Canal boat up for sale at bargain price - but there's just one snag...

The stretch of river where the boat is sunk.
The stretch of river where the boat is sunk.



We all know that canal boats can represent a low-cost way of getting on the property ladder - but just £740?

That's the current highest bid on eBay for a 47-foot narrowboat on the River Avon. On - or rather under - because the reason for the low price is that the boat is currently sunk in ten feet of water.

"I bought this boat three years ago, installed a BMC 1.5 engine and started work on refitting her. It was halfway complete when unfortunately she sank at the end of February this year," says the seller.

"I cannot give you a guaranteed reason of how she sank. However, I can tell you she had weathered worse storms than the one that she sank in. Both mine and other experienced boatmen's educated guess would be that the prop had been hit by a piece of floating debris which caused a leak in the stern gland."

The boat was built by Harborough Marine in 1979 and has a steel hull with a wooden and fibreglass roof. It's a real bargain for the right person, says the seller.

"The engine alone should easily be salvageable and is worth what you would pay for the whole boat," he says.

"It is with great regret that I am selling her but due to work commitments I just don't have the time or money to raise her and start work on her all over again."

The boat before it sank.
The boat before it sank.



Prospective buyers are warned several times that it will be their responsibility to refloat the boat, and that it would then need to be moved to a new mooring.

But once restored, the boat could prove a good investment. A similar Harborough Marine cruiser that just needs a little bit of work is currently listed through a specialist agency for £16,950.

However, living on a boat has costs of its own. Unless you're prepared to be permanently on the move you'll need a mooring, which will cost over £2,000 a year and as much as £18,000 a year in London.

You'll also need a boat licence - £700 a year for a boat the size of this one - and every two or three years you'll need to take the craft out of the water altogether to black the hull at a cost of between £700 and £1,000.

But contrary to popular belief, narrowboats are generally warm and dry places to live - when they're not at the bottom of a river, that is.

Boating Etiquette
Boating Etiquette