Narrowboat The Never Inn has been moored on the railings for as long as I've been boating in Cambridge. Last year, it got an interesting paint job in the form of white 'ripples' on a black background. I thought it was a well-executed, good looking and simple design if quite nontraditional. This photo is of the boat on the visitor moorings at Jesus Green last year:
But recently I noticed an ad on the bows, indicating that the boat was for sale:
"Would you like to live in comfort in the centre of Cambridge for a fraction of the price, with the ability to move if you don't like the scenery? Go to Gum Tree.com, type Narrowboat."
So I did. The Gumtree page describes the boat in more detail. It is on for £72,000! Its a 58' fairly new (2004) hull, with an Isuzu diesel engine, and a very different fit out. This image, which is linked to from the Gumtree page, shows that the plan is based on a series of circles, forming a 'wiggle' down the centre of the boat. I
It is an interesting idea, and I admire the builder's tenacity to stick to it so rigidly. Even the bed is curved! But I do feel that although it is fairly well executed, it is quite limiting, and could be highly impractical to find furniture and fittings which would work with its unique layout.
Interior shot looking towards the kitchen in the bows.
The boat itself is moored on the Railings, which is a legal grey area for moorings in Cambridge. Whilst it is not illegal to moor there, its not really legal either. They do not pay a penny to be moored there, and as a result the Railings have collected a flotilla of very shabby boats. No-one, not the Council, the Cam Conservators or the Highways Agency are prepared to take action, and say that they own the land, and control moorings there. They cannot be merged into the Council mooring scheme that we are part of because there is a big drop down to the water, and boat-owners have to climb the railing to get to their craft. This is not considered safe enough to be legal mooring. Every year the Council consult on whether or not to get rid of all the boats in this area, and they have constant complaints from local residents in the swanky flats nearby. So, although it hasn't happened yet, they could be evicted at any time. Also the situation on the railings area is such that if you were to leave your mooring at all, even to get water, and someone took your spot while you were away, you have no right whatsoever to have it back, and would be effectively homeless.
And yet the advert for the boat says it has an"Indefinate Free Mooring". Hmm.
The Never Inn on the Railings