tour of our narrowboat

If you’ve never been on a canal boat or seen the inside of one, you might be wondering what it’s actually like.

You may have noticed that the blog has been a bit quiet lately – but we haven’t been relaxing, cruising along the canals and generally enjoying the life. Okay, there was a bit of that mixed in!

Our last blog post was the jubilant success of acquiring our new home and the ever-growing list of jobs to do. Since then, we moved her out of the marina where we bought her (Venetian Marina, lovely people) and moved her down the Shropshire Union to Wheaton Aston, which was as close as we could get to our apartment in Telford. We moored there for a few weeks while we recarpeted and then moved everything out of our apartment and onto the boat – the biggest item being our king-size bed! It gave us no small amount of stress, wondering if we would get it aboard…

But all was well, we managed to get the mattress on with the help of some handy ratchet straps to squash it slightly! We didn’t have much in the way of other furniture, so beyond the bed and an old desk, we mainly had to move small items like clothes, kitchen utensils and other bits and bobs that tend to somehow appear in a house.

But enough of that – you’re here for the Grand Tour!

We have done a video tour of our narrowboat if you would prefer to watch that, otherwise, read on below.

Andrea Rose is a 60ft narrowboat with a cruiser stern. She originally came with a pram cover at the back, but we quickly decided that we didn’t like it and removed it. The front well deck has a cratch cover that is very handy for keeping out the rain and we mainly store our coal and water hose in that area.

Inside, she is a reverse-layout boat, meaning the bedroom is at the front and the kitchen at the back. Many of the older boats have a ‘traditional’ layout, meaning the back entrance leads straight into the bedroom, then usually onto the bathroom, then the kitchen and finally the living area at the front. This is great if you intend to spend a lot of time in the well deck watching the world go by as you cruise, and a lot of hire boats use this structure as it is quite lovely for holidaying purposes.

For us, reverse-layout suited us best. As you enter from the back of the boat, you come straight into our galley-style kitchen (quite apt, considering it is a galley!). For boat standards, it is quite a large kitchen, which again is perfect for us as we do a lot of our YouTube filming in there, cooking up delicious food! You can check out our recipes if you’re interested, we add them to the recipes section of this website every time there is a new one.

The kitchen leads straight into the saloon (or living area for those not familiar with boaty terms). We have a lovely large Morso Squirrel multi-fuel burner which has been wonderful at keeping us toasty warm during winter – good thing too, as our central heating is not working at the moment… another item on the list of to do’s!

We furnished the saloon with a couple of faux leather captains chairs that are super comfy – in fact, I do most of my work from my chair by the fire. The perks of working from home! Our TV is mounted to the wall on a swivelling bracket, which means it can be tucked out of the way when not in use, or pulled out and angled for optimal viewing pleasure. We only use it for watching YouTube or Netflix, so it’s not connected to the TV network and we have no aerial.

The saloon also doubles as the office (as I said, most of my work gets done in my captains chair). We replaced our bulky old desk with a slim one from IKEA that is wide enough for both of us to fit side-by-side in our office chairs. It’s the perfect size and allows for easy passage past it into the rest of the boat.

The next room is off the narrow corridor and is our small, poky bathroom. We’d love to convert it into a walk-through bathroom, but that’s a project for another day when we have some funds! At the moment, it serves our purposes well enough, although quite a bit of head-bashing and elbow-knocking goes on in there…

Continuing down the corridor takes you into our bedroom, where our massive king-size bed takes up the entire width of the boat. We don’t use the front doors to get outside, so we don’t have to worry about climbing over the bed all the time, but they do come in handy in the summer to get a lovely breeze moving through the boat.

Luckily, our bed came with plenty of storage underneath, a great place to put spare sheets, towels and other items that aren’t needed often.

Our new boat dog, Pixel, has her own little bed at the foot of ours, but she would much prefer to sleep in the big bed with us if her big brown eyes peeping over the edge are anything to go by!

We think we got the perfect boat and are so pleased we found Andrea Rose before anyone else snatched her up!

There are a lot of different layouts in narrowboats though and some suit others better. What’s your preferred layout and why? Let us know in the comments, we love to have a nosy around other peoples boats!