heating, e.g. Alde gas boiler, diesel central heating e.g. Eberspacher or Webasto and some boats have a diesel drip fed stove which looks similar to a multi-fuel stove but uses diesel from the main tank (or sometimes a separate tank).
How much diesel do I need to run my boat?
Boats generally use approx. 1 litre of diesel per hour when cruising. Some boats also have diesel central heating systems. Consumption varies depending on usage. When buying diesel, you will need to declare what percentage is for domestic (heating) and what percentage is used for propulsion (cruising). Domestic use diesel is cheaper than propulsion.
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