One sunny Saturday morning in 2005 Nick spotted a boat advertised on eBay. 24 hours later he made a bid which was accepted, three days later he was the proud owner of a 70ft (21m) long narrowboat called Journeyman . ‘I would only have squandered the money on food and heating for my family otherwise,’ said Nick. This is Nick’s first boat and two years have passed since his initial purchase. He found that since buying the boat – which he saw as a summer toy – he has spent more and more time on her each week, even through the winter. Now he only makes the occasional visit home to check he hasn’t been forgotten. Journeyman was built in 1985 as a one-off design for a professional carpenter who fitted out the interior himself. There is a traditional engine room that houses a vintage Lister JP3 engine. The engine, manufactured in 1929, had a previous life driving a fairground generator. It has since been fully restored and creates interest wherever it goes. Journeyman’s home mooring is currently at the Lazy Otter Marina, Stretham, Cambridgeshire and is well placed to explore several local places of interest by boat. Nick’s travels so far have amounted to around 100 miles per year – on average one trip per fortnight. Nick’s initial enthusiasm on eBay has turned him from a boat novice to a full time liveaboard and he doesn’t regret it for a minute. ‘I wanted to have a compact, moveable, fun and cheap to run home – what I ended up with is a cramped; sometimes pretty firmly fixed thanks to lock closures; miserable (the combination of rain, rain, more rain, and leaks); and bank-breaking money pit. But would I swap it? Not on your sweet life!’
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