By February 13, 2014 Read More →

Working from home on a boat

Working from home on a boat - Peggy MelmothPeggy Melmoth used to live on a narrowboat, where she set up her writing and VA business.

As part of #Workspace Week she tells us about life and working from home on a boat.

Hello Peggy, what kind of accommodation did you have on your narrowboat?
Violet Mae was a 70ft traditional narrowboat with wooden floors, side hatches and plenty of daylight. At the stern there was a traditional boatman’s cabin painted with roses and castles.

Moving forward there was another bedroom, a bathroom and then a kitchen. At the front of the boat was a large living area with two armchairs and a foldaway dining table.

Tell us about the business you set up on the boat
I set up a business as a virtual assistant, and freelance blogger and writer. I offer my services to canal-based businesses and charities and write articles for the waterways press.

I’ve also just launched a new website offering online courses to help people to reinvent themselves and achieve their goals.

Where did you work and what furniture did you have?
The picture is posed with me sat ‘working’ at the kitchen worktop, because the side hatch makes it obvious that I’m on a boat. But in reality I only ever used that workspace for quickly checking the internet.

During school hours when my family were out I worked in the main living area at a ‘butterfly’ style dining table. These are great space savers because the four chairs fold away and can be stowed inside the table.

At the weekends I would work in my bedroom (or ‘cabin’!) at a small but cute shabby chic desk. I had a bunch of ring binders stored under my bed, and a laptop computer.

What do you miss now you are a landlubber?
What I miss the most is living and working close to nature: Seeing the sunlight reflecting off the water and rippling across the wooden ceiling, having swans tapping at the kitchen window asking for bread, and having my lunch break in the sunshine on the front deck.

How does working from home in a house compare?
Living and working in a house feels absolutely luxurious after 13 years of living aboard!

You never have to run the engine to recharge the domestic batteries. The electric never runs out; the water never runs out. The internet is always working, and the phone signal is always there!

Also, at the end of a working day tidying my desk is optional: Not so working from home on a boat. Every space there is multipurpose and will be used for something else when your work day is done.

How should home workers with an ambition to live aboard start to fulfil their dream?
I’ve written a free eBook called Living on a Boat which answers a lot of common practical questions.

For those whose work involves the internet, as mine does, you’ll need a dongle (3 Mobile has good coverage) and a backup Pay As You Go dongle for when your chosen provider isn’t providing!

Alternatively, if you don’t plan to travel on your boat you could seek out a live-aboard mooring in a marina that provides WiFi. These are not so easy to find though, and can vary massively in price depending on what area of the country you’d like to live in.

Also, bear in mind that engines and systems break down on a boat: Be prepared to go and work in the local library if you’re out of electric, with the canal frozen over and waiting for a marine engineer!

However, if you prepare for the occasional challenges, then I’d say working from home on a boat is an inspiring and quiet environment, perfect for artists and writers.

work from home secrets

Peggy Melmoth is a writer, narrowboater, mother, poet and e-course creator. Visit for writing commissions, business blogging and virtual assistance and Reinvent Yourself 101 for a free e-course to reinvent your life, your business and your story.

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1 Comment on "Working from home on a boat"

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  1. Antoinette says:

    You have a nice place their.. The background looks fresh 😀