In the last blog, I talked about the all-important credit score and how ours was pretty much … well, non-existent.

Getting a loan for our dream narrowboat was probably going to be difficult.

Undaunted, we continued looking at narrowboats for sale, but lowered our expectations and budget slightly (okay, quite a bit, if you must know).

We took another trip to Whilton Marina and checked out what could only be classed as a project boat. It wasn’t too old, but it had been used as a cafe boat. It had a commercial kitchen up the back and tables and chairs took up the remaining space, along with a tiny loo room (no shower, though). There was also no access into the boat from the stern as the kitchen filled that area and any rear access had been blocked off; this meant that entry was only possible from the front or via the side hatch on the starboard side (that’s right-hand side, for those not fluent in nautical terms).

The poor boat didn’t look like the outside had been cared for at all – the paint was bubbling and the steelwork was rusting very badly in some places. The front doors were wood and almost rotted away. The flooring in the kitchen felt alarmingly spongy underfoot, so most likely some rotting wood there too. It definitely would have needed blacking, and I shudder to think what condition the hull would have been in.

Still, we thought if we could get it for the right price, it might be worth putting in the time, effort and money to fix it up, doing the work ourselves wherever possible. Seeing as the inside was more or less an empty shell, converting it to a live-aboard that matched what we wanted probably wouldn’t have been too difficult.

We went home and talked it over and consulted with ‘Dad-who-knows-all’ (what he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing apparently).

Dad looked at the pictures we’d taken and provided a three page report; he wasn’t too keen on the heavy rusting – and made the valid point that if it was in such poor condition in the areas that were easier to access and maintain, then what condition would the hard-to-access places be in?

While we kept all this in mind, the boat was fairly priced, reflecting the work that needed doing. Ryan and I decided to see what sort of finance we could get, considering the neutral state of our credit scores.

Tragedy… our application was refused! 🙁

The only option available was to go with a guarantor loan – but of course, you need a guarantor for that. We don’t have any immediate family over here, so that really wasn’t an option for us.

It was all a moot point anyway, as by the next day the boat was under offer – obviously someone else had also recognised its potential.

So, now we know.

Even if we find a budget priced boat, we can’t get the finance. Not to mention a budget priced boat would require the input of additional funds to fix it up…

Is this the end of our Narrowboat Quest?

Well, luckily for us, there is a light at the end of the tunnel… but I’ll leave you on a cliff-hanger ending! 🙂
(P.S. The next part of the adventure is ready for you to read. Click here to find out what happens next!)