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From Van to 58ft Narrowboat NamedLaika

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Jess, Harry, and their cat Saffi have been living in a narrowboat for about a year after moving out of an apartment and doing vanlife for a while. They wanted a bit more space, so a 58 ft narrowboat seemed like a perfect way to keep a nomadic life but have some breathing room.

The boat needed some renovations, but thankfully Harry is a carpenter and had the skills to do a wonderful job. Jess works remotely in recruitment, so living on-the-move isn’t an issue. Enjoy our interview with the couple after the photo tour of their space!

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Recruiter & Carpenter Sailing the Rivers of England

They have a great little kitchen with a double oven.

Cute little blue tiles and open shelving.

There’s a cushy couch and a woodstove in the corner.

Saffi the cat loves boat life.

Gorgeous views out the window.

Their comfy bed in the back.

Time to set sail!

They move around every two weeks.

The happy couple!


What got you into tiny living?

I have previously lived on a boat and loved how compact life was and being able to move with all my possessions. We then did a campervan conversion during lockdown and realised we wanted to live a moveable life permanently, but the van didn’t give us enough space. We arrived at a boat being the best option.

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

We bought our narrowboat, it was in a bit of a bad way when we first got it, so we renovated the entire thing, it took us 3 months (during the mega heatwave of last year).

How do you make money on the road?

I work remotely in recruitment so work from the boat which is ideal. My husband is a carpenter specialising in small space living and does work for other boaters and people who need innovative solutions to those awkward small spaces!

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

It has made our life so much better, we lived in a 2-bed flat with no garden previously so had no outdoor space and what felt like no freedom. We now have a rooftop garden and dining space, we have incredible views and new locations to visit and explore every 2 weeks.

What’s the hardest part of tiny living?

No washing machine on board and navigating finding a laundrette!!

What’s the most rewarding part?

Learning new skills, meeting some incredible people, amazing views and locations and always being on an adventure. It also allows us to be a lot more eco-conscious which is something I am hugely passionate about, and it goes hand in hand.

Any advice for people looking to go tiny?

Do it! You will not regret the amazing experience, the amazing network of people and if not now, then when???

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Our big thanks to Jess 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.

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