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#1 simon&jan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:09 AM

Hello again , stupid question number 235,
Is there a great difference in running cost between a NB and a WB , was thinking fuel consumption , heating , moorings etc . Just the better half has started looking at NB again ,she seems to think they are cheeper to run ! Not convinced the gap will be too big ? I do realise its a how long is a piece of string kind of question ! Any help would be apreciated from you good people!
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#2 DeanS

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:14 AM

Hello again , stupid question number 235,
Is there a great difference in running cost between a NB and a WB , was thinking fuel consumption , heating , moorings etc . Just the better half has started looking at NB again ,she seems to think they are cheeper to run ! Not convinced the gap will be too big ? I do realise its a how long is a piece of string kind of question ! Any help would be apreciated from you good people!



Do you mean during cruising (diesel cost) or mooring costs? At our marina, they charge per length of boat, not width, but I'm sure some may charge more for a widebeam. Other than possibly the blacking costs every few years, I cant see how one would be THAT much more or less than the other?

I think heating costs depend on what you use. Heat moves around evenly so a coal fire would perhaps take a little longer to heat it up than a narrowboat, but I would say you neccessarily would have to load more coal more often...(ok minimally?). I would think perhaps a widebeam would cost maybe an extra 5-10% to run (diesel, heating etc) ? A wild guess though :)

Edited by DeanS, 05 April 2012 - 11:16 AM.

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#3 simon&jan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:31 AM

Cheers DeanS , did mean that , cruising , heating , licence , insurance , moorings etc . Realise blacking too , bigger boat ! Just been to have a chat with boat builder , and since realised we are just a bit short of cash to create the new dream boat we would like . So a bit of a re-think is in order , was just looking for a bit of info from experienced people !
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#4 KevMc

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:40 AM

Do you mean during cruising (diesel cost) or mooring costs? At our marina, they charge per length of boat, not width, but I'm sure some may charge more for a widebeam. Other than possibly the blacking costs every few years, I cant see how one would be THAT much more or less than the other?

I think heating costs depend on what you use. Heat moves around evenly so a coal fire would perhaps take a little longer to heat it up than a narrowboat, but I would say you neccessarily would have to load more coal more often...(ok minimally?). I would think perhaps a widebeam would cost maybe an extra 5-10% to run (diesel, heating etc) ? A wild guess though :)


I would have expected the heating costs for a WB to be significantly more than a NB as there is a lot more air and that is what is difficult to keep warm as every time you open a door it rushes out into the freedom of the great outside .... but I could be wrong - I often am but it never stops me being over confident :cheers:
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#5 BlueStringPudding

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:06 PM

The amount of fuel it takes to heat a boat is based on it's volume not just its width, surely? Most widebeams I have seen, with the exception of some monster Dutch barges, are significantly shorter than my 65ft narrowbeam.
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#6 matty40s

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:09 PM

The amount of fuel it takes to heat a boat is based on it's volume not just its width, surely? Most widebeams I have seen, with the exception of some monster Dutch barges, are significantly shorter than my 65ft narrowbeam.


They might be much shorter, but some of them are almost 70 foot wide.

Edited by matty40s, 05 April 2012 - 12:09 PM.

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#7 simon&jan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:44 PM

Cheers for all your replies , much help !! More thinking needed !
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#8 mrsmelly

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:04 PM

Hello again , stupid question number 235,
Is there a great difference in running cost between a NB and a WB , was thinking fuel consumption , heating , moorings etc . Just the better half has started looking at NB again ,she seems to think they are cheeper to run ! Not convinced the gap will be too big ? I do realise its a how long is a piece of string kind of question ! Any help would be apreciated from you good people!


I can answer this one quite easily for you. I do not keep ledgers or write down exact costs as life is way too short but until last year I lived on a 70 foot narrowboat. Last summer I bought a 50 foot widebeam and my conclusions are these. I now pay for a 50 foot mooring as against 70 foot and a 50 foot licence as opposed to 70 foot. My boats volume is slightly more than a 70 foot narrowboat but the space is vastly more useable. The heating costs this winter have been very similar to my n/b. The two boats both had 43 hp engines both well ample for either boat even on tidal rivers. I may use fractionaly more diesel for propulsion as my n/b cruising revs were about 1000/1100 as a general rule and the widebeam at a similar water depth would be about 1200. Blacking etc etc are the same as the extra width makes no disernable difference but again I now black 50 instead of 70 feet so again costa are reduced. In short I cant go anywhere near as many places on the widebeam but it is vastly more comfortable and probably cheaper to run. Also bear in mind interior items can all be proper sized so are easier and cheaper to purchase.
Hope this helps.

Tim :cheers:
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#9 Grace & Favour

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:05 PM

Simon & Jan,

To add to Mrsmelly's post.

We have a 60' widebeam. (and, as liveaboards, will never go back to a NB) - the space is luxurious
Our licence is for 60'
Our Mooring's for 60'
We heat her with a standard Morso Squirrel (& we've never, ever, been cold)
The only thing that is working out slightly dearer is food & alcohol, (more peeps want to come & visit!)

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#10 simon&jan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:18 PM

Thanks again , Tim and Dave, sorry Roger! The main problem we have is not having much cash left over from house sale to get wot we realy realy want , ie a wide beam , something to aspire to , so we thought we would start with an NB , for say couple of years , then get a WB if the cash sorts its selfout!!!
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#11 Grace & Favour

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:28 PM

Thanks again , Tim and Dave, sorry Roger! The main problem we have is not having much cash left over from house sale to get wot we realy realy want , ie a wide beam , something to aspire to , so we thought we would start with an NB , for say couple of years , then get a WB if the cash sorts its selfout!!!


Oh - I understand . . . . Is a new boat you're looking to spec - - or are you looking at second-hand?

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#12 mrsmelly

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:28 PM

Thanks again , Tim and Dave, sorry Roger! The main problem we have is not having much cash left over from house sale to get wot we realy realy want , ie a wide beam , something to aspire to , so we thought we would start with an NB , for say couple of years , then get a WB if the cash sorts its selfout!!!


Theres nowt wrong wiv narrowboats I lived on em for many many years and of course they are abundant and start at a lower price so go for it. One little bit of advice though, even though costs are length related because they are narrow every foot makes a difference as does the way its fitted out so buy one long enough to give you the best mix of space/cost :cheers:
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IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO CC ON ONE CANAL.

#13 simon&jan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:44 PM

Cheers for all your replies ,def second hand , but if it means getting out quicker with more behind us then a NB it will be !!! Nothing against NB but weve been on a widebeam and loved it ! As i said before something to aspire to !!
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#14 TimD

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:00 AM

If you venture on to thew River Thames, you pay for area, so a 50' WB is more expensive than a 65' NB. However, although the cost of the Thames seems expensive per day, it's not that much compared to the annual cost of a boat.

It also rings a bell that BW on-line moorings cost more for a WB, and for sure a lot of moorings are for NBs only. I'd say the biggest problem with a WB is you are forced to choose either North or South
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#15 Tony Brooks

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 02:22 PM

Also I have seen rumours that CaRT may well change to a license based on area within a year or two. I think it was on the other "favourite" site so do not put too much credence on t for now. However if it does happen I bet it will be set up so NBs pay about the same and WBs pay more.
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