After searching for a way to live self sufficiently we looked into boating. Specifically, houseboats and narrowboats. Our idea was to get some land alongside water and live in the boat while working the land for food and animals.

This also proved a difficult task, we would need a residential mooring which is few and far between. Land with mooring is also expensive and rarely without a house. We could again risk an unofficial mooring but this would be illegal and with children it is not a risk we are willing to take.

We could apply for a cruising licence. This would mean we could live on a houseboat and spend our lives travelling. We would need money as there would be no place for us to grow food. We would not be able to work (woodwork) our choice of work because we would have little room to do this. So our money would have to come from savings. We would also have to home school our children.

Although we like the sound of this lifestyle, it would be a lot different than what we are used to, but it would not be a completely self sufficient lifestyle – we would be relying on other people to provide food for us. My goal is to live completely self sufficient and we would not be able to, due to this. Many people would say that we should settle for a compromise or leave the country, but I feel in a time that a green life is being accepted that it should be a given right that we can live alongside nature without detriment to anyone else.

All boat owners need to register a licence, they can choose between a residential mooring licence or a cruising licence – there are others but these are the two main ones. You also need insurance and a type of MOT. We spoke to a boat owner and he said his licence was £600 a year and he was insured for 3 million. He also said that it was not unusual to bring children up on boats – he believed it was a lot safer on the canal then on the roads.

We are still in two minds whether to go for this lifestyle. It is attractive, but not completely self sufficient.

Another idea was to buy agricultural land with a lake and either live on a boat on the lake or build a house on the lake hoping it would bypass some laws. I’m not sure that it would and again, it would be risky.

In our next installment we will be looking at smallholdings.

Stay Happy, stay sane,