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Narrow boat internal roof lining

I am in the process of having a 50foot narrow boat built and would prefer instead of an oak veneered ply head lining,oak tongue and grooved strip, but have been advised the weight would make the boat unstable and additional ballast would lower the boat in the water.
Any suggestions please and the cost difference

Asked by: Graham Day  | 6.09pm, Thursday 15 January

WW says:

The additional weight would probably not be that significant, with many boats having solid oak fittings anyway, so I cannot see this as a legitimate excuse.
The construction of the shell and its shape are far more indicative of a boat being unstable; unless you are intending using several additional tonnes of wood. Solid oak is not that much more dense than plywood- certainly not enough to induce additional roll. However, additional ballast may be needed at other points.
top-heavy steel shells, or very shallow draft boats might be effected, however it is unlikely that specifying a solid wood compared to a composite would have a noticeable difference!
I have reviewed several boats recently with solid oak linings and they were certainly not unstable!
As for cost difference- that depends on the quality of the oak supplied, how much machining it requires and the relationship between the boatbuilder and their supplier! It would be difficult to give even a rough estimate. I have a feeling that your boatfitter may prefer to work with ply (easier and quicker to fit, and more tolerant of mistakes) and the example of it becoming "top heavy" may be an excuse...

Mark Langley  | 12.48PM, Friday 16 January

I agree with Mark about the difference in weight.
The only thing I would mention is that T&G boarding on a ceiling does tend to accentuate the length and narrowness of the interior. Panels of plywood, particularly if they are divided by cover strips going across the boat, break up the ceiling and make the interior look wider. It is, however, really a matter of personal taste.

Graham Booth  | 3.59PM, Friday 16 January

I am glad you found our replies interesting and as surprised as you are that the ply option costs more.
Provided the oak T&G is of good quality and reasonable thickness, it sounds like a win - win situation for you.

Graham Booth  | 10.35AM, Tuesday 20 January

Readers say:

Thank you for your replies to my question regarding the roof lining, I found it very helpful especially as I am told the ply lining will cost surprisingly more (£800).
Any further comments appreciated.

Graham Day  | 9.12AM, Tuesday 20 January

Thank you for your reply.
Can I confirm the approx cost to supply and instal a veneer plywood roof lining would be£800:00 more than a solid oak tongue and grooved ? I realise it depends on the quality of the oak t and g.

Graham Day  | 2.03PM, Tuesday 20 January

One option would be to use oak veneered plywood and route shallow grooves to simulate T&G planking. That way you can make the 'planks'a little wider than normal which are better visually in my opinion.

Tony McLeod  | 7.29PM, Sunday 4 October

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