After living on it for more than 2 years I will be selling my narrowboat. Living on a boat was the single best decision I made while living in London. Just being able to start the engine and move your home wherever you want is priceless. It allows you to enjoy the busy urban life in King’s Cross, the art and cafes in Hackney or silence and natural beauty in Cheshunt or Rickmansworth. There is a great community that is always willing to help you out or just chat a bit. Especially during the lockdown it was an absolute treasure having not just a floating home but a floating office as well.
The reason I am selling is that I will move back to the Netherlands. Contrary to popular belief living on a boat is not common there, although I will look into it. I will certainly miss London’s canals.
Lyudmila is a 47 foot Narrowboat, build in 1973 by Harborough Marine. It’s a perfect medium size, large enough to allow for a separate bedroom, bathroom and kitchen living with outside seating space but short enough to always find a gap to moor in and turn it around on almost every bit of canal. I am 6 feet tall and can stand upright without hitting my head. I have been continuous cruising so the boat is ready to go.
I am an architect and have done quite a lot of design and DIY over the past two years, including placing a new floor and building several pieces of furniture to optimize the use of space and create a more light interior. There is a linoleum floor throughout in the colour Berlin red which gives a nice vibrancy to the interior and also insulates pretty well. It is really easy to clean. It was installed in July 2019 together with new floorboards. The inside of the hull was also painted for extra protection. There were no leaks.
The boat was taken out of the water in October 2018, surveyed and blacked. The hull thickness is good at 4-5mm. It was blacked with 2 layers of bitumen plus an extra layer on the water line.
The living room has a sofa that can be turned into a desk/dining table. Working from home after Covid has been an absolute joy, sitting in front of my computer while looking out over the water. There is a good amount of storage under the seats.
The kitchen is fully equipped with a a hob and oven, tap with hot can cold water and several storage cabinets. Everything works perfectly. I cook 3-4 times a week and use the oven regularly. The hob and oven use gas from a canister which lasts about 4-6 months. I have a spare canister as well so there is always a backup if you run out of gas.
The bathroom has a very large (1m x 1m) shower tray. The shower has good water pressure. Hot water is coming from a boiler which heats directly, so you never run out of hot water (unless you run out of water entirely). Also no need to run the engine in order to shower. The boiler was installed in June 2019 so it’s just over a year old. I do not know the exact size of the water tank but I estimate that is is about 500 litres. I can shower daily for about tree weeks before running out of water.
The bedroom has a 190x125 double bed with storage underneath. There are bookshelves above the bed and there is a fairly large build in wardrobe.
Lyudmila is powered by a BMC 1.8 with 35 horsepower. The oil and filters have been renewed June 2020 and the engine runs smoothly. I have just taken a trip from little Venice to Yiewsley, a distance of more than 16 miles, without any trouble. The space under the engine was treated with Vactan anti-rust and a layer of paint to protect it further.
Electricity is provided by a 150 Watt solar panel which is stuck flat on the roof. From March to November it is enough to power everything. Naturally in the darkest months there is less sun so you might use the engine sometimes for charging the batteries, though it will still keep the lights on. The boat is fairly energy efficient with LED ceiling lights throughout. An inverter provides 230v through sockets in the bed room, kitchen and living room. There is a starter battery and two leisure batteries.
Heating comes from a wood burner. It can provide quite a lot of heat with the right fuel. I can explain you what to use to make the optimal fire. It’s really cosy in winter watching the flames. I have just put new tiling. Right now I’m finishing some woodwork around it but this is mere aesthetics, the heating works fine.
Everything on the boat works perfectly. I have done the following works:
July 2018: New batteries (2 leisure, 1 starter)
October 2018: Blacked, two layers plus extra layer on the waterline
June 2019: New solar panel, new boiler, water tank tested for leaks (no leaks) and painted under
July 2019: New linoleum floor, new floorboards, inside of hull painted
July 2019: New floor plus grass in the bow (outside)
September 2019: New shower tray and shower pump
September 2019: New stern cover
July 2020: Interior repainted
August 2020: New tiling around the fireplace
|Model:||47 Cruiser Stern|
|No. of engines:||1|
|Engine model:||BMC 1.8|
|Drive type:||Shaft drive|
|Length over all:||14.33m|
Note: Indicated location is approximate general area only.