Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.
I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Is it for me???
This is a question people should really be asking themselves before they shell out their hard earned money to buy a boat.
But we know and I bet you do many who have never even hired a boat and yet they think nothing of paying thousands of pounds for a boat. I was told by a local brokerage that they are seeing more and more customers coming to them to buy a boat with no previous experience of boating and no idea of the rules and regulations which boaters have to stick too.
My advice to anyone who asks about getting a boat is. Always hire first and not just in the Summer. You should hire at different times of the year, to get an all round view.
So often we see people on boats, with the gentleman steering the boat and his partner is sat at the bow with a face like thunder. This is usually because they have had a row or she hates boating and has never told her partner so.
Last year I was chatting to one such couple. They were late into their retirement years and yet had hired for many years. They were out for a week, so I asked if they were enjoying their week out. The gentleman said "It is a wonderful, we have done this many years and love it"
His wife then took me to one side and whispered "Do you want me to be honest"
She then went on to say "I absolutely hate it, but it is my one concession to my husband for one week a year, because he loves boating".
At the time I thought how sweet she feels she is prepared to give up a week to keep her husband happy. But then I thought heck, why would you want to spend a week in a 6ft 10 inch wide tube with your other half when you know you hate it. Surely it must make for a week of hell. Then I wondered, does he give up a week for her, so she gets to do what she likes. If I ever meet them again I am going to ask her that question.
Would you suffer for a week to keep your other half happy?
She also said "I feel I am getting to old to do the locks now, so we may have to stop, but not sure how my husband will take it".
There are so many out there having the same issues. If your going to buy a boat, it has to be a thing you both enjoy otherwise it really does not work. The only time it will work is the man goes boating with friends and the woman goes off and does her own thing.
We know people who have bought a boat to live on full-time and it has been a disaster. Down sizing for many can be a difficult thing to do. Not only that if your living in a space lets say 60ft long by 6ft 10 inches wide 24/7 you need to get a long with your other half. It is no good if you row a lot, because someone is going to spend a lot of time walking a long the towpath otherwise.
I count myself extremely lucky, because Keith and I get on very well. We are not just husband and wife, we are also the best of friends. We only live in a small space and we have never as yet had a row. That is because we do not feel the need to row, life is way to short for such things. I love my life and all it has to offer, which is usually hard work. Keith has had over 40 years boating experience, so I had a great teacher when I came into it late in life. Everyday I feel like I have come home and this is what I should have been doing all of my life.
So many people come into boating and do not realise that it is hard work even in the best of weather. This can be made harder when the weather is torrid outside.
If your going to live on a boat with your partner, then the work load has to be shared. I am more than happy to get my hands dirty, which is evident because I hump coal around for a living, but equally Keith does the cooking. It has to be a partnership not just in marriage, but also in the way the work load is shared out on the boat.
I once spoke to a passer-by who thought she would love to live on a boat on her own. She stood there in her Pink t-shirt and White trousers, with shiny sandals and asked me how idyllic my life was and how she would love to do the same. I asked her if she had any boating experience and she told me "I have been on a cruise across the Med". I had to inform her it was nothing like that, you have to do everything for yourself, including emptying the toilet. Her nose screwed up at that point, so I thought right lets go in for the kill.
I said to her "What would you do, if you were frozen in out in the sticks and were in the shower all soaped up and when you turned the shower on no water came out, because your tank was empty?
She looked at me and said "On does that happen".
I said "It can".
Her reply was "Then it is maybe not the life for me". I like my home comforts to much.
Don't get me wrong, we have many friends male and female who live on their boats a lone, but they know what they are doing, and know how hard life on a boat can be. If you like your nails manicured, hair just so, pale coloured clothing and high heels everyday, then sorry living on a boat is not for you and you should tell your other half. You would be saving yourself a lot of heartache and money.
If you really want to know what it is like to have a boat, speak to boaters. Walk the towpaths and speak to people who actually live the life and not those people who are trying to sell you the dream, because they will always tell you what you want to hear.
So having read this. Is it for you???
This is just my point of view and I know there will be those who will not share it.