Jump to content

Featured Posts

Hello everyone, possibly a bit of a strange one but I’m guessing people here would be able to answer some questions on wether my idea is silly or is possible.

I was planning on building an office in the garden for my partner, as she works from home, when I’ve had the idea of finding a damaged narrow boat and converting that into her home office, we have a very long and narrow garden and I thought it would be a bit different and nice than a fancy shed. 
So my questions are where would be best to look for a boat to buy? I essentially just want the structure, it doesn’t matter what the state of it is inside and obviously it doesn’t need to be in a condition where it can become worthy of going on water again. 
my next question is if I can find a boat like this, how easy and how expensive would it be to have it transported by road? 
And possibly the craziest question would be getting it into the garden... I have a large alleyway at the side of my house but how would I move a boat like that on dry land? Or (don’t laugh if I’m talking nonsense) would it be possible to have it craned over my house?

i know the whole thing may be a crazy idea but I figured people here could advise me on wether it possible or bury the whole idea! 
thank you in advance, mike.

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Mike8811 said:

Hello everyone, possibly a bit of a strange one but I’m guessing people here would be able to answer some questions on wether my idea is silly or is possible.

I was planning on building an office in the garden for my partner, as she works from home, when I’ve had the idea of finding a damaged narrow boat and converting that into her home office, we have a very long and narrow garden and I thought it would be a bit different and nice than a fancy shed. 
So my questions are where would be best to look for a boat to buy? I essentially just want the structure, it doesn’t matter what the state of it is inside and obviously it doesn’t need to be in a condition where it can become worthy of going on water again. 
my next question is if I can find a boat like this, how easy and how expensive would it be to have it transported by road? 
And possibly the craziest question would be getting it into the garden... I have a large alleyway at the side of my house but how would I move a boat like that on dry land? Or (don’t laugh if I’m talking nonsense) would it be possible to have it craned over my house?

i know the whole thing may be a crazy idea but I figured people here could advise me on wether it possible or bury the whole idea! 
thank you in advance, mike.

I suspect that you've been looking at too many clickbaits on the internet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The answer to all of your questions really is yes.

Delivery by road, crane over your house and all the rest of it.

 

None of it will be cheap.  Even damaged and worn out boats get salvaged, unless they're rotten, rancid wood.

GRP boats rarely have the headroom.

You might ask yourself about the outcomes of hoisting several tons of written off boat up and over your house.

 

You may also give some thought to objections from your neighbours.  Ignoring for the moment temporary structures tending not to need planning permission, they can still complain if they consider it an eyesore, it blocks light or is too close to their boundary.

How do I know?

Around 2001 I bought the nose cone, cockpit and first two rows of a Vickers Viscount to do the same as you're thinking. 

  • Happy 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several boat 'scrapyards' here is one example :

 

New Page 1 (boatwrecks.com)

 

Road transport would be around £1000 but tou would need to hire a crane at both ends to load / unload. That could be just a few £100's to a few £1000's . If you need a big enough crane to lift over the roof of your house into the garden it will not be cheap.

 

This sort of thing :

 

Case Studies

Link to post
Share on other sites

The boat would have to be in sufficiently good state to be able to withstand the craning without folding in half or otherwise collapsing.

Narrowboats are remarkably high when out of the water, you might want to consider putting it in a shallow or not so shallow trench.  Maybe with faux lock gates?

You could move it in in pieces and get it welded together, a process not unlike having a boat stretched.

My 60ft-er would just fit down the side of my house, pity about the narrow drive with the 7.5 ton limit...

Edited by system 4-50
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, system 4-50 said:

The boat would have to be in sufficiently good state to be able to withstand the craning without folding in half or otherwise collapsing.

Narrowboats are remarkably high when out of the water, you might want to consider putting it in a shallow or not so shallow trench.  Maybe with faux lock gates?

You could move it in in pieces and get it welded together, a process not unlike having a boat stretched.

My 60ft-er would just fit down the side of my house, pity about the narrow drive with the 7.5 ton limit...

I seem to remember a full length boat chopped in half in the back garden on the Erewash, I think I may have a photo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to the useful replies so far, to the click bait comment, I have been planning to build a garden office for a while and the idea of using a boat came into my head, if you can live on one then why not a office, with a toilet and kitchenette area for making tea and coffee etc? I’ve already run a water supply and electricity to the out buildings it would be near and there is sewage pipes in close proximity.

how tall are narrowboats out of water? Permitted development allows up to 2.5 meters height if you are within a 2 meters of a boundary, but like someone said I could overcome this by digging down having it semi buried.

the main issue would be getting it into the garden in the first place, but the one at the school looks great, so I don’t believe it would be an eyesore anyway.

i have a good relationship with my neighbours and I would discuss my idea with them.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Mike8811 said:

Thanks to the useful replies so far, to the click bait comment, I have been planning to build a garden office for a while and the idea of using a boat came into my head, if you can live on one then why not a office, with a toilet and kitchenette area for making tea and coffee etc? I’ve already run a water supply and electricity to the out buildings it would be near and there is sewage pipes in close proximity.

how tall are narrowboats out of water? Permitted development allows up to 2.5 meters height if you are within a 2 meters of a boundary, but like someone said I could overcome this by digging down having it semi buried.

the main issue would be getting it into the garden in the first place, but the one at the school looks great, so I don’t believe it would be an eyesore anyway.

i have a good relationship with my neighbours and I would discuss my idea with them.

 

I am sure one of the members here did that a few years back

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mike8811 said:

So my questions are where would be best to look for a boat to buy? 

Ebay, if you are looking for a cheapie.

3 hours ago, Mike8811 said:

I have a large alleyway at the side of my house but how would I move a boat like that on dry land?

Machine moving skates, running on scaffold planks, with a tirfor winch to pull it (as long as you have a suitable anchorage point to pull from.) I have pulled a boat up a slipway single-handed like this. 

Edited by David Mack
Link to post
Share on other sites

A springer narrowboat may fit the bill. They are constructed using thinner steel than what is typical of most steel narrowboats, so will be lighter. Many are in need of structural repairs, so you may find one within your budget. The only complication to consider aside from logistics as mentioned is that they have a slight V shape to the baseplate/hull, but if you plan on insetting it into the ground, it should not be a problem. The added benefit is they tend to be smaller in length and are characteristic in appearance, though I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

 

Not sure what your budget is but this may be of interest. It is not quite a "wrecked narrowboat" by any means but the ad says it needs re-plating, so you could go in with a cheeky offer. 
 

https://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/boat/springer-23-waterbug-for-sale/649125

Take out the bench seats in the saloon area and you will have a nice usable office space ready to go, with the added bonus of having a WC + a little galley & dining area for beverages/lunch. You could also sell the engine/gearbox which may help recoup some of your costs and make the boat a little lighter for transport. I'd say it probably weighs around 5000kg maybe?

 

Edited by RichM
  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Budget on around a ton per metre for weight when looking at crane costs. A likely over estimate in most cases, but will prevent surprises. For transport there are companies that specialise in moving NB's. Look for phrases like "Needs replating", meaning the hull is rusted very thin, or "Engine dead" as words to get the price down. A good engine and/or gearbox in a colander hull can be sold to recoup some cost. Narrowboats with a steel cabin are very strong structures, but as has been said, beyond a certain state of decrepitude, they are liable to collapse if lifted.

Anything that is capable of floating tends to be used as cheap accommodation at the moment, which keeps the price surprisingly high. By using it as a garden feature you may be depriving someone of a potential home.

Jen

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

By using it as a garden feature you may be depriving someone of a potential home.

Jen

Think positive! Someone buying a boat to use as a home may be depriving Mike of a potential garden feature.

But, imaginative though Mike's scheme is, he mentions that there are outbuildings in his garden. Perhaps it would me more practicable (and a damn' sight cheaper) to convert one of these into an office.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Athy said:

Think positive! Someone buying a boat to use as a home may be depriving Mike of a potential garden feature.

Sorry yes, I was being so selfish!

Something else to consider for craning. If he intends to gut the interior and replace it, then removing all the ballast, as well as the engine, along with the existing interior fit out, before lifting it out of the water will save a significant proportion of the weight. It will also allow any interior rust to be treated. To get at the ballast will mean lifting the floor. An empty shell will be the least expensive to crane, particularly if it is a long reach to get to the destination in the garden. It will also decrease the chance of structural failure while in the air.

Jen

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have this image of ten+ tons of rusty narrowboat slipping the slings as it is being hoisted over the roof of your house ...

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, dor said:

I have this image of ten+ tons of rusty narrowboat slipping the slings as it is being hoisted over the roof of your house ...

....or, worse, over the roof of the house next door.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Mike8811 said:

Hello everyone, possibly a bit of a strange one but I’m guessing people here would be able to answer some questions on wether my idea is silly or is possible.

I was planning on building an office in the garden for my partner, as she works from home, when I’ve had the idea of finding a damaged narrow boat and converting that into her home office, we have a very long and narrow garden and I thought it would be a bit different and nice than a fancy shed. 
So my questions are where would be best to look for a boat to buy? I essentially just want the structure, it doesn’t matter what the state of it is inside and obviously it doesn’t need to be in a condition where it can become worthy of going on water again. 
my next question is if I can find a boat like this, how easy and how expensive would it be to have it transported by road? 
And possibly the craziest question would be getting it into the garden... I have a large alleyway at the side of my house but how would I move a boat like that on dry land? Or (don’t laugh if I’m talking nonsense) would it be possible to have it craned over my house?

i know the whole thing may be a crazy idea but I figured people here could advise me on wether it possible or bury the whole idea! 
thank you in advance, mike.

By the River Kennet at Reading 🙂

 

 

134 Kennet & Avon Theale To Reading 16th August 2019_2.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember that most of the boats you see will be a steel shell which has similar issues to a shipping container when you are looking to live in it. I reckon that a good yard could actually build something from scratch which looked like a NB but was actually more practical to fit out as habitable office space. think of it as a metal house extension, like the hospitality units used on building sites as they have solar and drains and so-on. It does sound like a very fun-filled project, it certainly got me thinking.

 

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

Remember that most of the boats you see will be a steel shell which has similar issues to a shipping container when you are looking to live in it. I reckon that a good yard could actually build something from scratch which looked like a NB but was actually more practical to fit out as habitable office space. think of it as a metal house extension, like the hospitality units used on building sites as they have solar and drains and so-on. It does sound like a very fun-filled project, it certainly got me thinking.

 

And you can get a 20 foot container much cheaper than a wreck of a boat.

Ebay shows quite a few at around £1000, + delivery will be much simpler as they can be handled by a standard truck with a hiab.

 

40 foot also available.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

And you can get a 20 foot container much cheaper than a wreck of a boat.

Ebay shows quite a few at around £1000, + delivery will be much simpler as they can be handled by a standard truck with a hiab.

 

40 foot also available.

They are wider too, giving you a much more usable interior. Narrowboats are only narrow because of a bunch of 18th century engineers getting together in the pub, having a few too many bottles of port each and deciding that 7' was the best width for their new canal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 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.