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Is there anybody that will actually design a widebeam canalboat given a rough layout that one can then take to possible builders. Preferably at a reasonable price!!.

Asked by: PAUL BROWNETT  | 11.05pm, Saturday 21 August

WW says:

If you were having a house built, this would be a very sensible way to go about it but it is not the usual practice when commissioning a new boat.
No matter how hard you or your designer try, the rectangular interior of a canal boat dictates that there are far fewer opportunities for radical designs than there are when building a house on an open plot of land. It is therefore likely that, after looking at a few built examples, you could come up with a permutation of possible options that suits you best. The soon-to-be-published Waterways World Barge Guide is a good place to start.
Most boatbuilders are fairly adept at designing the type of boats they build. They are used to taking a rough layout plan produced by the customer and suggesting ways in which it could be improved or how inherent problems could be solved. The result would usually be much cheaper than forcing them to adopt a layout designed in much greater detail that prevents them building in a way with which they are familiar.
This approach means that you will not be able to compare one quotation with another quite as accurately because they will all be based on slightly different assumptions. However, you should still get a feel for which builder offers the best value for money.
Having said that, it is not always a good idea to base your final decision on price alone. You should also consider other factors like the quality and character of the builder's work and, bearing in mind that you will have a close working relationship with him during the construction stage, how well you get on.

Graham Booth  | 10.25AM, Sunday 22 August

Readers say:

Dear Graham I keep coming up with ideas to tax your mind. The cost side is the cost of doing some rough designs based no some slightly different ideas i Have basicalkly 3 that i would like pictures and reasonably accruate layouts of. I have emailed and faxed several builders and gotr not a thing back. I now have one builder whop may and his plant is in Polan of all places. I would like to firm up a couple of plans myeslf before sending to him and a couple of others for pricing. Build quality is as yopu p[oint out more important than price.

PAUL BROWNETT  | 11.28AM, Sunday 22 August

I went to Boat Spec for my interior plans. The builder I used to build my boat had little idea regards layout, he said I could have what I wanted just draw it on paper. I wanted more than just that, so these people produced a layout for me to my design which I gave to the builder and had put in as part of my contract.

Dorothy Newton  | 2.01AM, Tuesday 31 August

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