Inland Cruiser Boat

Buy a Cruiser

Buy a Cruiser

Boat Ownership

As the owner, you decide when you want to enjoy spending time on your own boat as a couple, group or family. Depending on your finances, you can consider buying new or second hand. 

Which Cruiser?
  • River Cruiser (20ft/secondhand) from £4,500
  • River Cruiser (30ft/secondhand) from £8,000
* These costs are only a rough guide and may vary. Prices for narrowboats significantly from less than £10,000 for a second hand narrowboat, right up to £80,000 for luxury models.

See the OTW boat buyer's guide >

Shared Boat Ownership

This is a way to own a part (normally a percentage or number of weeks use per year) of a boat but sharing the initial purchase price and annual running costs. The boat is managed for you so that you spend your time cruising rather than on administration and maintenance.
To find out more about boat ownership click here

Recreational Craft Directive (RCD)

The Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) sets minimum requirements of a boat guaranteeing its suitability for sale and use within the European Union.

For more information on the Recreational Craft Directive click here

Boat Safety Scheme 

When purchasing a new or used narrowboat you should ask to see a Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) pass Certificate. The Boat Safety Scheme is jointly managed by British Waterways and the Environment Agency.  It's designed to minimise the risks of fires or explosions on boats cruising the UK's inland waterways network, by specifying a set of requirements that most boats must meet before they can be granted a navigation licence. 

You can see more details of the Boat Safety Scheme at

Marine Finance

Marine finance is available from high street banks, specialist lenders and via brokers. For sums under £5,000 many people choose to apply for a personal loan from a high street bank or building society. Marine Mortgages tend to be used for purchasing boats with a value £3,000+, and can normally be up to 70% of the value of the boat. 

For more information on marine finance click here


Narrowboats come in different styles and lengths so why not try day hire before you buy. Once you have found the type of narrowboat that suits your needs, you need to consider aditional cost - fixed and variable costs before committing to buying.

Fixed costs
These are the costs that you pay whether you are cruising or the boat is tied up on its moorings such as:
  • Compulsory Insurance
  • License fees
  • Mooring fees
  • Maintenance such as bottom blacking, winterisation and Boat Safety Certificate

Variable costs
These are the costs that change with the frequency and amount you use the boat such as:

  • Maintenance – normally based on hours usage
  • Fuel & Gas
  • Toilet pump out or emptying
  • Water in some areas
  • Possibly solid fuel for a stove

Boat Licences

If you are a buying a boat, you will need to get a licence from the relevant waterway authority. The type of licence you'll need depends on the sort of boat you have, where you want to cruise and how long you want to use it for. These can be purchased from one of the three organisations which runs Britain's waterways.

British Waterways manages most of the canals and rivers including the Severn, Trent and Yorkshire Ouse.

The Environment Agency manages the River Thames, the River Medway, and the rivers of East Anglia.

The Broads Authority manages the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

30ft    40ft    50ft    60ft   70ft
£561.05*   £649.99*   £741.68*   £832.01*    923.69*

* These costs are only a rough guide and may vary depending on the number of berths, time of year and onboard facilities. Please contact the relevant waterway authority for up to date licence fees – there may be a discount for prompt payment.


Mooring costs depend on the location and facilities provided by the marina, but as a guide you should budget between £35 - £50 per ft plus VAT per year.

For more information on moorings click here.


 Yearly Mooring    Temp Mooring (per week)
40ft £1850
  40ft  £44
50ft  £2310   50ft  £55
60ft £2770
  60ft £66


Insuarance fees are on application, and these costs are only a rough guide*

Boat value <£25,000     Boat value <£40,000     Boat value <£60,000
 £150 per year*   £240 per year*   £360 per year*


This vary hard to estimate, but you should allow a budget of £550 per year to cover annual engine service and bi-annual blacking  (2 - 4 years).


This depends on your usage, but the the typical costs are

Diesel £85 per year

Gas £85 per year

Video - Buy a River Cruiser with Bray Marine Sales