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    I have been offered a house boat on the Oxford Canal. Price yet to be determined and haven't looked at the thing, but seems to be in the region of £120k and is supposedly in excellent nick. It's not on the market yet and I've been given first refusal.

    I have no clue about houseboats, but wife and kids are very keen.

    They will use it as somewhere to crash in Oxford and the eldest girl could end up living there as she will (hopefully) be going to college there next year.

    What should I look out for?

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    Bogeyman posted : What should I look out for?
    The name of the vessel is the most important thing.

    If, for example, she's called "The Canal Queen", make sure the paint hasn't peeled away on the letter "C".

    Otherwise you may be getting some unexpected visitors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Board Game Geek View Post
    The name of the vessel is the most important thing.

    If, for example, she's called "The Canal Queen", make sure the paint hasn't peeled away on the letter "C".

    Otherwise you may be getting some unexpected visitors.
    Or, somebody hasn't scribbled in an 'r'.
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    Aren't mooring charges a bit of a downer? Plus you'll have to spend money and time on maintenance...
    Plus side is I imagine you can always recoup your investment a couple of years later once everyone you know gets tired of "holidays" in the British rain.

    They will use it as somewhere to crash in Oxford and the eldest girl could end up living there as she will (hopefully) be going to college there next year
    Going to be a lot of student parties on that boat methinks!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Board Game Geek View Post
    The name of the vessel is the most important thing.

    If, for example, she's called "The Canal Queen", make sure the paint hasn't peeled away on the letter "C".

    Otherwise you may be getting some unexpected visitors.
    Sound, informative advice as ever.

    You've come right out the other side of the forest of irony and ended up in the desert of wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMark View Post
    Aren't mooring charges a bit of a downer? Plus you'll have to spend money and time on maintenance...
    Plus side is I imagine you can always recoup your investment a couple of years later once everyone you know gets tired of "holidays" in the British rain.



    Going to be a lot of student parties on that boat methinks!!!
    Yep! So will be minimally furnished - if, IF, I buy it.

    You've come right out the other side of the forest of irony and ended up in the desert of wrong.

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    First thing to do is get a survey and a sensible valuation. Boat salesmen are notorious for jacking up prices, especially for a first time buyer or if they think you are loaded. Worse than estate agents or double glazing types IMO.

    Insurance and mooring costs - boats do sink and you can easily get ripped off for mooring. For prime mooring spots it can be better to buy a wreck of a boat that comes with a mooring at a sensible price and sell the boat cheap.

    I'd personally want one which I could take on holiday and do a bit of exploring with rather than a "static" one, so if that's what you want to do, make sure it's all ship shape mechanically. Also, something too big may restrict your travel opportunities. If I remember correctly, a 56 or 57 foot narrow boat was the choice for the Leeds Liverpool canal, due to the size of the locks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sysman View Post
    First thing to do is get a survey and a sensible valuation. Boat salesmen are notorious for jacking up prices, especially for a first time buyer or if they think you are loaded. Worse than estate agents or double glazing types IMO.

    Insurance and mooring costs - boats do sink and you can easily get ripped off for mooring. For prime mooring spots it can be better to buy a wreck of a boat that comes with a mooring at a sensible price and sell the boat cheap.

    I'd personally want one which I could take on holiday and do a bit of exploring with rather than a "static" one, so if that's what you want to do, make sure it's all ship shape mechanically. Also, something too big may restrict your travel opportunities. If I remember correctly, a 56 or 57 foot narrow boat was the choice for the Leeds Liverpool canal, due to the size of the locks.

    Thanks Sysman. Good info for me to ponder. The boat is owned by a friend so I don't think I'm getting ripped off. He used to travel the canals in it but the maintenance got too much so it is now effectively 'static'.

    You've come right out the other side of the forest of irony and ended up in the desert of wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bogeyman View Post
    I have been offered a house boat on the Oxford Canal. Price yet to be determined and haven't looked at the thing, but seems to be in the region of £120k and is supposedly in excellent nick. It's not on the market yet and I've been given first refusal.

    I have no clue about houseboats, but wife and kids are very keen.
    Mooring charges are a problem, but you may be exempt from council tax.

    Also, boats with wooden hulls are depreciating assets - In twenty or thirty years they'll be rotten to the core.

    And what about the winter when hell^D, oops, the canal freezes over? Isn't there are risk the ice will crush the boat to matchwood, like those guys who sailed to Antartica?
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwlHoot View Post
    Mooring charges are a problem, but you may be exempt from council tax.

    Also, boats with wooden hulls are depreciating assets - In twenty or thirty years they'll be rotten to the core.

    And what about the winter when hell^D, oops, the canal freezes over? Isn't there are risk the ice will crush the boat to matchwood, like those guys who sailed to Antartica?
    It's a steel hull.

    I can just imagine reliving the Shackleton experience, having to trudge over 20 yards of ice to the nearest pub.

    The mooring charges are just about acceptable.

    You've come right out the other side of the forest of irony and ended up in the desert of wrong.

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