Investigating buying a boat

I’m looking into buying a narrowboat or similar (widebeam?) to live on in the Bristol area. This might not actually come to anything, however with finances looking the way they are it might be the wisest course of events.

The boat should ideally be situated in or near Bristol or Bath, so I can get to the office if needed. I would also like to have a widebeam boat if thats possible, I get claustrophobia and I’m worried that a traditional narrowboat might be, well, too narrow. Plus I have a slight disability with my right leg, in that I cant bend it (much).

There are two main options when it comes to living aboard: continuous cruising and residential mooring. With continuous cruising you have to keep on the move every 14 days, and cant double back on yourself within a reasonable timeframe. You are expected to cover some area and not just mooch about in one bit. For me at present needing to get to the office that probably isn’t the right solution. Longer term that would be a great option.

With a residential mooring your options are very limited, with only a few moorings in the region and some with waiting lists, this could be difficult too. Do I really want to be stuck in Saltford without a car being trans? Meh.

Example widebeam cabin. (Not my image, taken from a boat sellers catalogue)

I’m looking for this thing to be my home as well as my place of work. So I will need space for setting up a small studio – which for me means a medium sized table/drawing board with some storage nearby for pens and watercolours etc. as well as a desk for doing IT/Tech related work – I have laptops and also an external screen.

I have the traditional idealism of the newly converted, so realise that much of what I’m saying is enthusiasm and not based on any proper research or knowledge. I am welcome to suggestions and what is the best course of action. This whole thing might just be an idealistic dream, but who knows? If I dont look into it then I feel that Im wasting an opportunity to branch out to a new life.

The other alternative is if I buy a van, but that will not help with the bending right leg and claustrophobia issues. I’m open to suggestions again.

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