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How much to refit a narrowboat


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#1 PartTimer

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

Hi, trying to create a finger in the clouds budget for refitting a 44' trad boat - full works, rip out everything and make look pretty - all nice wood, cushions and shiny metal - but not too shiny.

New bed, kitchen, lounge and bathroom, replace and move the engine - over 12-18 months whilst living aboard.

Looking to do as much work as possible my self, though my construction skills lean more towards the functional than the aesthetic, but labour costs would also be of interest. It would be very helpful to hear of other people's experiences.

Thanks,
PT
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#2 Grace & Favour

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:00 PM

Hi, trying to create a finger in the clouds budget for refitting a 44' trad boat - full works, rip out everything and make look pretty - all nice wood, cushions and shiny metal - but not too shiny.

New bed, kitchen, lounge and bathroom, replace and move the engine - over 12-18 months whilst living aboard.

Looking to do as much work as possible my self, though my construction skills lean more towards the functional than the aesthetic, but labour costs would also be of interest. It would be very helpful to hear of other people's experiences.

Thanks,
PT


A trifle dearer than refitting an house of approximately the same size (or a bit larger!)

It's a bit like the piece of string question really isn't it?

If you mean rip out back to steel - - and then re-build . . how about 30k?

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#3 Paul C

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:02 PM

It would also depend on whether you wanted/needed to fit replacement electrical items, gas fittings, etc and if you significantly change the layout, or want brand new kitchen appliances, etc.
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#4 bottle

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:18 PM

Total refit ? .............................think of a number say 30K (as already given) then add 10%

Move the engine ???...............Why and where to, this will need to be done by someone that knows what they are doing. :(

over 12-18 months whilst living aboard.........................In your dreams,;) more like 24 to 36 months, if you ever finish it. Can you live in 22' of the boat ?




ps. this is slightly tongue in cheek but only very slightly. I wish you good luck and hope you prove me wrong.
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Keith.

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#5 Mike Jordan

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:25 PM

Don't even think about it! When you have stripped out the existing linings you will have an old boat shell which has cost nearly as much as a new shell. Plus a pile of firewood of course.If you manage to finish the job you will have a boat worth little more than the original one, but which has cost the same or more to fit out than a new shell. If you don't finish the job, no one in their right mind will buy it from you at even the original price.
This isn't what you want to hear but it's the bald truth.
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#6 Arthur Brown

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

Unless you have decided to (re)foam the interior then I wouldn't do this! Look to break the job into small manageable chunks -even 4 hours of work. Having the entire boat as a building site would almost certainly mean you getting selected crafts people in to do their bit doing 10 hour days while you (and yours?) sleep safely in a hotel.

I've been looking at cheap boats recently, and lots are simply cheaply on the market because someone stripped it all out then never finished the job. There are boat's I've seen that were worth 50K that are not getting 50 bids because they are "Stripped out ready for rebuild" meaning wrecked and filling up with water.
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#7 PartTimer

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:33 PM

Total refit ? .............................think of a number say 30K (as already given) then add 10%

Move the engine ???...............Why and where to, this will need to be done by someone that knows what they are doing. :(

over 12-18 months whilst living aboard.........................In your dreams,;) more like 24 to 36 months, if you ever finish it. Can you live in 22' of the boat ?




ps. this is slightly tongue in cheek but only very slightly. I wish you good luck and hope you prove me wrong.

Thanks - much appreciated. This thread was really an ask for a reality call.
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#8 PartTimer

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:45 PM

Don't even think about it! When you have stripped out the existing linings you will have an old boat shell which has cost nearly as much as a new shell. Plus a pile of firewood of course.If you manage to finish the job you will have a boat worth little more than the original one, but which has cost the same or more to fit out than a new shell. If you don't finish the job, no one in their right mind will buy it from you at even the original price.
This isn't what you want to hear but it's the bald truth.

OK, thanks.

So here's my followup question - what are the options. It looks a nice strong shell, but it's not layed out very well, the bathroom and kitchen need complete change, so might as well do the bed. So if building on the original linings - is that doable? I'm complete newbie, I know I need to do more reading but looking for direction. Ta, PT.
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#9 alan_fincher

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:53 PM

OK, thanks.

So here's my followup question - what are the options. It looks a nice strong shell, but it's not layed out very well, the bathroom and kitchen need complete change, so might as well do the bed. So if building on the original linings - is that doable? I'm complete newbie, I know I need to do more reading but looking for direction. Ta, PT.

If the kitchen, bathroom and (quite probably) the bedroom all need a rebuild, given that many boats don't tend to have a lot more than open saloon space after that, it sounds like most of the boat to me!

Find a different one - it is unlikely to be sensible to try rebuilding this one, and living on it at the same time, I would say.
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We are boating now with just "Sickle".,
We had a great time at Audlem for the Festival of Transport at the weekend, (Sat 26th to Sun 27th July).

Tuesday evening we are now back at Brewood on the "Shroppie", after a long day, where we have made up a fair bit of the lost time we were running with yesterday.

Planned next event.......
 
Sat 23rd - Mon  25th Aug - Alvecote Historic Boat Gathering
 
Narrow boats SICKLE and CHALICE blog


#10 koukouvagia

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:41 PM

Posted Image


Before . .


Posted Image


during . .

Posted Image


and after.

Just to give you some idea of the cost and the work involved. It took about 10K to fit out the butty from scratch, including kitchen, bedroom and and bathroom. It's a pretty simple fit out but it took me about six months to complete it, working about three days a week. In addition to this I had to do a lot of work on the back cabin.

When I did a similar fit out on the motor this took me eighteen months working on it at weekends and holidays. This conversion was more expensive because I splashed out on some rather nice second hand eucalyptus for lining out which added about 5k to the cost.


In addition to the fit outs there was, of course, additional expense on steelwork and the engines.



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#11 alan_fincher

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:46 PM

Jim

You appear to have bits of some kind of "flat pack" automatic washing machine in that first picture!

Posted Image
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We are boating now with just "Sickle".,
We had a great time at Audlem for the Festival of Transport at the weekend, (Sat 26th to Sun 27th July).

Tuesday evening we are now back at Brewood on the "Shroppie", after a long day, where we have made up a fair bit of the lost time we were running with yesterday.

Planned next event.......
 
Sat 23rd - Mon  25th Aug - Alvecote Historic Boat Gathering
 
Narrow boats SICKLE and CHALICE blog


#12 PartTimer

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:53 PM

KKV - wow.
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#13 allybsc

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:01 AM

Posted Image


Before . .


Posted Image


during . .

Posted Image


and after.

Just to give you some idea of the cost and the work involved. It took about 10K to fit out the butty from scratch, including kitchen, bedroom and and bathroom. It's a pretty simple fit out but it took me about six months to complete it, working about three days a week. In addition to this I had to do a lot of work on the back cabin.

When I did a similar fit out on the motor this took me eighteen months working on it at weekends and holidays. This conversion was more expensive because I splashed out on some rather nice second hand eucalyptus for lining out which added about 5k to the cost.


In addition to the fit outs there was, of course, additional expense on steelwork and the engines.



OH, that's beautiful, I absolutely love it.
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#14 KirraMisha

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:09 AM

Hi, trying to create a finger in the clouds budget for refitting a 44' trad boat - full works, rip out everything and make look pretty - all nice wood, cushions and shiny metal - but not too shiny.

New bed, kitchen, lounge and bathroom, replace and move the engine - over 12-18 months whilst living aboard.

Looking to do as much work as possible my self, though my construction skills lean more towards the functional than the aesthetic, but labour costs would also be of interest. It would be very helpful to hear of other people's experiences.

Thanks,
PT

Is the boat you have in mind worth doing do you think as you can visialise it in the end?
Is the shell a good shell?
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#15 starman

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:27 AM

Don't even think about it! When you have stripped out the existing linings you will have an old boat shell which has cost nearly as much as a new shell. Plus a pile of firewood of course.If you manage to finish the job you will have a boat worth little more than the original one, but which has cost the same or more to fit out than a new shell. If you don't finish the job, no one in their right mind will buy it from you at even the original price.
This isn't what you want to hear but it's the bald truth.

I tend to agree with Mike; we're re-fitting a fire damaged tug and it's taking nearer 18 months than the 6 - 9 I expected, plus it's also a lot trickier and quite different to the houses I've worked on in the past. And it's costing more than our pretty realistic initial estimate. It's a very special looking boat so it's worth it but for a straightforward boat then, unless you are buying it very cheaply, then no. I would say that it's going to cost you £20-£30k depending on the extent of the work and the level of equipment you want.
A big thing to bear in mind is that the quality of your joinery workmanship in particular will always be on display in the finished boat so you can't hide mistakes and bodge-ups. In a house they're all behind the plastering! When you come to sell an amateur-looking fit-out is easily spotted and won't make anywhere near the money of a pro one.
There are lots of boats for sale out there (900 nbs, 300 being trads on Apolloduck) so I would keep looking to find one that's at least largely right to start with.

And you want to live on board too? On a 44 footer? Sorry, it just won't work.

Edited by starman, 03 May 2012 - 08:28 AM.

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The boat has changed but the story continues:

Wandering around the waterways and occasionally breaking down: http://tugharry.blogspot.co.uk/


#16 PartTimer

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:26 AM

So the reason I'm plugging for this boat is that it's got a mooring near central london.
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#17 Grace & Favour

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:38 AM

So the reason I'm plugging for this boat is that it's got a mooring near central london.


So go for it -- - just make really sure you can take over the mooring if you buy the boat, and that the mooring isn't totally overpriced for the area, and be prepared to have a difficult, uncomfortable and more expensive than you think 18 months or so living in a workshop!

(You should also check that the moorings owner will permit you to do the thorough re-build on his moorings)

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#18 bottle

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:17 AM

As Grace and Favour says, you will need to get it in writing from the mooring owner, not the boat seller, that the mooring is transferable.

Do not take anyone's word get it in writing.

Another option, if you can definitley have the mooring and finances work, buy the boat, with mooring, sell the boat without mooring buy different boat.

Again get it in writing from mooring owner that they will let you put a new boat on the mooring.
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Keith.

What you said, what you thought you said and what I thought you said are THREE different things.



#19 PartTimer

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:26 AM

Aye bottle, that is an alternative plan of action - am considering the costs either way, alongside the 'fun' of course of putting together your own home.
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#20 ChrisPy

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

if you have sufficient finances, buy the boat and the mooring, sell the boat on and buy a new sailaway ??
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