Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
galaxy273

narrow boat width and possible restrictions

Featured Posts

In the process of buying a narrow boay. Pre-purchase survey has identified that she is wider than the builder paperwork and seller particulars.  measured at 7'1" rather than the 6'10".

New to canal boating, my quick checks on CRT website indicate that this may be problem on 'narrow' canals. I was intending to cruise the network and move from Stafford area to London for rennovation works   .....     Interested in views on whether I need to look for an actual 6'10'" wide boat or whether I'll be Ok at 7'1"   thanks 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7ft 1in is likely to cause you problems. Take it by lorry to London for the 'renovation works', I suggest, although with careful route planning you *may* be able to avoid the 'pinch point' locks on the shortest routes. 

 

Presumably the renovation work will include pulling it in to under 7ft? 

 

 

P.S. if you tell us the name of the boat, people here may have detailed knowledge of any locks it has been stuck in....

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you get it, you will always be apprehensive when you go into narrow locks not knowing if you could or will get wedged or hung up, just stick to 6'10" and don't worry about it.

Edited by PD1964

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That will be a problem in a few places.

CRT have or about to fix a couple of the tightest locks, but there are still other tight spots.

You wont be able to do the Huddersfield Narrow, and the South Stratford will likely be impossible.

 

.....................Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I accept no liability for this advice BUT 7 foot 1 inch should be alright to get to London from Stafford so long as you don't use the Stratford or Oxford canals - ideally go T&M, Coventry and Northern Oxford to get to the Southern GU at Braunston and the follow that. 

 

edited to add - 7 foot 1 inch is far from "go anywhere" though - if that's your plan either get it taken in or don't buy it

Edited by magpie patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The previous posts sound unduly alarmist to me. Narrow canals are regularly travelled by ex working boats built to a beam of 7 ft 0.5 in, some of which have spread since, and rarely get seriously stuck. Yes there are pinch points, but they are also being (slowly) addressed. The Hurleston pinch point is being adressed this winter, Napton was done a year or two back, and the narrow lock on the Chesterfield was rebuilt a few years ago. The OP's trip from Stafford to London will mostly involve the BCN, which has generous lock sizes, and the Grand Union which is wide.

Get it pulled in to 7 ft as part of the renovation and you will be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, David Mack said:

The previous posts sound unduly alarmist to me. Narrow canals are regularly travelled by ex working boats built to a beam of 7 ft 0.5 in, some of which have spread since, and rarely get seriously stuck.

 

Yes but once is enough to seriously wreck a several-week-long cruise and cause a month or two of unplanned delay, when you have to give up, reverse a mile to a winding hole, go back the way you came and go a different, longer route. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another consideration is if the boat is also bent along the long axis. If it is slightly banana shaped, then that can add to the effective width in a lock. A nominal 6'10" boat can cope with this better than one that is already 7'1" in places. Sighting along the gunwales with the Mk1 eyeball should spot any tendency to bananahood.

 

Jen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Yes but once is enough to seriously wreck a several-week-long cruise and cause a month or two of unplanned delay, when you have to give up, reverse a mile to a winding hole, go back the way you came and go a different, longer route. 

 

 

Well in 30 years of boating on full length Big Woolwich motors I have only once had to turn back because the boat wouldn't fit. And that was ar Stret Lock on the Chesterfield which was known to be very narrow, and we didn't expect to get through, although we did try. The lock has since been rebuilt.

I have got stuck on other occasions, but never to the extent that I didn't get through in the end.

  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And a 7ft 1in narrowboat is probably narrower than a 6ft 10in narrowboat with fenders dangling down on both sides, yet they mostly get through locks OK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have an historic boat that is about 7' 1" at the front end.

 

Stafford area to London by the normal route you will have no problems.

 

However there are quite a few places elsewhere it would not fit.


For example one of the Bosley locks on the Macclesfield was recently measured by us as 7 feet and half an inch between the top coping stones.  You will not easily get a boat through that is half an inch wider than the lock, (or at least you won't by sticking to accepted rules!).

 

If you want a "go everywhere" boat you will need to get it modified, otherwise you will eventually find somewhere it doesn't fit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Op says he wants to cruise the network, he said this in his first post, the initial trip to London is just to get work done, so a 7+ foot boat is not a good boat to cruise the network.

Yes, people have been around in old working boats but I bet they have not been down the various tight locks recently. :)

 

................Dave

  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Width alone doesn’t give the whole picture. Straightness is equally important. A boat could be measured at 6’ 10” at every foot along it’s length and still get stuck in a narrow lock. For a banana shaped hull the length of the boat is an issue because the longer the boat is the more likely it is to get stuck. The OP doesn’t state the length of the prospective boat.

 

I’m not going to disagree with those who say it’s not likely to be a significant problem but equally it doesn’t take much of a problem in terms of the number of pinch points to be a significant problem depending on how critical those places are in relation to where the owner wants to be. So it’s largely comes down to the appetite for risk of the buyer.

 

I would though query exactly how practically achievable rectifying the width might prove to be during renovation.

 

JP

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

 

I would though query exactly how practically achievable rectifying the width might prove to be during renovation.

 

JP

 

 

I had my boat pulled in from 7ft 1.5in to 7ft 0in. 

 

Paradoxically it got well and truly stuck in Awbridge lock on the way to the yard. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe Napton is now fixed, or at least improved, and Hurleston is getting done this winter, though I believe two locks are difficult and maybe only one is getting rebuilt????

That leaves Huddersfield and the Stratford as the big issues, though there are likely several others.

 

The South Stratford is a nice canal leading down to the Avon.

 

The Huddersfield Narrow is still a bit "extreme boating" so might not be a part of the OPs plans.

 

In the slightly longer term the canal system is getting older and other locks, like the Marple flight, might well become troublesome at some stage.

 

6 foot ten, seventy foot, and 24 inches draft is a better long term investment.

 

...................Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, dmr said:

6 foot ten, seventy foot, and 24 inches draft is a better long term investment.

 

Yes. The locks may all the getting slowly narrower, but at least they aren't all getting slowly shorter!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I had my boat pulled in from 7ft 1.5in to 7ft 0in. 

 

Paradoxically it got well and truly stuck in Awbridge lock on the way to the yard. 

 

 

 

At least there would have been a local expert in shifting stuck boats on hand.

 

I’ll hazard a guess that was Reginald? I’m sure pulling a hull in isn’t a problem but if you’ve got a fully fitted full length cabin boat and you aren’t intending to strip the whole interior and start again I wonder how easy it is. If I was the OP I’d be wanting to establish the practicality and cost in relation to the renovation work they have planned if they were to consider rectifying the width.

 

Bear in mind that if a survey has uncovered this issue and it wasn’t stated by the seller/broker it would likely breach the threshold for value of remedial works in the conditions of sale. This is something to be established now rather than later.

 

On reflection the most puzzling thing is why anyone would take a boat from Stafford to London for renovation. I can only assume that’s where the OP is currently based.

 

It’s also the case that if you boat with a wideish boat on canals such as the BCN then you will get stuck against lock gates that won’t fully open due to the crud behind them. Usually rectified pretty simply but not always. Boating will be that bit harder.

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Yes. The locks may all the getting slowly narrower, but at least they aren't all getting slowly shorter!

 

We've recently seen a badly done lock approach rebuild taking a couple of inches off the width so its quite possible that a poor gate, walkway or cill repair could take a few inches off the length. We slightly exceed all of these dimensions so I am entitled to be a bit worried :)

 

I remember recently whilst slowly getting into a lock I overheard a waiting boater say "boats this long really should not be allowed on the canals"

 

.....................Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Boater Sam said:

Have the rings put inside and carry a Silvester or two so you can pull it in if necessary.

You really think he'd / they'd be much help ?

 

 

Image result for silvester cartoon

  • Happy 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

At least there would have been a local expert in shifting stuck boats on hand.

 

 

It was, and they failed despite giving us their best shot. 

 

We got through in the end by a brave modern boater in a big heavy boat motoring backwards at full chat with a line attached to both our tee studs, about 8 times. Reg moved about 6" each snatch, with clouds of pink brick dust bursting everywhere, but we got through!

 

 

6 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

I’m sure pulling a hull in isn’t a problem but if you’ve got a fully fitted full length cabin boat and you aren’t intending to strip the whole interior and start again I wonder how easy it is.

 

Which we had, and we did. 

 

 

 

Well sort of!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

Which we had, and we did. 

 

 

 

Well sort of!

 

 

 

And with that experience do you think it would it be a risk for the OP not to know what it may involve up front?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

And with that experience do you think it would it be a risk for the OP not to know what it may involve up front?

 

Well a couple of experienced posters seem to have contradicted me earlier in the thread.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Well a couple of experienced posters seem to have contradicted me earlier in the thread.

 

 

I don’t follow that; maybe I’ve misunderstood.

 

I thought you were saying you’d had a boat with a full length fitted out cabin pulled in and I was wondering how that went.

 

(I’ve just looked at a photo and I note Reginald has more cabin than tug deck which wasn’t quite how I remembered it from the occasions I’ve seen it).

 

JP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.