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thingsweregood

Thoughts on a frankenstein boat?

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Hi all,

 

I have been messaging with someone who has a boat for sale in London. I haven't yet seen it in person, but I asked about the age (as it wasn't listed in the ad). This is the response:
 

The boat is very much one of a kind, it’s actually two boats that were welded together at some point in the early 2000s! The bow dates back to be regarded as a classic historical canal boat, so any time between 1920-1940. The stern is from the 1970s, 1977 I believe. The work done is flawless and the Hull has been so reinforced the last hull survey said it won’t need any welding for a years to come. There are also 3 anodes on the hull if that helps.

I've been looking for a NB for about 6 months now and haven't come across anything like this... I understand that older steel tends to be preferred over newer stuff in terms of quality, but also overplating can be a negative. I would assume that welding together one boat out of two halves sort of falls under the category of overplating?!

Does anyone have an opinion on whether this is a real dealbreaker? The boat itself (from what I can glean from the ad) looks solid, well fitted out and maintained.

 

Thanks in advance

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Welcome to the forum!

This sort of half and half boat is not unique. A number of old working boats, after their toils were over, were cut in half and fitted with new bows or sterns to create leisure bots.

Have you got a link to the advert, or can you post photos here? That would help.

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Just now, Athy said:

Welcome to the forum!

This sort of half and half boat is not unique. A number of old working boats, after their toils were over, were cut in half and fitted with new bows or sterns to create leisure bots.

Have you got a link to the advert, or can you post photos here? That would help.

Oh that's good to know.

Advert: https://www.gumtree.com/p/boats-kayaks-jet-skis/45ft-narrowboat-state-of-the-art-equipment-and-professional-finish/1394693888

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Its not unkown to use the back end of an old day boat as the bows of a new boat. BWB when they built their hire fleet used half an old boat and the Butty in the video is done like that 

 

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The appearance of the stern would be consistent with that date. Would need to see an external photo of the bows to suggest it's possible origins. But from the interior pictures it would seem to have a long bow swim, which is much more likely to be found on an ex working boat.

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12 minutes ago, David Mack said:

The appearance of the stern would be consistent with that date. Would need to see an external photo of the bows to suggest it's possible origins. But from the interior pictures it would seem to have a long bow swim, which is much more likely to be found on an ex working boat.

Interesting! Thank you.

 

So you wouldn't think the age of the boat etc would be an issue, assuming the hull is in good condition? (Of course, if I were to look to purchase I would get a full survey!)

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1 hour ago, thingsweregood said:

I understand that older steel tends to be preferred over newer stuff in terms of quality, 

 

Then you misunderstand. That's an old myth.

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37 minutes ago, robtheplod said:

'cut and shut' boats .... who'd have thought!!

Roger Farringdon amongst others has done quite a few of these from old unloved buttys and motors.

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I've certainly seen plenty of references to the bows of historic boats having newly built sterns attached and leisure cabins built over the top, but isn't the as-described arrangement involving someone in the 2000s attaching the bow of a historic boat to the majority of an existing ~25 year old leisure boat a bit more unusual?

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1 minute ago, enigmatic said:

I've certainly seen plenty of references to the bows of historic boats having newly built sterns attached and leisure cabins built over the top, but isn't the as-described arrangement involving someone in the 2000s attaching the bow of a historic boat to the majority of an existing ~25 year old leisure boat a bit more unusual?

It's probably a (43 year old) boat built using a historic front end where the historic was composite, so the baseplate will have been new throughout, and the rest welded on top.

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2 minutes ago, matty40s said:

It's probably a (43 year old) boat built using a historic front end where the historic was composite, so the baseplate will have been new throughout, and the rest welded on top.

That seems more common than what the owner's email says. Maybe if there actually was significant work done on the hull in the 2000s it was overplating or remedying defects with the 1977 work?

 

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Obviously I know nothing about narrow boats but I have never seen a stern like this on a modern boat. 

 

Usually you use the end of an old iron boat as the bows. 

 

IMG_20210113_210034.jpg.ccf47fd2b742ed72d28ae5046cf4a823.jpgIts quite good in a way but the London white interior and exceptional state of the art thing makes me suspect it is a sinker. 

 

And one would want to see what they have done about the swim. 

 

It could end up being a very unusual early pleasure boat using the front of a horse drawn boat, with most of the thing replated with treadplate, as the stern. 

 

Or something. 

 

Definitely unusual. 

 

Some of the deck hardware looks quite old so possibly a motorised horse boat which was later cut down ? 

 

The swan neck tiller does have the look of an old one.

 

Or is it a cowburn and cowpar stern ? 

 

I'm getting intrigued now. 

 

 

Eta there was an unusual narrow boat by swan hunter but I don't remember the tread plate sides. 

Edited by magnetman
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16 hours ago, thingsweregood said:

Hi all,

 

I have been messaging with someone who has a boat for sale in London. I haven't yet seen it in person, but I asked about the age (as it wasn't listed in the ad). This is the response:
 

The boat is very much one of a kind, it’s actually two boats that were welded together at some point in the early 2000s! The bow dates back to be regarded as a classic historical canal boat, so any time between 1920-1940. The stern is from the 1970s, 1977 I believe. The work done is flawless and the Hull has been so reinforced the last hull survey said it won’t need any welding for a years to come. There are also 3 anodes on the hull if that helps.

I've been looking for a NB for about 6 months now and haven't come across anything like this... I understand that older steel tends to be preferred over newer stuff in terms of quality, but also overplating can be a negative. I would assume that welding together one boat out of two halves sort of falls under the category of overplating?!

Does anyone have an opinion on whether this is a real dealbreaker? The boat itself (from what I can glean from the ad) looks solid, well fitted out and maintained.

 

Thanks in advance

If the date of the older portion was pinned down you may find this was actually iron, which does last very well when compared to steel. Quality of steel by age is a complicated subject and very little opinion has a base in science but many craft dating from the 70's and 80's seem to fare better than some built later...

 One feature that i noticed was what appear to be inspection hatches in the flooring, a useful feature which suggests a well thought out fit out. More pictures of the exterior would be useful, as if the bow turned out to be from a station boat my interest would vanish!

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16 minutes ago, BWM said:

If the date of the older portion was pinned down you may find this was actually iron, which does last very well when compared to steel. Quality of steel by age is a complicated subject and very little opinion has a base in science but many craft dating from the 70's and 80's seem to fare better than some built later...

 One feature that i noticed was what appear to be inspection hatches in the flooring, a useful feature which suggests a well thought out fit out. More pictures of the exterior would be useful, as if the bow turned out to be from a station boat my interest would vanish!

Interesting, thanks for your insights. May I ask what a station boat is, and why this would be a negative?

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39 minutes ago, thingsweregood said:

Interesting, thanks for your insights. May I ask what a station boat is, and why this would be a negative?

They tend to corrode a lot more than similar craft of the period, there is a complete one in an open 'dock' at Stoke Bruerne. It is unlikely that the boat you are looking at has incorporated one but it is possible. 

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Station (or Railway) boats were unpowered open boats built for short hall traffic between railway interchange basins and canalside factories. The term usually refers to those built for the LMS by Yarwoods of Northwich although the GWR also had their own railway boats. In the later years of commercial carrying some of the LMS boats were fitted with conventional butty cabins and worked in pairs with motor boats.

Because of their humble origins, they have not been as highly regarded as boats built for long distance carrying, and in the 1960s several were cut in half to make two shorter leisure boats, with the original identities lost or confused. 

Details of some survivors at https://hnbc.org.uk/lms.

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5 minutes ago, Laurie Booth I.S.M. said:

Pre atomic steel is better than post atomic steel.

Especially if you want steel with a low radiation content. I used to have a couple of tons of steel that had been recovered from Scapa Flow as shielding for environmental radiation measurements.

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The stove is not compliant with any of the regulations, There appears to be no fire rated material at the rear of it and the flue is too close to the woodwork. Had another look at the photos it has ceramic tiles behind it but what are they stuck too??  A fire waiting to happen!! The boat is also London priced.

 

Edited by Richard T

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3 minutes ago, Richard T said:

The stove is not compliant with any of the regulations, There appears to be no fire rated material at the rear of it and the flue is too close to the woodwork. Had another look at the photos it has ceramic tiles behind it but what are they stuck too??  A fire waiting to happen!! The boat is also London priced.

 

I agree I dont like the look of it but which regulation does it not comply with?

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4 minutes ago, Richard T said:

The stove is not compliant with any of the regulations, There appears to be no fire rated material at the rear of it and the flue is too close to the woodwork. Had another look at the photos it has ceramic tiles behind it but what are they stuck too??  A fire waiting to happen!! The boat is also London priced.

 

Surely there are no "regulations" there are only "recommendations" and even they don't apply retrospectively to installations which pre-date them.

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4 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I agree I dont like the look of it but which regulation does it not comply with?

I should have said guidance rather than regulations. I think the installation looks dodgy

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