Most are 'crafty' in more ways than one and virtually every trader seems to combine the urge to see what's around the next bend with an understanding that boats enable a minimalist lifestyle, unavailable on land.
Two of the latest recruits to the travelling band of merchants is John Skett and his partner of 24 years, Kate King – both long-term liveaboard boaters in the Midlands but now hitting 60 and embarking on a trading adventure.
John explains: “We moved aboard the Four Seasons in October 2004 (to encourage our grown up children to become more independent – like that worked - and have lived aboard since then.
“At that time we were both worked for Birmingham City Council, me as a building inspector and Katie as an economic regeneration manager.
“Prior to owing our own narrowboat our first experience on the water was a sponsored cruise for St Basil's homeless charity on their boat, from Gas Street basin to Stratford upon Avon in 13 hours.
“We loved it so much that we just had to go for it.”
He says that whilst at work they were only able to cruise for three weeks at a time and return to home moorings at Ocker Hill.
“With both of us having both an artistic and musical background it was easy for us to see the beauty in creating things that we found either at the side of the canal or what we fished out of the water,” John explains.