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  • Writer's pictureDan Brown

The Best Thing I NEVER Did (Selling My Boat)

In the run up to the chaos of 2020, I emptied my boat, ready for sale, and re-rented the flat I had once lived in. I wasn't entirely certain on what my future plan was, but at the time I felt like it was the right decision, even if it was only a temporary blip between boats, as my previous stint on dry land had been.

The most pressing issue during early 2020 (with a background of increasingly alarming news stories) was the fact I needed to sell my boat. I was dragging my feet, but unwilling to sell up but also knowing it would be unsustainable to hold on to both the boat and my dry land residence. It was a conundrum that I allowed, (or used as an excuse), to slow progress as I continued to enjoy going out and spending time on my almost empty boat.

So as I'm sure we all know by now, when March 2020 rolled around, the UK went into lockdown and I suddenly found myself living through the single most boring phase of my life that I had ever known. Sam was stuck on her side of the England Wales border, the boat was stuck down the road at Ellesmere and I was stuck walking the same route day after day before heading back home to play Animal Crossing!

My flat was what some might call minimalist!!!

BUT this was an important moment in contrasting the freedom that boat life had offered me. Moving my entire home, almost exclusively in rural settings and with an ever changing cast of people around me. I would never say that my flat was anything other than a lovely place to live, it was just that in contrast to what I had left behind on the canal, and in the 2020 circumstances, there was a sense of stifling monotony to life there.

Odd jobs in the summer? This is a job for Super Grandad!

So by the summer time, when the world had temporarily opened up, I ditched the flat and moved back onto the boat ASAP! What followed was what currently stands as the best period of my life to date. Not only did the return to the canal bring all the feelings of joy and relief that a child who has just been let out to play from being grounded. More significantly, it was a return to boat life, while I still had a boat, there was no stress about finding a new boat, just a boat that I had already made minor adjustments to, to best fit my lifestyle.

This is where I spent my greatest ever winter!

The fantastic summer months soon turned into an autumn and winter of lockdowns. Everything that I had believed about the nature of a lockdown in the flat, vs being sat on a boat in the countryside proved true! I had an amazing time. We saw the most serene, snow covered winter scenes that I have ever witnessed. Utterly calm, quiet canals with extremely low traffic. Towpaths that had barely any walkers compared to usual. Luckily I had the realisation that this was a passing phase of life that we would likely never see again. With that in mind I tried to take it all in, keep sensible and safe, and enjoy, document, diary and record the beauty of what felt like a temporarily abandoned canal.

I have often thought about that first moment of early lockdown and my bitter regret that I now had a boat stuck sitting around on the canal, rather than having sold it already and having the money in my bank. The contrast to the following summer, when I would run back to boat life with open arms, begging forgiveness to my boat for leaving her so unloved for half the year, and then setting about the greatest period of boat life, in circumstances that I hope will never be repeated.

What a blessing I was so indecisive in January 2020!

Keep it boat worthy,

Keep it interesting,



(Want to help me out? Please take a look at my boat life books HERE, and my YouTube Channel HERE)

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