THE SHARED OWNER’S VIEW

Canal Boat - - Boat Shares -

Hav­ing loved the ex­pe­ri­ence of nar­row­boat­ing in the past, but not the price of school hol­i­day hir­ing, and not be­ing in a po­si­tion to buy a boat out­right at this time, my hus­band Nigel and I de­cided to buy a spe­cial share in Row­ing­ton in the sum­mer of 2014.

We have two chil­dren, Grace who’s nine and seven-year-old Matthew, who love their boat­ing as much as we do, so the thought of a guar­an­teed three weeks of boat­ing in school hol­i­days for the cost of about one ap­pealed.

Two years later, we don’t re­gret our de­ci­sion. We’ve had some great cruis­ing on the Ox­ford, Ashby, Trent & Mersey and Shrop­pie among oth­ers.

We’ve en­joyed evenings of board games next to the wood-burn­ing stove in Fe­bru­ary and early morn­ing bird-watch­ing through the

Row­ing­ton...

side hatch on Tix­all Wide in Au­gust. This is the stuff of fam­ily mem­o­ries! When we’re aboard Row­ing­ton she feels like our boat (the chil­dren af­fec­tion­ately call her Rowey). She has more home com­forts than many hire boats and we’ve found that many peo­ple on the cut treat us dif­fer­ently when we’re on Row­ing­ton from when we were on a hire boat.

Yes, we have to hope that all the syn­di­cate mem­bers get on in or­der to make de­ci­sions and that they treat the boat with the same re­spect that we do – but that’s why we opted for a boat with a man­aged syn­di­cate (by BCBM) and so far, we’ve had no is­sues. Yes, we have to be re­spon­si­ble for the pump-out and re­fu­elling at the end of a trip (not to men­tion the brass clean­ing) but that’s what makes her feel like our boat.

No doubt three weeks will not seem enough one day and the plunge into boat own­er­ship proper will have to be taken – but for now, own­ing a piece of Row­ing­ton suits us just fine.

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