22 3 21 Sawley Waterside Marina 1626
11 6 21 Aquavista Bath 00859
A guide to

Living On A Canal Boat

Many people want to leave dry land behind and hop onto the UK canal system and cruise the stunning country for the joy of it! 

Living on a canal boat can be idyllic, whether that’s sitting on your canal boat in the countryside or in a friendly marina near the city centre.

The freedom to live and move around on a canal boat can be extremely tempting, but be prepared! At Aquavista, we want to help with all the questions you might have.

What is the cost of living on a canal boat?

One of the main concerns you may have about up and moving onto a canal boat is the cost of it. However, a lot of the time living on a boat can actually work out cheaper than owning a house and all the expenses that come along with that.

Canal Boat Cost

Canal boat prices can vary depending on a lot of different factors. If you’re after a brand new vessel, you may be looking at double the price compared to if you bought one second hand.

As well as this, the size of the boat will certainly impact the cost of your boat. Other factors like it’s condition, boat year and location may also affect this. Browse our boats on offer here, and filter by a range of different criteria.

Running Costs

Boat Licence

As a continuous cruiser you will need to have either a six or twelve month long-term licence. To renew or buy a new licence, you can go to Canal River Trust. An annual cruising licence tends to range from around £250 - £500.


Like with cost, insurance can depend on many different factors to do with your boat, including the size and age. Just make sure to do your research when searching for the right boat cover and take into account all the elements that you want to protect.


As well as cost, there are of course legalities involved when it comes to living on a boat. To own a boat, there are a few things you must have in order for everything to be above board. 

Registering your boat

You usually need to register your boat to use it on inland waterways, such as rivers and canals. To do this, you can contact the navigation authority of the waterway you want to use.

Boat safety requirements

There are different safety requirements depending on whether you use your boat:

  • On inland waterways
  • At sea
  • For private or commercial purposes

Register your boat

You can apply for a boat licence or registration once you’ve met the relevant safety and insurance requirements.

Benefits of living on a canal boat

There are many benefits to living on a canal, from saving money, to enjoying nature and travelling wherever you want.

Freedom and minimalism 

On the UK waterways, you are free to travel anywhere you would like and you can choose to live minimalistically, with only the essentials on board. This is perfect for those who want to settle down and get away from it all.

Money Saver

You might think that boat-living is expensive but it can actually save you a lot of money. When you think of a house cost compared to a boat cost, the difference is significant. As well as this, running costs aboard a boat tend to be a lot lower.

Being close to nature

Canal river cruising gives you the option of always being close to nature if you want. At Aquavista, we have plenty of countryside locations for you to cruise across and be at one with the greenery and wildlife.

Can visit many different locations

Why get tied down to one area? The beauty of being on the water is that you can move your home whenever you want. Explore a range of different locations across the UK to your heart's content.

Living on a canal boat is a liberating experience, but there’s a lot to consider too. Get in touch with Aquavista to find out more, on 0115 9077 444.


Keep it coming!

Want a helping hand to guide you into boat life and lots more ideas and inspiration for life on the water? Share your email with us and we’ll make sure you get all our latest posts as and when they’re dropped.