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Couple’s Widebeam Boat Life in England


This couple went on a vacation on a narrowboat before 2020 upended the world, and fell in love with the idea of living on the water. Still, they wanted a little more space than the narrowboat offered, so they started searching for a wide-beam boat instead.

They ended up purchasing a show model, and the new boat is absolutely gorgeous! The finishes are sleek and modern and look like a fashionable city apartment — but they get all the beauty of living on the water and waking up somewhere new when they want to. Be sure to look at all the pictures and catch our Q&A with the couple below!

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Vivere: What It’s Like to Live on a Widebeam Floating Home in England

They have such a sleek interior!

There’s a spacious kitchen and great bar space for meals.

They have a little TV here.

I adore the set-up in the living room.

What a great spot to eat a meal.

Those steps lead up to the deck.

A look down the hallway.

Their bedroom is at the back.

A view out the window.

Their bathroom with a perfect pothole.

Cute vase!

The towel warmer and another portole.

There are his and hers sinks.

There’s a little linen closet here.

Shelf with display area for knick-knacks.

I love this bedspread!

I love the recessed lighting.

The stove is perfect!

Don’t miss the Q&A with the couple below.

Interview:

What got you into tiny living?

Just before the second Covid lockdown in November 2020, we hired a narrow boat for a staycation on the Kennet and Avon canal. We loved being on the water and the peace, tranquillity and nature we found. Like many, the pandemic led to us re-evaluate our lives. We loved our trip and started to think about living on the water, away from the stress of everyday life. We did find the space on the narrow boat restrictive for our needs but had seen a wide beam descending the Caen Hill flight, still a tiny home in relation to a house but with more width we decided that suited us better and that sparked our interest in getting a wide beam boat.

Did you build your home or buy it? How long did the process take?

We started to do lots of research once we had returned from our trip and visited lots of boat brokers. We viewed lots of second hand boats and then found one at Shepperton that was brand new and in our price range, we fell in love with her. The boat was already designed, modern and there wasn’t anything major we would change so we signed up for her to be built. During the build we ran in to problems, mainly to do with getting internal features due to the pandemic and restricted delivery. In the end we were given the option of buying the show boat and boarded her on the 1st May 2021.

How do you make money on the road?

We make a little bit of money from our YouTube vlogs. However, we both still work. Richard is a vehicle and boat engineer and is just training to be a helmsman instructor, which will enable us to spend even more time aboard. Hayley was a teacher but has recently left teaching to become an employment coach part-time and this fits in perfectly around our travelling and time aboard and enables her to have the time to film and edit our vlogs.

How has tiny living changed your life (for better or worse)?

Definitely for the better, we have seen some amazing and inspirational places, travelled pretty much the whole of the Thames and are about to set of on a new adventure on the Kennet and Avon canal. The sense of calm that being on the water gives, is so good for your mental health. Once we step on board, the stress of everyday life disappears and we are in a whole new world where the worry fades away.

What’s the hardest part of tiny living?

The winter, we need to prepare in advance for everything, wood, coal, water etc. The water levels on the river can rise dramatically and the flow can be dangerous. You need to watch these and not travel if there are river warnings. We are also constantly cleaning, we didn’t realise how dirty and dusty a boat gets!

What’s the most rewarding part?

It’s a cliche, but being the captain of your own destiny, being able to go wherever you want to on the water and take your home with you. Waking up to a new view from your window and watching others enjoy the water.

Any advice for people looking to go tiny?

We would say do your research. Watch lots of videos and learn from others’ experiences. If you can afford to, hire some boats and test them out. Join social media groups and ask for advice and pros and cons. Wander down the riverside or towpath and speak to other boaters. It is a fabulous way of life but not always easy, and be prepared to have to learn a lot! However, all of this said, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed!

Learn More:

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Our big thanks to Hayley & Richard for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • merryl
    May 2, 2023, 6:13 am

    WOW! This is amazing. I would live here in a heartbeat. It’s perfect.

  • Sherry
    May 2, 2023, 2:05 pm

    Just way to dark and dreary for me, I love light bright colors to welcome me home and this does not say Welcome Home. I love the floor plan would just change colors and make it a happy place

  • John Ingham
    May 2, 2023, 4:26 pm

    I have been on Richard and Hayley’s widebeam and I must disagree with you sherry, as a person with mental health issues the interior colours are so soothing and welcoming.
    My friends have chosen a lovely laid back lifestyle that fits in perfectly to their livihood and I would strive to do it myself if I was able.

    • Sherry
      July 17, 2023, 9:04 pm

      To each is own choices in life, happy colors make me feel loved and content in life.

  • Paul
    May 2, 2023, 4:40 pm

    Sherry’s comment is not reality. The light spectrum for your eyes is dramatically different to that of a camera. That is why it is so daaaark.

  • Liz
    May 2, 2023, 5:18 pm

    This home is magnif!! Clean, pretty and well cared for. I love everything about it; inside and out!

  • vee
    May 2, 2023, 6:48 pm

    I just love it — beautiful in every way — very classy — unique!!!

  • Anna Wendt
    May 3, 2023, 4:46 am

    I would leave the U.S. in a heartbeat and get me a narrowboat. This one is so nice!

  • Vivian
    May 3, 2023, 11:30 am

    The design, layout, and colors make this a lovely place to relax and live. There is nothing I don’t love about this. I’d live there in a heartbeat. Though, I always wonder how often the tchotchkes fall off the shelves? LOL. Excellent work.

  • Donna Rae
    June 3, 2023, 8:03 pm

    As beautiful and beautifully done as this widebeam boat is, a sailor’s life is definitely not for me. I’m just not comfortable on the water as some people are. It is all to die for but, personally, I would be nervous too much of the time, especially if the weather was rough. Perfect for others, though! A terrific Tiny, for sure! Unique! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Eric
    July 24, 2023, 8:09 am

    Their bathroom with a perfect pothole. Bwa ha ha… shouldn’t that be “porthole” ???

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