Vlog 134: An American Tale

In the last Competition vlog, I mentioned that a lot of the viewers to this channel are overseas and I often get asked if foreigners can own narrowboats. The answer is “yes” and in this video I talk to an American couple who’ve done just that and are about to set off on their canal travels.

With many thanks to Bob and Jayne Fulton aboard NB Voyageur.

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  1. Great Information. Thanks for the recommendation, David.

  2. Michael Higgins

    Bob and Jane are living my dream. I’d like to know more about the legalities involved in obtaining a Visa if necessary to stay six months a year. I also am curious as to what they do with the boat the six months they are not there. Do they dry dock the boat, do they let it sit idle in a marina? This one was super interesting and beneficial David. Many thanks.

    • I believe they put it into a marina. No idea about the visa requirements, sorry!

    • Hi Michael ~ Sorry for the LOOOOOONG delay in responding. As for the legalities of our staying in the UK for six months, there are none save smiling and politely answering a few questions as we pass through Customs and Immigration on the way in. US citizens are allowed six months in the UK per year without bothering with a visa application and this arrangement is reciprical. When we return to the States where we live on a 40′ sailboat in Florida over the winter, we leave nb Voyageur in a marina, either in a slip or hauled out on the hard. Our Sailing blog site is http://www.sailblogs.com/member/voyageur. If you are on Facebook, Michael, send us a friend request. We are narrowboating proselytizers and love to share.

  3. I came across your vlogs by chance and having watched a few at random I then started watching from the beginning.
    The vlog re toilets interested me as I go a lot further back.
    In June 1975 my late husband and I hired a boat for the first time. It was a firbre glass cruiser with an out board engine and had a sea toilet!!! There was no visible evidence of the “flushings” but shortly after they were banned.
    The following October we hired again – this time a small steel boat and the toilet on this was known as a “chuckit and buckit”. It was a simple bucket with a seat and lid. A small amount of water and elsan fluid was in the bottom and it proved to be less unpleasant than we thought it would be provided we “chucked” it at every disposal point.
    June 1976 saw us hiring again and this time a small narrow boat with a pump out. We were so frightened of it overflowing we had it pumped out halfway through the week.
    In October we bought the little steel boat we had hired the previous year and replaced the loo with a recirculating toilet. The “gubbins” was hidden by a flap and a hand pump recirculated the elsan liquid. Eventually Porta Pottis came on to the market which were a massive improvement. The top half had to be lifted off the cassette.
    We continued with these when we bought our own shell and fitted it out ourselves.
    In 1996 when advancing years made sole ownership a bit onerous we swapped to shared ownership and were back to pump outs. This worked well as each set of owners was contracted to have a pump out before hand over.
    in 2001 my husband suffered a fatal stroke while working the Atherstone Locks and i sold our share.
    The following year I decided to try Hotel Boating and these boats, of course, have pump outs.
    Incidentally there was a brief glimpse of the Hotel boat i use most on one of your shots – Takara.
    Watching all your vlogs has brought back many memories and surprised me by how may places have changed.
    Keep the Vlogs going. Better than the TV any day.

    • Hello Iris. I’m glad you’re enjoying the videos and that they’re bringing back happy memories. I loved your tale of “toilets I have known”! It really shows how things have developed over the years. Hope you have many more happy holidays on the cut. Cheers.

    • wish i could do the same. used to be a merchant mariner myself..

  4. I echo every single sentiment. Right down to the banking issues! I even bought my boat sight-unseen as well. I’ve been anxious to complete outfitting (to stop shopping) and get out there, I’m planning on doing the southern canals and rivers first (since I’m here already). Good luck, hope to meet up some day!

  5. Pass this link on to Bob and Jayne re banking internationally https://international.lloydsbank.com/

    I have used it for 10 years without a hitch.

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