Living on a boat

Living on a boat can be wonderful. You can tailor the experience to precisely fit your needs; from a wide variety of boat types through to location and lifestyle.

Boat crossing aqueduct on Stratford Canal Stratford Canal

Long term mooring or long term cruising?

Perhaps the biggest decision is whether to live on your boat at a long term residential mooring or to continuously cruise. Both have their benefits, and their costs. In summary, if there’s a residential mooring available in the right location and the right price then this would suit you if you have land ties in that particular area. If this sounds more like your cup of tea, you’ll need to start the search for a mooring.

If you’ve got the wanderlust bug and can commit to moving to a new place every 14 days, ranging over a reasonably wide distance before returning, then you might consider the life of a continuous cruiser. We have lots of information about being a continuous cruiser.

If you're planning on continuously cruising then it's best to get an idea of what range of movement we'd expect you to be doing over the course of your licence period.

Owner-occupier or tenant?

Just as you expect a land-based landlord to comply with regulations concerning safety and the like, it’s no different if the property happens to be a boat. Unfortunately the majority of people renting boats to live on are doing this below the radar and putting themselves at risk, so we can’t recommend this option. We have more information and our customer service team can support you if you're looking into renting a boat to live on.

Old hands make light work

Whatever your circumstances, even if you’ve been a leisure boater for years, if you’re considering living on a boat then take advice from those who are already doing it. The Residential Boat Owners’ Association is a good place to learn more. Of course, you could also just wander down your nearest towpath and grab a quick chat with an old hand.

Last date edited: 23 July 2021