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#121 NB Alnwick

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 08:09 AM

I love the idea of the double berth under the foredeck. Is this something that is unique to R W Davis? Could it be done in a tug style boat from a different shell builder? The problem I have with RWD is I must have a boat no longer than 60 ft due to Calder & Hebble dimensions (and that is stretching to the limit, 58 ft would be preferred). I understand 62 ft is RWD's minimum in most circumstances.


To get the most out of this feature, you need a boat with fairly deep draught so that you have at least a yard and a half of headroom after the floor, lining and mattress go in. Alternatively, you can ballast the boat so the front end rises right up out of the water in an imposing fashion like the old carrying craft when they were empty - see the pics of 'Baldock' below.

Posted Image


It is always worth making the journey down to Saul Junction to talk about your ideas with Phil Trotter at RWD. I am not saying that he will build a boat 60 ft long (or even 58 ft long) but if he recognises you as a genuine buyer with a real interest in owning a quality boat, he will be more than happy to discuss possibilities with you and he has been known to very flexible! :rolleyes:

Edited by NB Alnwick, 19 April 2008 - 07:51 PM.
to make the picture appear.


#122 Phil Speight

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 12:37 PM

Hi if you were thinking of having a Tug style narrowboat build who would you have build the shell???
David

All sorts of people but probably Dave Harris or Ian Kemp. Beware that you could find yourself paying for window dressing when a bit more attention to fundamentals may have been in order . A thought - if the tugs people produce pastiches of were the most common tug types from years ago no-one would buy them.
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#123 LEO

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 01:33 PM

Hi,

Tony Francis made some lovely tug style boats, beautiful lines and excellent steelwork, some like PILOT have very intersting bows, his boats coupled with a good vintage engine - really excellent.

Ref. falling asleep - the towing rings on the front of the cabin were specifically designed to attached a safety rope to when sleeping in a chair on the front deck, God forbid they should be considered as decoration.

Tugs are really user friendly and great for getting on and off if they have a raised front deck.

ATB

Albi
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#124 interleaf2

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 03:29 PM

To get the most out of this feature, you need a boat with fairly deep draught so that you have at least a yard and a half of headroom after the floor, lining and mattress go in. Alternatively, you can ballast the boat so the front end rises right up out of the water in an imposing fashion like the old carrying craft when they were empty - see the pics of 'Baldock' below.

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p9/baldock-106/13042008079.jpg


It is always worth making the journey down to Saul Junction to talk about your ideas with Phil Trotter at RWD. I am not saying that he will build a boat 60 ft long (or even 58 ft long) but if he recognises you as a genuine buyer with a real interest in owning a quality boat, he will be more than happy to discuss possibilities with you and he has been known to very flexible! :)

Have you found the deep draught an issue when travelling about? I know from your blog that you had a problem not getting into dry dock at Banbury, but what about notoriously shallow canals like the Upper Peak Forest or Ashby? I think a well designed tug is by far the most attractive style of of boat from the exterior and I find the low front end is a large part of the visual appeal, so having the bow rise high out of the water would defeat the object of trying to retain the low lying look while making good use of the foredeck. I'm trying to sell my wife on the idea that the foredeck could double as a bedroom underneath and a patio on top. :rolleyes:

One potential concern I have about tugs is whether they are subject to more damage to the cabin from tunnel sides, other boats out of control, etc.. Having low gunwhales means less thick strong hull to hit and more cabin exposed to collision. Maybe having the cabin sides a long way back is an advantage in this case. My two previous narrowboats were David Pipers which were noted for their relatively high gunwhales and these were very practical for long distance cruising, but I have no experience to draw on with tugs. I intend to travel almost continuously so unfortunately have to expect a lot of potential impacts on hard objects.

I like the RWD boats a great deal but I'm also rather impressed with the Mel Davis style:

Posted Image

Anyone else think this a good looking boat?

The other doubt in my mind relates to the engine. The sound of a slow running diesel is "to die for", but is the maintenance much more onerous than for a normal marinised Japanese job? What has been your experience?

I'd love to get down to Saul, but at the moment I'm 8 time zones away in Arizona. I'm planning for when I retire and move back to England.
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#125 PaddingtonBear

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:07 PM

Yes, that Mel Davis/Lyons Boatyard tug is wonderful and is now extremely good value at just under 90000. I would be very tempted if I didn't have a very similar boat already (and could afford it) If I was starting from scratch as of today I would look at the two Phil mentioned plus Steve Priest et al at Brinklow, Phil Jones (if I had the time, someone I know waited nearly 5 years) and my first choice if I had both the time and the money would be Keith Ball at Stretton Wharf. I am nearly 62 so I don't have the time for Keith and I certainly no longer have the money although now he no longer needs to roll about in the mud perhaps both his delivery times and his cost will have reduced to realistic levels. The best boat would be one made by Keith from one of the working boat skeletons lurking around his yard - Enceladus (Star class) perhaps although you would go along way to better Magnet Man's
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#126 LEO

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:28 PM

Hi,

Excuse me on this one, but a modern Engine would look out of place in a tug engine room.

Vintage engines in many respects are easier to maintain than modern ones, assuming they have been rebuilt by a reputable builder. I think resaleabilty would be compromised by a modern engine in a tug.

Go the whole hog and get a nice vintage lump, me, a 48ft tug with a 2LW. properly designed you also get a really useful 'hold' under the foredeck as well as the gas locker - the area storage area which normally compromises tug style boats, due to their deep draught.

ALBI
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#127 Phil Speight

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:48 PM

Yes, that Mel Davis/Lyons Boatyard tug is wonderful and is now extremely good value at just under 90000. I would be very tempted if I didn't have a very similar boat already (and could afford it) If I was starting from scratch as of today I would look at the two Phil mentioned plus Steve Priest et al at Brinklow, Phil Jones (if I had the time, someone I know waited nearly 5 years) and my first choice if I had both the time and the money would be Keith Ball at Stretton Wharf. I am nearly 62 so I don't have the time for Keith and I certainly no longer have the money although now he no longe needs to roll about in the mud perhaps both his delivery times and his cost will have reduced to realistic levels. The best boat would be one made by Keith from one of the working boat skeletons lurking around his yard - Enceladus (Star class) perhaps although you would go along way to better Magnet Man's

Hi Jim - how are you ? Yes , Mel builds a very tidy boat but the sheer on the back cabin of this one is bit over the top for my personal taste . It all begins to bother me a bit though. We`ve painted a number of roughly Northwich style "tugs" over the years - some very well put together - but none of them really look much like Yarwoods boats, and we do have opportunity of comparing old with new in our yard. More to the point though they have so many fancy bits and so many washers and coach bolts masquerading as rivets that I wonder where it will all end. We`ve reached a point where people will accept rust streaks coming from under imitation rivets early in a boat`s life as an almost inevitable consequence of their unnecessary presence ( unless some poor painter is expected to seal each and every one ) , where they don`t find it odd to see door hinges and other items apparently attached with false rivets or bolts when it`s obviously a weld that`s actually holding it all together , and where we have ground in plank lines ( often going in the wrong direction ) that don`t actually correspond to the way the boat being ( sort of ) copied would have been built . It`s all good fun no doubt and maybe even adds a touch of character to what could be a fairly slab-sided object - but it doesn`t make a pleasure boat into a tug and , more to the point , it costs a fortune. I`d much rather see the extra money going to making a better boat in the first place - one with fewer rust traps and more subtle steelwork ( that bends in more than one direction for a start ).
I hope no-one feels I`m getting at any particular boat or boat-builder , I`m not and, as I said , some of the ones we`ve done have been well put together, very well - but not all of them are and I`m afraid customers are being dazzled by the inconsequential bits. All fur coat , as they say and no ..........
Cheers
Phil

Edited by Phil Speight, 19 April 2008 - 05:16 PM.

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#128 interleaf2

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:51 PM

Hi,

Excuse me on this one, but a modern Engine would look out of place in a tug engine room.

Vintage engines in many respects are easier to maintain than modern ones, assuming they have been rebuilt by a reputable builder. I think resaleabilty would be compromised by a modern engine in a tug.

Go the whole hog and get a nice vintage lump, me, a 48ft tug with a 2LW. properly designed you also get a really useful 'hold' under the foredeck as well as the gas locker - the area storage area which normally compromises tug style boats, due to their deep draught.

ALBI


I agree completely that a modern engine would look out of place in an engine room, but some people with these vintage engines seem to love to do maintenance as much as use them, but me, not so much. I love to move the boat all over the place. What would you consider the most reliable and low maintenance vintage engines?

I appreciate the advice very much as I've only owned BMC and Vetus engines. I have experienced deep pangs of jealousy when I hear a vintage engine go by though.
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#129 magnetman

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:04 PM

Phil, it looks like another case of the dreaded 'computer's got a mind of its own' disorder.
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#130 dave moore

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:11 PM

Hi
For a top quality shell in tug style, talk to Graham Edgson at Norton Canes Boatbuilders, 01543 374888. For a preview, go to www.nortoncanesboatbuilders.co.uk I'm prejudiced, he's a mate but as a long time boater working around lots of yards I can cofirm the sheer quality if the shell is important to you..no ripples, beautiful balance and proportioned to perfection.
Resolute is mine!
Cheers
Dave Moore
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#131 sarahavfc

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:26 PM

I like the RWD boats a great deal but I'm also rather impressed with the Mel Davis style:

Posted Image


I see this is described on the Mel Davis website as a "Replica Woolwich/Northwich Tug". :lol:
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#132 magnetman

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:35 PM

I like Norton Canes boats, a lot, they would be my 1st choice if i had a new boat built. I particularly like the lack of embellishment and imitation, something i feel is used by some boat constructors to cover up poor quality workmanship and bad lines.
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#133 Timleech

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:39 PM

I see this is described on the Mel Davis website as a "Replica Woolwich/Northwich Tug". :lol:



Well the bows have something of Woolwich about them, while the main handrails are the awful Northwich style & those on the back cabin are more conventional (as used on Woolwich cabins).

Two little bits of nitpicking, one is there's too much camber on the main cabin top (for my taste).
The second is those handrails. The original Northwich ones were positively dangerous, just enough clearance under them to get your fingers under, and then get them jammed if you slipped off. Goodbye fingers.
I think he's gone too far with those, they don't need to be that high to be safe & it spoils the look.
Something bothers me about the shape of the back cabin, but can't see it well enough in that pic to be definite.
Oh, & I'd not bother with the 'rivets'.
Still a nice looking boat, though.

Tim
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#134 dave moore

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:39 PM

Hi Magnetman
You have it in one! Unpretentious superb engineering, the antidote to most current output. but I mustn't let my grump show!
Dave Moore
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#135 magnetman

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 05:44 PM

I met 'Resolute' a couple of years ago with Rory 'Sudbury' at the helm. Nice boat.
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#136 interleaf2

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:04 PM

Hi
For a top quality shell in tug style, talk to Graham Edgson at Norton Canes Boatbuilders, 01543 374888. For a preview, go to www.nortoncanesboatbuilders.co.uk I'm prejudiced, he's a mate but as a long time boater working around lots of yards I can cofirm the sheer quality if the shell is important to you..no ripples, beautiful balance and proportioned to perfection.
Resolute is mine!
Cheers
Dave Moore

I willing to believe that is excellent advice as I have admired Norton Canes shells for more than 35 years and Graham has an awesome reputation, as had his predecessors. Haven't seen very many tug style boats from Norton Canes but the pictures of "Resolute" on the Norton Canes forum look very attractive. Do you have any more pictures you could share? I apologize if this duplicates my request to "sarah" on the Norton Canes forum. I need to do a selling job on my wife as she is suspicious of the space lost to the foredeck. Need to reach a good compromize as living together on a narrowboat for 4 or 5 years will test our compatibility I think!
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#137 sarahavfc

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:31 PM

I willing to believe that is excellent advice as I have admired Norton Canes shells for more than 35 years and Graham has an awesome reputation, as had his predecessors. Haven't seen very many tug style boats from Norton Canes but the pictures of "Resolute" on the Norton Canes forum look very attractive. Do you have any more pictures you could share? I apologize if this duplicates my request to "sarah" on the Norton Canes forum. I need to do a selling job on my wife as she is suspicious of the space lost to the foredeck. Need to reach a good compromize as living together on a narrowboat for 4 or 5 years will test our compatibility I think!



Posted Image

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Not resolute, but a recent tug build, outside rusting up prior to gritblasting

Posted Image

If there are any specific shots you want, let me know.
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#138 interleaf2

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:59 PM

Thanks a lot for the pictures - simply gorgeous!

I have a feeling that a Norton Canes tug would be a more practical bet for thousands of days cruising than the Mel Davis "replica". The latter has some beautiful touches, but not so certain about the practicality. The handrails and the "rivets" are nice "eye candy" but maybe not so much fun after a few years' hard use when they need paint work.

I've never heard a bad word said about Malcolm Braine's or Graham's boats.

Still wondering about the idea of a bed under the foredeck!
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#139 NB Alnwick

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 07:42 PM

Have you found the deep draught an issue when travelling about? I know from your blog that you had a problem not getting into dry dock at Banbury, but what about notoriously shallow canals like the Upper Peak Forest or Ashby? I think a well designed tug is by far the most attractive style of of boat from the exterior and I find the low front end is a large part of the visual appeal, so having the bow rise high out of the water would defeat the object of trying to retain the low lying look while making good use of the foredeck. I'm trying to sell my wife on the idea that the foredeck could double as a bedroom underneath and a patio on top. :lol:

One potential concern I have about tugs is whether they are subject to more damage to the cabin from tunnel sides, other boats out of control, etc.. Having low gunwhales means less thick strong hull to hit and more cabin exposed to collision. Maybe having the cabin sides a long way back is an advantage in this case. My two previous narrowboats were David Pipers which were noted for their relatively high gunwhales and these were very practical for long distance cruising, but I have no experience to draw on with tugs. I intend to travel almost continuously so unfortunately have to expect a lot of potential impacts on hard objects.

I like the RWD boats a great deal but I'm also rather impressed with the Mel Davis style


Take another look at our Website - link below our signature. The deep draught is not a problem, there are lots of deep draughted boats on the canals but you have to be a little more careful when mooring and generally keep to the middle when cruising on the shallowest canals. As a result of the deeper draught, our cabin height is quite low - so no problems with low bridges - and we still have almost seven feet of headroom.

It is my view that you cannot get better than an R W Davis Hull fitted with a vintage Kelvin, Gardner or new RN three cylinder diesel. Whether it is correct to call an R W Davis 'Northwich Trader' a 'tug' style is open for debate but the general lines and build quality would be difficult to beat. The only other builder that comes anywhere near (and this is obviously just our opinion) is Roger Fuller.

Before buying 'Alnwick' Jane and I looked at dozens of similar boats and visited several builders, all of whom were very helpful. Nevertheless, when we saw the boats being built by R W Davis at Saul Junction there was absolutely no doubt in our minds that they are head and shoulders above most of the rest. We were able to compare our boat with the Mel Davis boat in the picture when it was brand new at Crick with a price tag of 140,000. In our opinion it was an inferior product and, at the time, we couldn't see why anyone would want to pay that much, when they could get an fully fitted and painted R W Davis 'Northwich Trader' for another 20,000 - it looks as if we were right because the price of that boat has been dropping ever since.

I know that opinions vary about who might be the best builder and there are other good builders out there but, it has been our experience, that anyone who has visited the yard of R W Davis looking for this style of boat ends up wanting one.

If you are coming over to the Crick Boat Show, come and see us - we normally moor near Bridge 13 - near the path to Caracks Hill.

Edited by NB Alnwick, 19 April 2008 - 07:59 PM.


#140 Gary Peacock

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 07:46 PM

Haven't built a tug for a while but I really don't get replica things at all.

It's all smacks of Cubic zirconia diamonds and the like to me.

I upset one well known replica tug builder when he asked what I thought and I said it reminded me of Captain Nemo's Nautilus with all those fake rivets.

If you want to build a fake and you have the customer with deep enough pockets and long enough arms I suppose it makes good business sence though!

A bit off subject but I do admire one rather large fake project that is coming toward fruition HERE dont think it would float though! :lol:
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