Cost of Winter

This week on YouTube we share with you our costs for the last four and a half months. These costs are based on two live aboard novices and a very cold winter. We have only included the costs of running diesel heating, gas for cooking, electricity, and the fuel for the stove. Anything else related to maintenance or mooring has not been included.




We have been buying 10kg bags of coal from various hardware stores. This is mainly because we haven’t been organised enough to get in touch with a local fuel boat and because the local chandlery we visited at the start of winter was out of 25kg bags.

However, we have found this to be more convenient for us because 10kg bags are much easier to move around. Also, all of the stores have had 3 for 2 deals on so we don’t believe that we are spending much more than we would on a 25kg bag – we have been buying 30kg for a maximum of £13.98 or sometimes £11.98 depending on the brand that has been available.

Other stove costs

As we let the stove burn out, we need to buy firelighters and kindling so that we can get it going again quickly. We experimented with cheap firelighters from the pound store but found these were rubbish so have been buying ZIP boxes from the supermarket. I haven’t kept an exact record of this because it just happens as part of the weekly food shop. The box price has ranged from £2 to £2.50 depending on special offers.

Kindling costs about £2 a bag. Again, I haven’t explicitly tracked this but we’ve generally bought a few bags at a time under 3 for 2 deals at the hardware shop.

We also found that heat logs were a great help in getting the fire going quickly. Again, we purchased these from the supermarket. A 12 pack cost us £5. Unfortunately, the supermarkets near us have stopped selling these wonderful products so we have moved onto smaller heatlogs from the hardware shop. These are still about £5 a bag but there are more than 12 in there due to the size.


We haven’t been using any form of electric heater so this isn’t strictly related to keeping warm in winter. However, it does keep our 12v battery bank topped up and runs everything else on 240v, including the immersion heater to keep us in hot water.

I have topped this up 3 times at a cost of £70 (excluding the £9 admin fee).


We have changed the gas bottles twice since moving on board at the end of October. We use gas everyday to cook. This is also not a heating cost as we don’t have a gas boiler for water.

In the video I said that a 13kg bottle of gas cost us £30 to £35. I have double checked this and it was just under £30 a bottle. Perhaps based on the comments, we need to find an alternative place to buy gas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *