My partner Dale and I have been living on a narrowboat for about eight years. In that time we have lived on the Grand Union Canal in London, on the Thames, cruised the midland canals for a year, and eventually decided to settle on the beautiful Oxford canal.
There are advantages to living on a canal boat – the calming proximity of water, ducks bringing their ducklings to be fed in spring, sitting on the front deck in the sunshine watching other boats go by – what could be more blissful? Also if you don't like where you are - it's very easy to move!
Disadvantages? Well winter can be hard. Although it's toasty warm with the coal fire burning, if you have to go away for any reason in winter, returning to a freezing ice-box is not unknown. Also space can become a bit of an issue, although for some reason I love living in a small space, and cleaning isn't a long job!
The one thing I miss though is having a garden. Although some boats have moorings with gardens (we had one in London) they are few and far between. I do miss having a bird feeder and watching the birds.
All in all though, I think the pluses outweigh the minuses, especially if you add in the wonderful boating community, quirky eccentrics and non-conformists all, and always there for you if you're in need of help.