It’s tough when you’re looking for information and motivation regarding narrowboats online, it’s quite a niche subject and a lot of what we found was mainly to do with buying a boat written by brokers and marinas or hidden deep within long threads on forums and Facebook. What we wanted was information put simply and real life people dealing with narrowboat living as motivation to show us we could do it to. That’s when we turned to YouTube and a selection of channels who do just that. It’s one thing reading about the struggles of a boater cruising during winter but it’s a whole other story seeing them single handing locks in the snow and breaking ice around their boats in their videos, it truly brings the lifestyle to life. Whether it is how to videos or cruising vlogs the following YouTubers have helped us along the way and our who we consider to be the best narrowboat YouTube channels. We hope you learn a few things from them and most importantly enjoy watching them as much as we do.
If you fancy learning about the life of a liveaboard taught to you by a dear friend over a pint in the pub (quite literally in most videos) then you have to watch Robbie Cumming’s voyage logs. You get to see Robbie cruising around the waterways of the UK, exploring the towns and cities as he goes and get to meet the cast of characters he encounters along the way. He’s exceptionally personable and although he is actually very capable when it comes to the world of boating we always get the feeling he is figuring it out as he goes which gives us hope! Here’s an example of the kind of video you can expect from Robbie Cumming
Cruising the Cut
If watching Robbie feels like chewing the fat with a mate at the pub watching David from Cruising the Cut’s videos are more akin to the type of feature you’d find on Countryfile or the One Show (which is in no way a slight on his videos). That’s not to say that David’s videos aren’t interesting and informative, they are detailed and well researched, well shot and with extremely good audio, it is simply that they are unapologetically his tastes and style. It really is Cruising the Cut’s how to videos which are what keeps me coming back to his channel, he covers topics which are seemingly simple (such as lighting a fire for the night) but are exactly the kind of thing which people take for granted that you will know so it’s been a real godsend to be able to watch someone learning these skills themselves and then instructing us how to do them too. Here’s an example of the kind of video you can expect from Cruising the Cut
The Narrowboat Experience
Annamarie and Kath are a couple continuously cruising around the canals with their two cats. It’s nice to be able to see a narrowboat YouTube channel where there is actually a couple who share the screen time as the majority of the ones we watch are either solo boaters or we only get the view from one half of the couple. Seeing how a family can live, work and function in such a small space is motivation to us that we can do it too. Their relaxed style, while maybe not as in depth as Cruising the Cut, means their guide videos and cruising videos are entertaining and the interplay between the two keeps us coming back for more. Here’s an example of the kind of video you can expect from The Narrowboat Experience
This Narrowboat Adventure
Despite the narrowboating world being taken over by younger boaters this really doesn’t seem to be the case where we are moored up. Our marina is full of wonderful and helpful neighbours however all of which are of an older generation than us, therefore being able to hear a younger person’s take on living on a narrowboat is a real treat and This Narrowboat Adventure gives that too us. Jasmin gives us information on topics we care about (such as setting up a roof top garden) and addresses a lot of the concerns we have as younger boaters trying to make our way as liveaboards. Although the majority of videos are talking straight to camera the information we get has helped us tremendously along the way from before we bought the boat until today. Here’s an example of the kind of video you can expect from This Narrowboat Adventure
Journey with Jono
Now I’m a sucker for a boat building project (my longest subscribed channel Finding Simon is working his way through a mammoth catamaran build, however it’s not a narrowboat so doesn’t make the list) and Jono has undertaken a big one and is videoing the whole process. He bought a shell of a boat and has been living on and travelling in it ever since while renovating on the move. His story is engaging and interesting and seeing how much work goes into turning a shell into a liveable home just makes me thankful for the state of our boat when we bought it as I’d hate to have to go through what Jono has been through! Here’s an example of the kind of video you can expect from Journey with Jono
These are by no means the only YouTube channels out there about narrowboats, they are simply the ones we enjoy coming back to time and time again. If you have recommendations for channels you think we should check out let us know who and why you like them!