COMEDIAN Joel Sanders had quite a nice life before he decided to buy a boat and “live the dream”.

He performed in Vegas and appeared with comedy legends Robin Williams and Chris Rock, but gave it all up to return to England and fulfil a childhood ambition of living on a 60ft narrowboat.

This may not have helped with his anger management issues, but it has led to the creation of his hilarious long-running one-man show, Angry Boater, which comes to Maldon in November.

It’s a journey that started with what the former English teacher calls a eureka moment.

“The initial seed was visiting two friends who lived on boats,” said Joel.

“Soon after, I began performing on cruise ships.

“I was living on a boat, but it wasn’t mine.”

That all changed on a cycle ride in 2008 when he got talking to some boaters in a marina in Hertfordshire.

Joel, 51, said: “At that time, I was looking to reinvent myself, and within a week I’d bought a boat and was living in the marina.

“I stayed for a year. Having your own tap is all well and good but I prefer being a nomad and not looking through my porthole at the side of another boat.

“That’s the thing with a boat. If you don’t like where you are, you can move.

“What I now understand is that this isn’t always a good thing.

“My ability to tolerate things that I don’t like has weakened.

“In other words, the less I choose to tolerate, the less tolerant I become, hence the birth of Angry Boater.”

It’s certainly been life-changing for the former comedy club owner, whose solo show – now in its fifth year – comes to Maldon after a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival.

“There’s the perception that boating is all about tranquillity, incense and banjos but, as anyone who has done it will tell you, that’s just Tuesday afternoons,” said Joel.

“It’s a life of extremes – the good days can be euphoric but the bad ones are often shockers.”

Anyone who enjoys messing about on the water will relate to this joyous expression of “the boating condition”.

And those who prefer dry land will discover that the frustrations of modern life pale into insignificance compared with “living the dream”.

The Angry Boater is at Maldon Little Ship Club, the Hythe, on Saturday, November 16, at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £12 and can be booked at