Living on a narrowboat can be very rewarding, from visiting various locations across the country to being part of a close-knit community. But how much does it actually cost to live on a narrowboat?

Throughout this blog, we’ll be telling you everything you need to know about the costs of living on a narrowboat including your boat license, mooring fees and more.

Fixed Costs Vs Variable Costs

Every narrowboat owner is different, whilst you may choose to cruise for a longer period of the year, others may choose a smaller time period. There are many factors that can affect the running costs of a narrowboat, but to give you a better idea of what costs you may incur it is best to split these into fixed costs and variable costs. 

Living On A Narrowboat – Fixed Costs

Your fixed costs are costs that remain the same regardless of whether you are cruising or mooring. A small example of fixed costs can include:

  • Boat maintenance including Boat Safety Certificates
  • License fees
  • Insurance 


Living On A Narrowboat – Variable Costs 

Your variable costs are costs that fluctuate based on how often you use your boat and how long for. A small example of variable costs can include:

  • Fuel and gas 
  • Toilet emptying or pump out
  • Water in some areas
  • Solid fuel for a stove
  • Boat maintenance such as painting and repairing cracks
  • Mooring fees

Maintenance Costs 

The costs of maintaining your boat can vary depending on the usage, but it is recommended that you have annual engine services and book in for regular hull blacking services for your boat. 

To help you breakdown any additional maintenance costs, here is how frequently you should be maintaining your narrowboat:

  • Checking your engines and drive belts, exhaust leaks, and mooring ropes – every month
  • Checking your engine’s alignment, cleaning out air filters and changing the oil in your gearbox – at the beginning of the season
  • Checking the antifreeze levels in your pipes – end of season 

Boat Servicing & Repairs In Cheshire

If you’re struggling to maintain your boat and need an expert to take a look for you, our team would be happy to help! We offer a wide range of boat servicing and repairs from our workshop in Cheshire, from welding, engine installations, boat painting and more. Simply get in touch with our team on 01270 524 571 and we will help you with your requirements.