Life Onboard: Mooring your houseboat out on the open water

Authored by Mike Page
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 - 11:00

Thanks to rising costs and skyrocketing rents, many UK residents are seeking alternative housing options.  

One of the most popular has been moving onto a houseboat. Once exclusively for the wealthy who could afford them, they have become increasingly desirable for young people who want a permanent home they can relocate. 

With moorings morphing into the new rents and becoming increasingly unstable for boat owners, it’s understandable that many would consider mooring their boat on buoys in open water. 

This option is often cheaper than more accessible moorings, and less sought-after, meaning that it’ll be easier and more affordable for those keen to save money and still enjoy living onboard their boat. 

There are many challenges to this approach, but if you’re interested in living a freer life on your boat then read on to find some practical tips. 

Get A Motorboat To Transport You To Shore

Taking your houseboat to and from the land every time you want to go to the shore can be time consuming, so you should consider getting a motorboat to save you time and effort. Boats For Sale has a range of quality motorboats on sale, so you can find yourself a quality way to travel short distances. You can find those boats here and choose the one that suits your needs. 

Choose Somewhere Safe

Among the first things you need to do when you’re looking to secure your boat on open water is to find somewhere that you can keep your boat. Most open water moorings still require you to pay rent to the owner, whilst some anchorages are so far out that you won’t have to. Find somewhere secure and convenient that will suit your lifestyle. 

Learn How To Install A Mooring 

Mooring in open water means that you won’t have the shore to secure your boat against, meaning that you’ll need to learn how to install an underwater mooring, if there isn’t one already available in the area you intend to keep your boat in. Being able to install a secure mooring yourself will give you more independence, as you can pick up your equipment and move it somewhere else whenever you please. 

Secure Your Boat Properly

Larger boats might need multiple anchors to secure both the front and back, so make sure that you use the correct gear when mooring your vessel. Your boat may also need securing differently throughout the year depending on the weather and water conditions, so it’s important that you learn to adapt. If in doubt consult your local harbour master or waterways supervisor to make sure that your boat is safe and won’t get lost or damaged. 

Find Like-Minded Boatowners 

Everything is better with friends, so find some boatowners who also want to live on the open water and collaborate with them. You can all share resources and advice, making your collective lives easier. It will also help you to beat loneliness when you’re moored out on the open water. 

Insure Your Boat

An important step for any boat owner, it’s crucial that you have a comprehensive boat insurance policy no matter where you moor your vessel. When keeping your boat on the open water, it’s vital that your policy covers damage from the wind, sinking and other issues that could affect your boat. Check your policy and make sure that it covers everything you need it to when you’re looking to move your boat onto open water, so that you can rest assured that you’re fully protected no matter what happens. 

Stay Connected

Mooring your boat out on open water may mean that you struggle to connect to the internet. If your local marina has the internet, then use a booster to reach the connection. Alternatively, if you’re completely cut-off from mainland internet, consider using your mobile provider’s internet or installing a hotspot. This will allow you to stay up to date with everything that’s going on even when you feel like you’re cut off from the rest of the world.  

Choose An Alternative Source Of Fuel

The major disadvantage of life on the open water is that you won’t have access to the amenities that you would if you moored near the shore, such as electricity. One great way to create your own power while you’re on the water is to install solar panels on your boat. This will not only give you energy security, but also give you the opportunity to do your bit for the environment. 

Learn To Protect Your Vessel From High Winds

Wind is one of the key dangers you and your boat face when you’re moored on the open water, so it’s important that you learn how to protect your home. Stow anything that the wind could take away and store it securely when the wind speed is up. You should also consider renting a lockup or alternative storage unit on land for valuable items, so that during times of poor weather your items are protected.  

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