Tel: 01270 760 770



You open the hatch.

The smell of Oak and a
real fire climb up to welcome you.

As you step inside, relaxation floods over you. You sit, kick off your shoes, uncork that special bottle you've saved especially for this moment and pour yourself a generous measure. And why not? You deserve it.

It's your first night on board your very own boat. Not one you'll forget in a hurry.

A dream come true...

But for most of us, regrettably, that is what it will always remain - a dream. For how many of us can afford to purchase and run a narrowboat of exceptional quality on our own?

But if this is your dream, to be master of your own boat, to experience the true pleasures of canal cruising, to live the high life without the matching high price, then Carefree Cruising may just be able to make your dreams come true.


Owning a superb quality narrowboat can now be a reality for most of us, not just an elite few.

With Carefree Cruising's professionally managed shared ownership scheme, owning your own boat is now a reality, not just a dream.

You can experience all the joys of owning your own quality narrowboat, without the related problemsand the significant expense which go with being a sole owner.

So what are the pleasures and the pains of owning a boat? And why not just hire?

Lets take a look at the three main options open to you:


Offers you good availability of both boats and locations to explore with the assurance that the boat you hire has been professionally maintained, with assistance if you require it.

But it's expensive (it can cost up to £2,000 per week); hire boats are oftenold, designed to maximise the number of people that they can sleep, rather than making them welcoming, comfortable and fully functional "floating homes" and often lack the equipment and comfort of the better quality private-owner vessels.

And, of course, it can't compare with the pride and pleasure of cruising down the cut at the helm of your own boat.


The dream we all have, owning our own boat. On the plus side you can have it designed and built to your own specification and it will be available for you to cruise whenever you choose.

But the dream can, in reality, become a financial nightmare…

First, there's the enormous capital outlay. Then there are the annual running costs, and the organisation associated with them. For a 57 foot boat, you'll get precious little change from £5,000 by the time you've paid for maintenance, mooring, insurance, licence and servicing

And, unless you live on board, the cost per week of use is enormous; if you used it for 4 weeks each year over 10 years, it would cost you over £3,000 PER WEEK!

Even with the lower capital cost of a second hand boat you still have all the annual running costs, perhaps higher for an older boat, which may not have been well cared for by the previous owner.

But, most importantly, high quality boats are just like any other piece of precision, expensive machinery. They look better, run better and last longer if they are used, cleaned and serviced regularly throughout the year.

Shared ownership schemes

Owning the Enjoyment but Sharing the Expense is how Carefree Cruising can help you realise your dream.

Shared Ownership schemes have become very popular over the last few years. A group of like-minded co-owners is assembled, each of whom owns a share of the narrow boat, with each co-owner's entitlement to use the boat being determined by the proportion of it that they own - i.e. if you own a 1/12 share you get 1/12 (4 weeks) of the year to use it.

The advantages of shared-ownership are many, but the principal ones are:

  • As you're only purchasing a proportion of the boat, rather than the whole, it's likely you'll be able to afford a higher quality boat, constructed to a superior specification.
  • You pay only a proportion of the narrow boat's annual running costs. This would typically reduce the running cost per week's ownership to under £300, making it vastly cheaper than narrow boat hire.
  • Your pride and joy is not left to deteriorate at expensive moorings for much of the year, but is used, aired, serviced and cleaned regularly and professionally

We care for you and your investment

Of course, when you share the expense, you also share the use. So the usage of the boat has to be planned and booked in advance.

That's where the advantages of Carefree Cruising's professionally managed shared-ownership scheme come into their own.

At Carefree Cruising, we see to it that your cruising is just that - Care Free.

We build our own boats and so are able to ensure quality of workmanship at every stage of the build process - especially important when you consider that your boat will be in use for well over 40 weeks each and every year!

Our managment service is equally impressive. We co-ordinate the co-owners use of the boat in an even-handed and
impartial way.

We also shoulder the considerable administration burden of arranging moorings and insurance, buying the licence and ensuring that the boat is serviced and maintained to the highest standards - all for one simple annual fee.

We also operate a 24 hour, 365 days a year support service, giving you the peace of mind that in the unlikely event of you encountering a problem whilst cruising, help will be at hand, promptly and efficiently.

But it's not just Carefree Cruising's managed approach that makes us different.

We also operate a totally transparent, open, honest and professional service to care for your investment.

For example, unlike many shared ownership schemes, we only ask you for a small £250 holding deposit when you purchase a share in a boat.

Why should you shell out thousands up front to finance the build of your boat?

All the costs for your boat are passed directly on, without any hidden profit or mark-up being applied. Our only vested interest is in you.

Full income and expenditure accounts are supplied to each of the members of the ownership syndicate every six months and you have the right to inspect the quotes and actual invoices relating to the running of your boat at any time.

And any money you ever pay to us is held in a secure and ring-fenced client bank account, totally separate from our day-to-day business finance.

When we say Carefree we mean Care Free - on AND off the water!

But what sort of boat can you own a Carefree share in?

Well, we apply the same philosophy to specifying our boats as we do to providing our service - "Only the best will do".

We construct our own boats, to ensure that quality and reliability are built in as standard, especially important when you consider that our boats cruise in excess of 40 weeks each and every year!

And we don't use 'themed' names or corporate liveries. Each and every one of our boats is named and the colour scheme is chosen by it's owners - so down the cut or down the pub, everyone will know your boat is top quality and privately owned - by you!

When you buy your share in a Carefree Cruising boat, we take care of everything.

We build your boat and your syndicate of co-owners with equal care.

We make sure you're involved at all times and provide all the legal documentation of ownership, co-owners' agreements, usage schedules, licensing, mooring arrangements... and on board you’ll find binoculars, books, charts...the complete Carefree package.

Carefree Cruising is part of one of the largest canal companies in the UK, giving you the assurance that you are dealing with a stable and broadly based company.

When you deal with us, you know that you are dealing with a professional, well mananged family firm that is focused on delivering a quality service to you.

You sip from the glass.

Another great day of cruising, new places, old friends.

The warm glow from the fire feeds your own glow of pride.

You rock gently as the swell from a passing cruiser laps around your boat.

All quiet now, but tomorrow holds the promise of more adventures at the helm.

Your helm. Your boat. Your dream.

You realise that, at this moment, you don't have a care in the world. Life really is Carefree.

As it should be.

Now take a look at...

How the Carefree Cruising Scheme works and which option is right for you >>>