Starting a new business? Get 40% off our accountancy services for 3 months! 😎


This month we spoke to Martin and Sarah Lee, owners of Crafty Boaters. Together they run a self catering static boat accommodation business as well as selling artwork alongside it on the boats and in their online shop.
Crafty BoatersFacebookInstagramTwitter

Hi Martin and Sarah! Tell us about your business

Crafty Boaters offers year round static narrowboat accommodation in Lechlade-on-Thames on the edge of the Cotswolds, with stays from three nights. In addition, we sell our own artwork and hand cast ceramics too.

What drove you to start the business?

In 2017 we went to the Netherlands to buy a Dutch barge to live on. Martin at the time was already living on a narrowboat, but it was too small for us to work and live on it. However, we wanted to keep the narrowboat in order to explore the narrow canal system in the UK for our holidays. In 2019, when Sarah was informed that her job would be closing in two years time, we bit the bullet and decided to rent the narrowboat out full time year round through Airbnb.

We have found the transition to The Accountancy Partnership very easy. The bookkeeping software is easy to use and any questions we have are answered quickly.

What particular challenges did you have to overcome in setting up your business, and since then?

We opened for business in November 2019 and she was booked within 24hrs. Within months we were closing due to covid lockdowns. It was a challenging time. But the closure gave Sarah time to expand a hobby creating hand cast, hand painted tea light holders and ornaments.

After the second lockdown with loss of earnings, and restrictions still in place, we organised a socially distanced craft market at in our local hotel car park. It helped us and other local artisans stay financially afloat during the restrictions. We also offered our empty narrowboat to a couple who would otherwise have been made homeless during lockdown three. This helped us by earning enough to pay the bills for the narrowboat, and gave the couple somewhere as a stop gap for a reasonable price.

Why did you choose The Accountancy Partnership?

After our previous accountant retired, we needed to find another accountant. We had been with our last accountant for many years, so we were naturally apprehensive as we wanted to find another that we could build the same good rapport with.

We found The Accountancy Partnership after having looked on the internet. There were a number of important factors that were important to us. First we wanted to find a firm that we could continue using even if we moved, we wanted to be able to use bookkeeping software, and we wanted to have an assigned accountant. We have found that we have all these things with The Accountancy Partnership.


Online accountancy services

Get a quote and see how much you could be saving!

Get an instant quote


Have we helped you overcome any challenges, and if so, how?

We have found the transition to The Accountancy Partnership very easy. We have taken to using the bookkeeping software easy too, especially as there are some great training videos, and any questions are answered quickly by members of the team.

What do you have planned for your business in the future?

We have just expanded our customer reach by joining more booking agencies, and now have a section on our website where people can book our accommodation directly through us and buy our art work online. We are also currently renovating a second boat (a small Dutch barge) for short breaks that we hope to have up and running later in 2022.

Learn more about our online accounting services for businesses just like Martin and Sarah’s. Call 020 3355 4047 or get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Rachael Anderson

A creative content writer specialising across business, finance and software topics. I have a love for all things writing, and creating engaging, easy to understand content that helps everyday people! Learn more about Rachael.

More posts by this author
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Read more posts...

Maternity Pay for Self-Employed People

Being self-employed can offer the kind of freedom and flexibility many of us dream about. But if you’re looking to start or…

Read More

What are Payments on Account?

Payments on account are a type of advance payment that you might need to make towards your Self Assessment tax bill. In…

Read More

Tax and VAT for Online Dropshippers

Selling online through your own website or on an ecommerce platform can be a great way to launch a business, or just…

Read More
Back to Blog...

Confirm Transactions

The number of monthly transactions you have entered based on your turnover seem high. A transaction is one bookkeeping entry such as a sale, purchase, payment or receipt. Are you sure this is correct?

Yes, submit my quote
No, let me change it

Please contact our sales team if you’re unsure

VAT Returns

It is unlikely you will need this service, unless you are voluntarily registered for VAT.

Are you sure this is correct?

Yes, the business is VAT registered
No, let me change it

Call us on 020 3355 4047 if you’re not sure.


You will receive our bookkeeping software Pandle for free, as part of your package.

You can use this to complete your own bookkeeping, or we can provide a quote to complete your bookkeeping for you.

Please select and option below:

I will do my own bookkeeping
I want you to do my bookkeeping

Call us on 020 3355 4047 if you’re not sure.