Tips for Naming & Painting Your Narrowboat

It’s all in the name

If you’re a boat owner, you’ll understand that the naming of a boat is a very personal thing. Boat names can be a small insight into the owners’ dreams, ambitions and interests. So it’s no surprise that thinking of the perfect name can take a lot of time and careful consideration. Here are a few tips to help you kick-start the creative process:

  1. - Avoid names that are already being used by your narrowboat neighbours
  2. - Think about your lifestyle, hobbies, songs, favourite artists etc. for inspiration
  3. - It’s an old superstition that renaming your boat will bring bad luck, so choose a name that you’ll like forever! Some also say it’s bad luck to name your narrowboat after any of the following: loved ones who are still in the land of the living, your husband or wife, your pets, or basically anything you want to stay lucky, healthy and happy…and don't forget - make sure your chosen name isn't rude or offensive!

For more boat naming inspiration, check out our boat name generator.


Painting your narrowboat

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Narrowboat painting is an art form. Take a walk along any towpath or mooring and you’ll see the striking individuality of the owners as well as the traditional designs and colour schemes that have evolved since the beginning of narrowboat history.

When choosing your colours, ensure that comparisons are undertaken in daylight.

The beauty of narrowboat painting is that there are no hard and fast rules you can get as creative as you like.

How much does painting your narrowboat cost?

If you’re a narrowboat owner, you’ll likely be aware that it’s not an inexpensive task. Whether you DIY or have a professional paint your boat, it will cost a considerable amount of money. For a DIY job, you can expect to pay around £500 total. If you hire a professional hand painter and craftsman you can expect to pay over £100 per linear foot of boat for a basic job.


DIY narrowboat painting

Before you set out to paint your narrowboat, make sure you have a basic kit with all the necessary tools. Buy the best brushes you can afford, a sander for surface preparation and a set of knee pads for when you’re tackling the roof.

You should also consider booking your narrowboat into a covered dock - ideal painting conditions are not too hot, no breeze and no insects. The environment can be controlled much more easily if you are under cover.

Read these painting tips for a more detailed guide on how to prep and prime different narrowboat surfaces.

Thinking about where to head next on your narrowboat? Be sure to download our Guide to the UK’s Best Mooring Spots!


The Ultimate Guide: UK's Best Mooring Spots

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