Log in
Article search:

Q & A

self build

wanting to build a narrowboat shell trad style.
looking for pics and any info on building tec.
forming the hull etc.

Asked by: david moxon  | 1.43pm, Thursday 27 March

WW says:

The only narrowboat plans I know of are published by Acorn Engineering but I am not sure if they are for a traditional style boat. See http://www.acornengineer.co.uk/show_cat.php?id=417. or phone 0161 336 2680.
There is also an article in this year's WW Annual that tells you what makes a good shell, although it is aimed at buyers rather than builders so does not go into too much technical detail.
However, before you go too far down this road, here are a few thoughts you might consider.
Waterways World publishes a book called the Narrowboat Builders' Book which contains lots of information for people wanting to fit out their own boat.
In the chapter that covers shells, it advises against building the actual shell yourself. This is because, although they may look fairly straightforward, there are many subtleties in narrowboats that you might miss first time round. Most shell builders learn their trade working for other builders and then branch out on their own. Those that dive straight in usually don't really hit their stride until the third or fourth shell - as a DIY builder, you probably only have one chance.
You may be a great welder but, if you build a boat that looks obviously 'home made' you will be at a disadvantage when you come to sell it and have to compete against professionally built boats.
One way round this would be to buy a decent looking boat with a poor fit out, strip it out and refit it yourself.

Graham Booth  | 3.00PM, Thursday 27 March

Readers say:

dear graham thanks for your reply.
i will take a look at the article in ww annual'
i am a coded welder and and at my local boatyard a chap has built a boat of 30ft he has let me veiw the build and given me tips and advice.
The man is not a boat builder but the boat looks nice and i would be pleased with the result.
I will gather as much info and advice as i can the decide if its for me.
thanks again graham

david moxon  | 4.20PM, Thursday 27 March

You must log in to post an answer.