Buying a boat

What kind of boat?

Broadly speaking, there are five main types of boat on the inland waterways: narrowboats, widebeams, Dutch barges, converted barges/lighters, and cabin cruisers.  Here's a very basic guide to get you started.

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How to buy a narrowboat

This article is about buying a second-hand narrowboat for Britain's inland waterways.  It outlines the process you would normally go through between deciding to buy a boat and sailing it away.  First make sure that the lifestyle is right for you - read the Moving and mooring and Boatkeeping sections.

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Try before you buy

For some people a boat will be the most expensive thing they ever buy, so it makes sense to have a go first before you jump in with your bank card.

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Rent before you buy?

Renting a boat is a great way to find out whether boating suits you, but it needs some care.  If something does go wrong (e.g. you sink, you crash...) you won’t be happy to find out you're uninsured and liable and that your landlord (waterlord) has done a runner.

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