Living in a houseboat might sound too idllyic to be true. But, in reality, could you do it? And how much money will it save you? Payday Loans Net, direct lender, explores the ins and outs of houseboats.

With an increasing number of people in Britain choosing to reside on houseboats, we are going to take a look at the pro’s and con’s of this kind of lifestyle and how to go about making this way of living reality. Most of us are familiar with canal holidays that are enjoyed by thousands of holidaymakers on Britain’s waterways every summer, but a surprising number of people live on houseboats all year round. Could this style of living be something that you would consider? And would you actually save enough money to help you avoid direct lender loans?

In this article about houseboats, we will discuss:

  • Why so many people are choosing to live on houseboats
  • If residing on the waterways in a house boat is more economical that living in a house
  • What are some of the pros and cons of living this way
  • How you can make this house boat lifestyle a reality
  • We will look at renting or purchasing a house boat
  • What kinds of materials are used to manufacture house boats
  • House boats that can cost millions

Houseboats in the UK

There are between 15,000 and 20,000 people thought to be living in boat houses in and around Great Britain. A third of them are living on the 60 miles of canals and rivers in and around London. These people are from all walks of life and include professionals, dwelling on city waterways, to pensioners and families. They live in many different types of craft, from seafaring vessels along the coasts to narrow boats and houseboats on our rivers and canals.

They can be found all over Britain living in the main cities, the countryside and harbours. These people who live afloat are doing so in many different ways, some choosing to cruise continuously, others stay in permanent year round moorings. A few do a mixture of both, depending on the season. According to The Canal & River Trust, over the last five years, the number of boats registered and moored in London alone has risen by 60%. This is primarily due to the unaffordable price of accommodation in the capital. Many people simply can’t afford the rent, and prefer alternatives options, instead of taking online loans to pay their rent.

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What is causing so many people to choose to live on houseboats?

For many people the reason why living on the waterways is so appealing is just the simple fact that they already own boats and the convenience of combining a home and all the pleasure that boating brings them is just too tempting. Some others, having enjoyed boating or canal holidays for years have decided that they want to live in this fashion permanently. For many, it is the rising house prices and the high cost of renting a property to live in which has driven them to seek a home on the water.

Can you save money by living on a houseboat?

You can save money by living on a houseboat, but the real answer to this question would depend on the lifestyle that you were living. The prices of houseboats range dramatically. They start with cheap, basic narrow boats but go all the way up to luxury homes moored on the Thames. Whether you can save money depends on a few factors. For example, whether you were permanently moored in a marina, the area of the country that you were living in, your cruising patterns and how much fuel you were spending.

There has been a surge in recent years of young people taking up residence on the Capital’s waterways where the price of property has risen 86% since 2010. Young professionals can no longer afford to own houses. Many are finding that they are struggling to pay the high rents that living in the city demands. By continuous cruising, they can enjoy residence in ridiculously expensive areas of London, as long as they move a few feet every two weeks. This has led to the canals becoming vastly overpopulated as they were designed for moving traffic and not for this purpose.

Pros of Living in A Houseboat

The vast majority of houseboaters are friendly, helpful and welcoming. Can we all say that about our land dwelling neighbours? People seem more willing to talk to each other. There is a great sense of community that has slowly become lost amongst modern neighbourhoods where individuals who live next to each other barely say hello. The community is made up of a very diverse mix of people from all walks of life and many different professions.

Waking up to a view of the water and the sound of water lapping the side of the boat does sound idyllic to many of us. Being close to nature and making use of the waterways for recreational purposes like walking, canoeing or windsurfing is also a bonus. If you had a permanent mooring space in a marina, then you could keep a car nearby and enjoy a much cheaper way of living in a city centre. You would not need to worry about owning and maintaining a motor engine for the boat as you would not be going anywhere.

Cons of Living in A Houseboat

Residential mooring will offer you all the services that you need on a daily basis. But, it can work out expensive depending on the facilities that are on offer and the location of the moorings. You will also have a landlord and need to abide by the marina’s rules and regulations. If you are moving around on your houseboat then you will have to suffer the diversity of many different landlords as you may not always be tied up for free.

If you are continuously cruising, then you will always have to be aware of where you are regarding the closest filling points for your water, gas and general supplies. You will need to know a bit about basic mechanics to keep your engine running smoothly. Having said that, other boaters will usually help you. There are also rescue “AA” style services available on the water. Boats need maintenance and daily chores to keep them functioning such as emptying the toilet and filling up with water.

Inconveniences will arise from the fact that you no longer have a permanent address which is necessary for many services and everyday needs. Most of these issues can be overcome and by joining boating community sites, you can learn how to deal with most things, such as access to doctors and whether you are liable to pay council taxes or not. This will largely depend on your mooring situation and the local council’s policies. Space will also be an issue, both storage and personal if you are co-habiting.


Moorings in London are still very expensive and extremely hard to come by, but once obtained, they are considerably less money than rental fees in a house or small flat in the same area. A small boat bought as a restoration project can be cost as little as £50,000. Mooring on a temporary basis is free, so if this way of living suited your needs, then it is a much more economical way to live in London.

Will living on a houseboat work for me?

The answer to that question is that you won’t. Careful thought and consideration of many facts will be necessary before you take the plunge, as this kind of lifestyle can be difficult for some house dwellers to adapt to, while others will wonder why they didn’t do it years ago. The best advice is to try it out first for a period before you do anything permanent.

What have we learned so far about houseboats?

  • There are over 15,000 people who are thought to live on house boats
  • Boat house dwellers are a mixed bunch of professionals, artists pensioners and families
  • More people are choosing to live this way every year
  • This could be due to rising house prices and high property rental fees in cities
  • It can be cheaper to live in a boat house, but it will depend on the location and the lifestyle that you choose to live
  • Careful thought is required before taking the plunge as there are many pros and cons for this way of life

Houseboats for Sale

It’s hard to raise finance that is backed by the boat itself. Some companies specialise in boat finance. Boating magazines are full of advertisements for this kind of specialists. You should seek to fund from your local bank, building society or an online loans company to buy your houseboat. You will also need to insure your boat, and you will require an up-to-date survey to do this. Most houseboat insurance will only cover the boat and not the contents, or if it does, it will be minimal.

Houseboats for rent

A simple search on the internet or boating magazines will provide you with a wealth of different kinds of boats to rent – from canal cruising narrow boats in central London to wider, river boat houses all over the country. Prices will differ substantially, depending on the kind of boat it is and whether mooring fees are included or not.

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Houseboat Sale

Once again, the internet is the place to find boats for sale, from seafaring vessels to narrow boats. Marinas will have boats with permanent moorings for sale, but these can be very difficult to find. Also, the cost of boats for sale with moorings will be much more expensive. Stop and talk to other boat owners, they are a friendly bunch and should be happy to pass on information. You could also go directly to houseboat manufacturers to see the prices of brand new boats.

You must take care must when buying a boat. Unlike cars, they are not registered. Many people choose to go through a broker for this reason as it provides them with a degree of confidence. Before the purchase of a boat, it is a good idea to get it surveyed. Fully qualified surveyors can also help and advise you on safe buying practices. This advice, regarding surveyors, also applies when you are purchasing a brand new boat.

What are house boats made of?

Houseboats are made of many materials depending on the age and the use of the boat. Different materials suit different kinds of boats, so it is important to choose the right type of boat for the environment that you are planning to use it in. They tend to be constructed from aluminium, fibreglass, steel and wood. Each of these materials has their pros and cons. All boats need regular maintenance and repairs when you keep them in water.

Alleppey Houseboats

Alleppey style houseboats and other luxurious floating palaces are available to live in if you have the money. The Alleppey luxury houseboats that are floating palaces used in India to tour the famous backwaters are dream homes on the water. Unfortunately, these kind of lightweight boats would not stand up to the British weather, but there are others that will. Situated on the Thames in London, near Hampton Court, is a small place called Taggs Island where sixty-five floating homes surround a private residence set in lush gardens with a prime London address. A five bedroom, luxurious floating boat house could be yours for around £1.8 million. A five bedroomed property in a nearby area would cost around £2.2 million, so you would still be saving money.

So, could residing on a house boat be for you?

Many people seem to think that life on the water could be for them and as we have learned today, their numbers are increasing every year. There are plenty of community websites offering helpful hints and advice on how to make this way of living reality. It is certainly not for everybody, and the sun will not always be shining, but if you are after a change in lifestyle and are ready to give up some of the comforts that a house offers then maybe you should give it a try. The payday loan you will avoid might just be worth the while!

Chloe Winters
Chloe grew up in the countryside, but came to the city to pursue a career in economics. She fell in love with the abundance of shops, and quickly developed a passion for fashion. After blowing her first salary on a shopping spree, she realised that budgeting is the only way to go. Now, Chloe is a budgeting queen – and still manages to dress like a superstar. She loves sharing the advice and tips she gained along the way, and is excited to be part of the Payday Loans Net blogging team. Her advice to you: If I can do it, anyone can!

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