Why living life afloat can really improve wellbeing
1. It makes you happy!
We’ve often thought that waterways are the perfect places to unwind and forget about the stresses of daily life. Well, now it’s official, independent research published in May 2018, shows that simply spending time by the waterways can make you happier and improve your life satisfaction.
The results, from a survey commissioned by the Canal & River Trust, show that the wellbeing associated with visits to waterways is greatest for frequent users. This implies that the more people spend time by water, the more satisfied they are with their lives and the less anxious they feel.
2. Cosy & Warm
Canal boats and barges can heat up really quickly with the aid of a good fire. Our boats are fully insulated and there’s no mess with our diesel or electric fires which are quietly efficient and effective. They heat up in an instant and keep you cosy and warm – perfect for those nights when you just want to snuggle on the sofa and watch TV!
3. Closer to nature
What could be nicer than waking up to the sounds of moorhens and ducks, or falling asleep to the rain gently pattering on deck, or looking out of your kitchen window to a cormorant swooping for fish? There is an abundance of flora and fauna on our waterways and around our marina berths. The private moorings at Bramley Falls had some new residents in Spring this year which were too cute for words.
4. You’ll be more environmentally conscious
Houseboat living can drastically reduce your energy consumption compared to living in a traditional property. Our moorings at Hazlemere Marina and Bramley Falls have Smart Meter electricity bollards so it’s easy to keep track of what you’re consuming and spending via an online account. Our boats are also configured so that they can be connected to solar panels on the roof, which also reduces your electricity bills. There’s even an option of a hybrid engine which reduces engine emissions when you’re cruising.
5. Improve your fitness
Living on the water you are just seconds away from any number of water sports and activities. Docklands Sailing & Watersports Centre in Millwall Outer Dock and very close to Bramley Falls, provides tuition on sailing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and is a great place to meet like-minded people. For our customers at Hazlemere Marina, similar opportunities exist at Herts Young Mariners Base in Cheshunt. Despite the name, they cater for all ages and you can try your hand at caving, fencing and archery too!
But if organised watersports is not for you, just the weekly routine of cleaning and maintaining your boat will keep you in good shape. Our locations are also perfect for those who don’t want or need a car, as shops and amenities are just a short walk or cycle away.
6. Re-connect with your local community
Our fully residential moorings are great places to meet people, make friends or just have a lovely chat over a cup of tea with your neighbours. Boat ownership attracts people from all sections of society. You are just as likely to be moored next to a doctor, nurse or school teacher as an artist, banker or IT consultant. You’ll be united through your common ties of boat ownership and spirit of escape from the rat race.
7. Boost your immune system
Plants and trees, especially near water, give off chemicals called phytoncides. When humans breathe these in it results in an elevated white blood cell count. These fight off illnesses and infections. Better absorption of oxygen will also improve your alertness and balance levels of serotonin which is attributed to mood and stress.
8. Lower cost of living
Living on a boat is often more affordable than land-based accommodation, especially in London, with housing prices skyrocketing, more and more people are taking to the water as a more affordable option.
9. Less Space = Less Paraphernalia
The contemporary living space of a Greenwich ‘70 wide beam boat is very much like living in a stunning waterside apartment. Inevitably, there is a reduced amount of space on a boat compared to a house or apartment so the need for “stuff” is low. Moving on to your first boat will be a great cleansing process to sort out those heaving cupboards, wardrobes and loft with things you no longer use or need. Our interior designers have introduced some clever space-saving and storage ideas too, so you can keep a tidy ship!
Having a floating home also engenders the spirit of borrowing or giving – again great for the soul. Boating communities often do swaps; one person’s junk is another person’s desire, so when something is no longer useful it can often get passed on to another boater or neighbour.
10. Every day’s the weekend
Our waterside development locations can feel like being on holiday all of the time. The ability to go cruising in your home over a weekend, BBQs on starry summer nights, enjoying your morning cup of tea watching a family of moorhens pass by or curling up with a good book and hot chocolate in front of the fire. What could be more relaxing and romantic?!