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Narrowboat hull

I am looking to purchase a narrowboat in the near future, and would like to know the Pro's and Con's of a 'Deep V hull'. are there any restrictions concerning depth of certain canals, locks etc. Also boat handling. Thank you.
M Haskins

Asked by: marc haskins  | 8.27pm, Monday 23 July

WW says:

I am not sure what you mean by 'Deep V hull'. Most narrowboats have a flat base plate but a few, generally those intended for use on shallow canals like the Mon and Brec, have a shallow V baseplate. Since the cross section of the canal is saucer-shaped, this allows boats to get nearer to the bank to moor.

  • Springer narrowboats had a V base plate which is surprising given the extra amount of work involved in making them and the fact that Springers were at the budget end of the market.

  • If you are considering a deeper V, it would increase the bilge volume (which would be good for ventilation) but it might increase the draught of the boat which could be a problem on other shallower canals. Nevertheless, flat bottomed boats with a draught of up to 2ft 6in manage without too many problems so, provided you do not exceed this, you should be alright.

  • Although I have no direct experience of V hulls, I would imagine that they may handle better than those with a flat bottom but whether the improvement is worth the extra cost is debatable.

    Graham Booth  | 10.33AM, Tuesday 24 July

    You could have a double-chined hull, which is common on widebeam boats that might also venture in estuaries, however a deep vee hull is usually more associated with planing craft- and given the narrow beam of a narrowboat, to achieve a true deep vee hull would both produce a very unstable boat and limit the amount of space inside.

    Mark Langley  | 11.27AM, Tuesday 24 July

    Readers say:

    Thank you for your informative reply. I can now carry on looking at more narrowboats without any further concern.
    M Haskins

    marc haskins  | 1.58PM, Tuesday 24 July

    A V hull or more so a deep-V is more expensive to lift out (for periodic blacking) or transportation. The more important matter is that cabin floor space will be restricted, with cable and other services more awkward to lay and services.
    There will ve no advantage of a V-hull when boating at canal or river speeds.

    TrueBlue  | 6.24PM, Friday 27 July

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