Hannah the Narrowboat - our life living on the canal

Life aboard a Narrowboat

Whether you are thinking of buying a narrowboat, planning an adventure on one of those narrowboating holidays, hiring a narrowboat for the weekend or are just curious about us canal dwelling folk floating along a ditch in a metal box then this site gives you an insight into our experiences of owning a narrowboat called Hannah and our light hearted look at life on the cut.


To get a real idea into our narrowboating life it's a good idea to head straight to our narrowboating blog (see opposite - latest blog post always appear here), follow us on Twitter or watch our video channel (which we update often) on Dailymotion. We have dumped YouTube now but there are lots of older videos on there for your entertainment but all the new stuff  is now on Dailymotion.


NEW FOR 2018: We also take loads of photos so if you would like to see the world through our eyes then head over to Instagram.


You can get to all of our social networks from the icons opposite and at the foot of each page.


The first thing you need to know is that our boat is not a barge, a barge is what you see usually being towed along the River Thames full of rubbish or the like. It's also not a longboat, that's what the Vikings used. It is simply a floating cosy home call a narrowboat.

A little bit about us

Myself (Paul Massey) and my wife (Lee Massey) are very lucky. We may not have grand wealth, a big house in the country or drive around in flashy cars but we do have something very special indeed. We have a narrowboat called Hannah, and no she is not a barge. Hannah is not a shiny show boat that we polish every week and she is most certainly no spring chicken. Hannah is a cosy, most wonderful home that we can take anywhere around the beautiful canal network of Great Britain. Hannah is a place of tranquillity away from what most people call a 'normal' life.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, we are not pensioners enjoying our retirement years, we are in fact middle aged working professionals who do not believe that life is all about living in the 'rat race'. I work as a freelance graphic designer/musician (http://www.paulmasseycreative.com) and my fair lady owns a hair and beauty salon in Dunstable called Studio 55. At present we are not continuous cruisers but do spend most of our life aboard Hannah The Narrowboat I am lucky as I can work quite happily aboard the boat so long as I have a wifi connection. As time moves on we are both pretty sure that we will head out onto the canals as continuous cruisers but will probably keep hold of our marina berth too as it's such a great spot!

We have 2 children, the eldest being Luke who now has a family of his own and the youngest being Emma who is now a mother herself and lives in our old home! We also have a Jack Russell dog called Buddie Weiser Woodgnome the First who we swear was a human in a previous life - clever is not the word. Actually the word is 'Skingy' but we won't go in to that right now.

Our home mooring is at Gayton Marina in Northamptonshire and we have been there for around 8 years now. It's not the most tranquil of places due to the A43 running alongside but it serves as a great base camp for us both in a business sense and in the fact that we can cruise north for around 10 miles before hitting a lock! We are probably one of the slowest boats on the canal as we really don't see the point of seeing how far we can get, we feel it's more about the journey and what we see rather than the miles covered. We are more than happy just pottering along for a few miles and then mooring up for a few days just to get away from it all and to enjoy the countryside and the wildlife that it brings.

If you have yet to experience the joys of narrow boating then let me tell you one thing. There is absolutely nothing like awakening to the sound of ducks and having a bacon sandwich whilst sitting in the cratch (the pointy bit of the boat) looking out at the world.

Snug as a bug in a rug aboard Hannah the Narrowboat
Snug as a bug in a rug aboard Hannah the Narrowboat