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The Metrofloat - Your thoughts


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#1 heyjude999

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 08:29 AM

Hi,

I would be interested to hear from anyone who owns one, as to their comments about how they have found things ongoing. It looks a good size living space well planned, with room for additions and a stove installing too.

If there is anything too negative (allegedlly) you can pm me.

I would also be interested to hear peoples general thoughts on this craft or if you have heard positives and negatives they too would be well recieved.

Thank you
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#2 Lady Muck

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 09:45 AM

I remember it being reviewed in one of the canal mags a year or two ago. the main criticism was that it didn't swim that well and was a bit difficult to manouvre due to the size and shape of the hull, so it would suit more someone who was after a houseboat as opposed to a boat.

#3 Gary Peacock

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 11:06 AM

Nice boat but I think the concept is more about studio apartment style living on a house boat with the boat element being kept to a minimum.

Boaters and boatbuilders like to get stuffy about that kind of think, I once ran advert featuring a studio apartment style fitted out boat and I actually got emails accusing me of attracting people to the waterways that in their views were there for the wrong reasons! :lol:

The reality is that in a very poor time for boatbuilders it is probably the residential market that is keeping them afloat the wide beam market is not really the realm of the continuous cruiser (At least in the UK) so maybe the need to be a "proper boat" is less important in the bigger picture.

We were always a bit radical with the residential boat market, we tore up the plans for the run of the mill narrow and broad boats and came up with designs that were not only very capable boats but designed to maximise the residential potential. This again did not go down well with the purest but looking at the numbers of "Tribute boats" from other builders I see about we must have got something right.

I don't know if the time is now right for a purely studio apartment style boat maybe even without an engine at all? (I did some serious work on this in the past for student accommodation!)

The one thing I have noticed is that customers expectations are changing in the past the expense of a boat was in the hull but on a few boats I have been involved with recently the hull is actually quite a low percentage of the overall costs.
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#4 chris w

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 11:27 AM

We looked at both Metrofloats (available at the time) namely the "Henley" and the "Richmond". They are both absolutely superbly fitted out but, IMHO, the Richmond had a better bedroom layout. There is a nice DVD available from the builders if you don't already have it. I believe the New Boat Company are a distributor for the Metrofloat.

In the end we couldn't get the mooring we desired so settled for a conventional NB.

Chris
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#5 Sir Nibble

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 01:14 PM

Look I know I'm norty, but why is my gut feeling about this rather akin to a sports pilot being asked about planning permission for a house in the middle of the runway?
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#6 Gary Peacock

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 01:30 PM

Yup, it's a fact if we could get all those weekend recreational boaters off the water then then there would be far more space for newly built studio apartment style houseboats. :lol:
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#7 Sir Nibble

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 02:45 PM

Yup, it's a fact if we could get all those weekend recreational boaters off the water then then there would be far more space for newly built studio apartment style houseboats. :lol:

In which case the water becomes just a pain in the botty.
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#8 heyjude999

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 02:48 PM

I totally understand where you are coming from.

Initially we will be living on the water and travelling v little due to work commitments. You can't get too far up the Sheffield canal at weekends!!! I am forunate to have a wide beam mooring sat there waiting for me.

However when I want to do the travelling bit I will buy a NB or WB if we decide to go to France. One that fits in with tradition, but for the moment I think a MF might just fit my personal requirements.

There is v little coming up for sale at reasonable cost so I need to look at all avenues. Everything seems to be about compromise.

Thank you for your imput, let it continue.

Yup, it's a fact if we could get all those weekend recreational boaters off the water then then there would be far more space for newly built studio apartment style houseboats. :lol:


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#9 Neil TNC

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 02:54 PM

Yup, it's a fact if we could get all those weekend recreational boaters off the water then then there would be far more space for newly built studio apartment style houseboats. :lol:


Some of us have already gone! :lol:
(still got the "light left on", with the Wildernii)
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#10 Colin Smith

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 01:15 AM

Hi,

I would be interested to hear from anyone who owns one, as to their comments about how they have found things ongoing. It looks a good size living space well planned, with room for additions and a stove installing too.

If there is anything too negative (allegedlly) you can pm me.

I would also be interested to hear peoples general thoughts on this craft or if you have heard positives and negatives they too would be well recieved.

Thank you


Hi,
We looked at them - these are my views from my notes during my research:

Positives: nicely fitted out with some good ideas; Quality internal trim and fittings. Hi spec domestic appliances, TV etc. Nice windows, Nice Paint.

Negatives: Expensive; For living on board - the heating system is useless (search on Webasto etc on this site); Electricals Ok but you'd need shore-power; Small tank for fresh water (500lts); Very small black water tank (180lts) = lots of pump-outs! Engine power to small for the hull. Roof only 4mm steel.
My opinions only...!

There's an interesting thread on the forum about the structure/build of this type of shell and also engine power.
http://www.canalworl...showtopic=20518

We went for a Barrus 65hp as a good compromise between power/economy/price. It also came with decent alternators - a 50Amp for starter and 160Amp for the domestic side. I believe the Isuzu comes with an 80 and 110Amp. We also went for lead-acid deep-cycle 6volt batteries to give 566Ah total capacity (1200cycles @ 50%DOD) with an automatic watering system. I believe that this is a much better solution for a live-aboard and cost me less than a load of 'leisure' batteries.

Our hull has a long swim and handles very well (without a bow-thruster) and we have hydraulic steering. We have a 760ltr fresh water tank and 800ltr black water tank.
The roof and structure were very important because we wanted it to be strong enough to party on - so 5mm with closely spaced box-steel bearers - better than 4mm.

We took some ideas from the Metrofloat for our interior. However, try not to get too carried away with what you see on the surface but look at the detail underneath - especially the steelwork, structure, welding etc. Any good builder would be able to create the space and style that you want but not many produce the quality of shell that surrounds it and keeps it all dry!!

Our plan is to finish off our barge and live on her until next spring. Then to take her to France (by truck - I'm not brave!). She will be our home for good so she has to be a fully functioning live-aboard.

In my opinion, you could do a lot better without spending that sort of budget!

Colin
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#11 heyjude999

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 02:16 PM

Your comment Colin is excellent and would explain why in the boat photos sent by the brokerage there are heaters everywhere in the boat.
You have made me re think especially looking at the size of the tanks, as a newby to boating this is really useful, thank you.
Back to Plan B looking for a Wide Beam still!!
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#12 flickadancer

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 12:31 PM

While browsing for something else I came upon this posting and felt that although it is out of date I should add my penn'orth.

We have a Metrofloat (Henley) which is getting on for 70 feet long and has two bedrooms and is indeed like a floating appartment as we knew we could not share a narrow boat, no matter how long, with a teenager.

And it is fine for cruising.  We are a little tied with our son being at school but were off for two months in it during the summer and it handled like a dream.  Okay it is big, but if you take your time and handle it with respect it is absolutely great to travel in and gives you all the space you need as well.

As to heating - we have a stove as well as the fitted radiators and have absolutely NO need for supplementary heating at all.  We are snug and cosy all winter long to the extent that we have to take jumpers off frequently and fan ourselves as we are too hot.

The pump out toilet must have a big enough tank as we only pump it out every 3 weeks or so, although we do feel the water tank could be bigger when cruising.

The engine is wonderfully powerful (we let a friend we met cruising on his narrowboat try it out and he was blown away by the power) and the bowthruster very helpful.

The only bugbear we have with it is the tiles on the floor in the shower which we are going to have to renew as the grouting is wearing away.

We plan to be away for more of the summer as our son goes off to boarding school soon and the only sad thing is that we can't do the whole network as she is a widebeam.  Having been on narrow boats belonging to friends I am not sure I could manage one as I get vertigo and the rocking makes me feel quite ill just when someone gets on and off. Our boat feels so nice and stable although you never forget you are on a boat.

We can reverse it easily (well, I should say my husband can as he is helmsman) and turn it in surprisingly small spaces.

We love our boat and would not want to swap her for anything.


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#13 Phil Ambrose

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 12:50 PM

While browsing for something else I came upon this posting and felt that although it is out of date I should add my penn'orth.
We have a Metrofloat (Henley) which is getting on for 70 feet long and has two bedrooms and is indeed like a floating appartment as we knew we could not share a narrow boat, no matter how long, with a teenager.
And it is fine for cruising.  We are a little tied with our son being at school but were off for two months in it during the summer and it handled like a dream.  Okay it is big, but if you take your time and handle it with respect it is absolutely great to travel in and gives you all the space you need as well.
As to heating - we have a stove as well as the fitted radiators and have absolutely NO need for supplementary heating at all.  We are snug and cosy all winter long to the extent that we have to take jumpers off frequently and fan ourselves as we are too hot.
The pump out toilet must have a big enough tank as we only pump it out every 3 weeks or so, although we do feel the water tank could be bigger when cruising.
The engine is wonderfully powerful (we let a friend we met cruising on his narrowboat try it out and he was blown away by the power) and the bowthruster very helpful.
The only bugbear we have with it is the tiles on the floor in the shower which we are going to have to renew as the grouting is wearing away.
We plan to be away for more of the summer as our son goes off to boarding school soon and the only sad thing is that we can't do the whole network as she is a widebeam.  Having been on narrow boats belonging to friends I am not sure I could manage one as I get vertigo and the rocking makes me feel quite ill just when someone gets on and off. Our boat feels so nice and stable although you never forget you are on a boat.
We can reverse it easily (well, I should say my husband can as he is helmsman) and turn it in surprisingly small spaces.
We love our boat and would not want to swap her for anything.

Your last paragraph just goes to prove what I have always said that everyone's boat is the best. That is exacly as it should be, there are too many people ready to make judgments on other peoples choice of boat, I stand by "to each his own"
Phil
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#14 blackrose

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 03:11 PM

While browsing for something else I came upon this posting and felt that although it is out of date I should add my penn'orth.

We have a Metrofloat (Henley) which is getting on for 70 feet long and has two bedrooms and is indeed like a floating appartment as we knew we could not share a narrow boat, no matter how long, with a teenager.

And it is fine for cruising.  We are a little tied with our son being at school but were off for two months in it during the summer and it handled like a dream.  Okay it is big, but if you take your time and handle it with respect it is absolutely great to travel in and gives you all the space you need as well.

As to heating - we have a stove as well as the fitted radiators and have absolutely NO need for supplementary heating at all.  We are snug and cosy all winter long to the extent that we have to take jumpers off frequently and fan ourselves as we are too hot.

The pump out toilet must have a big enough tank as we only pump it out every 3 weeks or so, although we do feel the water tank could be bigger when cruising.

The engine is wonderfully powerful (we let a friend we met cruising on his narrowboat try it out and he was blown away by the power) and the bowthruster very helpful.

The only bugbear we have with it is the tiles on the floor in the shower which we are going to have to renew as the grouting is wearing away.

We plan to be away for more of the summer as our son goes off to boarding school soon and the only sad thing is that we can't do the whole network as she is a widebeam.  Having been on narrow boats belonging to friends I am not sure I could manage one as I get vertigo and the rocking makes me feel quite ill just when someone gets on and off. Our boat feels so nice and stable although you never forget you are on a boat.

We can reverse it easily (well, I should say my husband can as he is helmsman) and turn it in surprisingly small spaces.

We love our boat and would not want to swap her for anything.

 

I seem to remember that the Metrofloat hulls were originally made by Liverpool Boats (and then obviously fitted out by higher quality fitters). Is that the case or have I got that wrong?


Your last paragraph just goes to prove what I have always said that everyone's boat is the best.

 

Mine's not the best, but it's not too bad. I can think of lots of boats I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...


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#15 Biggles

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 04:04 PM

The Metrofloat was the inspiration for Avalon.

 

This is the Video mentioned earlier.

 

I built Avalon for about £50,000 less than the price of a new  basic 60' Henley and have loads more kit and tankage and better fittings etc.


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