We did it! Mr B and I are officially boat owners! #PROJECTLIVEABOARD is GO! Here's the start of our journey with Mr Brightside, a beautiful yet long-neglected 65 ft Springer in need of restoration and well-overdue love, care and attention. 

Meet Mr Brightside, an unloved, neglected but truly beautiful 65ft Springer narrowboat from the mid-to-late 1970s. Our future home. 

Back at the start of our #PROJECTLIVEABOARD journey, way back in Nov 2015 we thought this was our wishlist for our permanent liveaboard boat on the water... A widebeam or Dutch Barge with a wheelhouse. How wrong we were!!

After visiting Crick Boat Show 2016 with +Waterways World and Canal Boating Times, we learned so much and the most shocking discovery of all... we actually DIDN'T want a widebeam or Dutch Barge after all!

After boarding the widebeams at Crick, although they are undoubtedly amazing, we realised that they just weren't for us. After learning about the roving traders licence in the seminars, perfect for SFMGS, we knew we needed a Narrowboat to be able to travel the whole system. Seeing the adaptability that is possible, my beloved wheelhouse also wasn't an essential anymore... instead we could glaze the cratch to make a bright sunroom for my photography for work and leisure. 

We have looked at over 100 boats since then... and because we have such a clear vision of how we want our space to work for us to incorporate work and family life, every single one would have need a refit. We moved towards the idea of a project boat after spending Summer 2016 on my Uncle's small Springer... seeing the way we used the space was invaluable and as it was also undergoing some renovation, we saw that a project boat would be perfect for us! 

When we saw our newly named Mr Brightside, it was love at first sight. We had always said our future liveaboard was out there just waiting, and here he was. Our offer was accepted and now the fun begins!!

It's undoubetdely a HUGE project, but it fits so perfectly with our outlook and way of life. To save this beautiful boat from the scrapheap and return it to it's former glory feels like such a special opportunity. And once the hardwork is done, and there's going to a lot of that for sure!, it will be so rewarding. We have already begun work ripping out the poor-quality partitions inside, and hope to be able to recycle the wood to boaters moored up by the boatyard when we visit this weekend with the angle grinder. It was too wet to put out before.

The strange steel appendage that was welded on... almost like a wheelhouse with no windows... and a weird side lean-to structure need to be removed before we can move Mr Brightside closer to home to begin the extensive steelwork on the hull.

To follow our journey and the restoration of this wonderful 65ft Springer who has already firmly took a big place in our hearts, follow us on Instagram @mrbrightsidenarrowboat. You can see our first look inside, the journey so far and our restoration plans. 

We just can't wait to get started! After so long researching, and adapting to life back at home in our..eeek... 30's to save... we feel like Mr Brightside has already given us a whole new lease of life, focus and hope for the future.