Thanks Peter for your excellent guest blog, I have my own views about living on boats and I have done the opposite to Peter in as much as I lived on the land until I was about 20 and then on boats until moving in to a house when I was 40 (oops giving my age away)that was 6 years ago, so I have views on the subject too!
When living on a boat you are at the mercy of A. the mooring provider, B. the body that administrates the navigation you are on, C. the local council, D. unwanted visitors. I need to quantify these by saying that if 'A' wants you gone then you have little power to oppose them (unless contractually bound) point in case is the Fish and Duck marina in Ely where the operator gave ALL of the residents three months notice to quit and there is nothing they can do about it, 'B' The same applies if the operating body decides to deny you a license, 'C' if the mooring that you are on is not a proper residential mooring (usually requiring planning permission) the Council can have you removed (this has happened in the past) 'D' this one is more about other peoples inconsiderate behaviour, imagine you are on an idyllic mooring in the middle of countryside and someone moors there boat opposite to you on the towpath and then either party's all night long or runs their generator/engine/noisy heating all night long (it does happen) all these things can happen but in reality they are very rare!
Peter makes the point of recent issues on the TV, flooding, power cuts etc, indeed I had a power cut at home recently, no real problem I ended up in the pub! Flooding would affect anyone, even those on boats as you effectively become stranded on your boat, and the dangers are very real when on a boat on water that is rising,or falling; electrical failure isn't too much of a problem providing that the electrical system is in good order, the engine is in good order and you have plenty of diesel and a good bank of batteries, but you must remember that as well as the cost for diesel to produce the electricity there is also the cost of the upkeep of the engine and the electrical systems, it doesn't always follow that living on a boat is a cheaper mode of living.
If you are retired, the boat is paid for, you can continuously cruise, you can take care of your own maintenance, you don't run your engine 24 hours a day to produce electricity, you live frugally, then living on a boat can be a cheaper option than living in a house, Would I go back to living on a boat? I don't think so, but you never know, I do miss that feeling that if I wanted to 'go' then I could, living in a house does feel a bit restrictive, but while ever I have my roots here at Norbury then living in a house suits me.