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Chicken and egg?


AndyE

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11 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

"double bed"

 

Does the OP have a need / want for a 'queen or king size' (width) of bed ?

 

He would appear to be quoting "I" for everything, there is no 'we'.

"I" am in an empty nest.

Next year "I" will have funds to buy a new-build.

"I" find a marina,

 

etc etc etc.

 

A 4' wide x 7' long bed would leave the normal 2+ feet to pass.

 

If I was going to be paying £200k+ for a reasonable quality boat I'd want a bed I could fit in.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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4 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

 

I do not believe that that statement is correct, 'bridge clearance' (or 'air draft') is the space between the bottom of the bridge and the water surface, you then also have 'draft' (or water depth)

 

You are correct in that you need to consider both aspects, but in many cases they are mutually exclusive -  It doesn't matter how shallow draft your boat if its air-draft is 8 feet and the bridges have a 'bridge clearance' of 7 feet you will not get under.

 

 

I was referring to max size boat that can pass through, not air-draught which can vary according to depth of water at any one time, when planning what boat to buy the total clearance is the absolute figure (unless there's a couple of shopping trolleys down there). Options are to clear roof of stuff, or less ballast, or both. 

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1 hour ago, The Happy Nomad said:

 

We once hired a boat (Helena from Napton NB's) that had a lovely large bed in the front cabin. It was obviously a reverse layout. The bed ran length ways and was permanent. Nothing to fold out to make the bed up. There was just enough room for the person on the inside to slide out the bottom if needed. It was 6ft 9in long and 5 feet wide.

 

It is true that it was a bit of a tight squeeze to get past to the front door but nothing too difficult and the slight inconvenience was well worth the additional comfort and convenience come bed time.

 

I can't recall ever seeing anything the same on any privately owned boats and I honestly don't know why it's not more common. It would be my choice if we were ever in position to have a boat built.

 

The other option would be the layout Stenson used to do (possibly still do) with the bed right in the centre far up into the bow but that design loses the front well deck and only has an emergency window hatch right at the front with steps and a side hatch near the foot of the bed. Not really ideal IMHO.

 

Napton boat

 

Elite bedroom.JPG

 

Stenson boat

 

 

Stenson boat.JPG

I've seen a version which is better than either of these with a central bed built with the head end against a front bulk-head but more open at the foot end so easier to get in and out.

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38 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Does the OP have a need / want for a 'queen or king size' (width) of bed ?

 

He would appear to be quoting "I" for everything, there is no 'we'.

"I" am in an empty nest.

Next year "I" will have funds to buy a new-build.

"I" find a marina,

 

etc etc etc.

 

A 4' wide x 7' long bed would leave the normal 2+ feet to pass.

 

If I was going to be paying £200k+ for a reasonable quality boat I'd want a bed I could fit in.

maybe he's hoping to get lucky?  :)

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1 minute ago, nb Innisfree said:

I was referring to max size boat that can pass through, not air-draught which can vary according to depth of water at any one time, when planning what boat to buy the total clearance is the absolute figure (unless there's a couple of shopping trolleys down there). Options are to clear roof of stuff, or less ballast, or both. 

 

In which case I think you used the term 'bridge clearance' incorrectly.

 

From Google :

 

Bridge clearance (BC) is the distance from a boat's waterline to the highest point on the topsides. It indicates the height of a bridge under which a boat can pass. Bridge clearance is listed on marine charts, with the height above mean high water given.

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Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. 

 

My wife's now actively investigating narrow beam options for us in addition to the 10' wide beam we'd been assuming. 

 

She's also having a laugh tutoring me on my social media etiquette so that she doesn't get omitted from my questions. 😂

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2 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

I've seen a version which is better than either of these with a central bed built with the head end against a front bulk-head but more open at the foot end so easier to get in and out.

Me too, but a king-size bed only leaves about 6" each side which isn't really enough unless you have your feet surgically rotated by 90 degrees... 😉

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15 minutes ago, IanD said:

Me too, but a king-size bed only leaves about 6" each side which isn't really enough unless you have your feet surgically rotated by 90 degrees... 😉

 

I understand what you mean, but the bed could be on legs or a box set back underneath from the side so your feet fitted under the bed.

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4 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

I understand what you mean, but the bed could be on legs or a box set back underneath from the side so your feet fitted under the bed.

But the cabin sides step in by several inches at the gunwales, so you can't stand up alongside the bed without falling onto it. And if you sit on the bed, you either need the 90 degree surgery or the full 180 degrees...

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My dream scenario: 1) book build slot with my builder of choice, 2) identify and buy a used boat that ticks most of my boxes, 3) spend the next 1-3 years exploring the system, learning exactly what works for me layout & equipment-wise & practicing my boat handling so my shiny new boat doesn't take too much of a hammering, 4) take delivery of my lovely new boat, 5) sell my first boat. Sadly only steps 2 & 3 are my reality! 

Edited by MrsM
I'm bloody lucky to have any boat!
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3 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Does the OP have a need / want for a 'queen or king size' (width) of bed ?

 

He would appear to be quoting "I" for everything, there is no 'we'.

"I" am in an empty nest.

Next year "I" will have funds to buy a new-build.

"I" find a marina,

 

etc etc etc.

 

A 4' wide x 7' long bed would leave the normal 2+ feet to pass.

 

If I was going to be paying £200k+ for a reasonable quality boat I'd want a bed I could fit in.

A normal double (4'6") leaves enough room to walk down the side of the bed, I've hired boats like this and it's no problem getting past (turned sideways on if necessary) so long as there's not a lot of foot traffic (e.g. reverse layout) -- if there is (e.g. normal layout) then you really need the extra 6" to be able walk/run straight past, so either a 4' "narrow double" or one that slides out to 4'6" with a 6" mattress infill to drop in behind.

 

I've tried out all these solutions (and king-size cross-beds) over the years; which you choose depends on what your preferences are, they all have their advantages and disadvantages...

 

(and my conclusion is that a lengthways standard 4'6" double in the bows is the best solution overall, with space at the bottom of the bed to get out from the inside slot (mine). YMMV 😉

Edited by IanD
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17 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

We had a narrowboat with a 13mm base plate which meant the interior floor could be at least 6" lower than normal

That's really interesting, why is that? Is it because the base plate is thicker, it's stronger and therefore you don't need as tall ribs? Or is it a ballast thing? I notice a lot of people seem to be going for thicker than the standard 10mm baseplate ("standard" in the case meaning "wot I got")

I'm 6'4" and when I was shopping for my boat headroom was a key factor for me, but plenty of narrowboats were tall enough. My boat has 6'7" of head clearance so I shouldn't have thought it would be that hard to find a narrow beam boat that meets the OP's requirements. Also I am not sure why the beam has anything to do with the length of the bed unless you have a NB and are set on a cross bed? The width of the bed does come into it though, my bed is a "small double" which does make it narrower than I'd like, in fact if I was going for a new build top on the list for me is side hatches and a king size bed, at the expense of bow doors and well deck.

 

Regarding OP's original question about renting a mooring first vs commissioning the build first, I imagine it really comes down to how specific an area you are looking in - if you're commissioning a brand new widebeam build I expect you can probably afford to sit on a vacant mooring for a few months - if you find the mooring best snap it up. But I second what everyone said about going secondhand first, if there's one thing I have learned from a secondhand boat it's exactly what I'd want in a new build (and spoiler: it's very different to what I thought I'd want at first!)

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5 minutes ago, jetzi said:

That's really interesting, why is that?

 

It means that the floor can be substantailly lower because the need for loose ballast (concrete slabs, pig-iron etc) is minimised to only needing to counter-balance any furniture and fittings, and, that can generally be achieved with one or two 56lb 'potato weights' in the bottom of cupboards or under the bed etc.

The weight of the 13mm base plate is (virtually) sufficient to ballast the boat correctly.

 

 

image.jpeg.2e1b03070e5d9a1d13619f3cdfe0f709.jpeg

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2 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

It means that the floor can be substantailly lower because the need for loose ballast (concrete slabs, pig-iron etc) is minimised to only needing to counter-balance any furniture and fittings, and, that can generally be achieved with one or two 56lb 'potato weights' in the bottom of cupboards or under the bed etc.

The weight of the 13mm base plate is (virtually) sufficient to ballast the boat correctly.

 

 

image.jpeg.2e1b03070e5d9a1d13619f3cdfe0f709.jpeg

 

The floor of my boat is laid directly onto the ribs, so how does it help to have less ballast? Wouldn't that just mean more space in the bilge?

Or do you mean, knowing that you need less ballast, you can make the ribs shorter to accommodate less? Most but not all of my bilge has concrete paving slabs in it.

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24 minutes ago, jetzi said:

That's really interesting, why is that? Is it because the base plate is thicker, it's stronger and therefore you don't need as tall ribs? Or is it a ballast thing? I notice a lot of people seem to be going for thicker than the standard 10mm baseplate ("standard" in the case meaning "wot I got")

I'm 6'4" and when I was shopping for my boat headroom was a key factor for me, but plenty of narrowboats were tall enough. My boat has 6'7" of head clearance so I shouldn't have thought it would be that hard to find a narrow beam boat that meets the OP's requirements. Also I am not sure why the beam has anything to do with the length of the bed unless you have a NB and are set on a cross bed? The width of the bed does come into it though, my bed is a "small double" which does make it narrower than I'd like, in fact if I was going for a new build top on the list for me is side hatches and a king size bed, at the expense of bow doors and well deck.

 

Regarding OP's original question about renting a mooring first vs commissioning the build first, I imagine it really comes down to how specific an area you are looking in - if you're commissioning a brand new widebeam build I expect you can probably afford to sit on a vacant mooring for a few months - if you find the mooring best snap it up. But I second what everyone said about going secondhand first, if there's one thing I have learned from a secondhand boat it's exactly what I'd want in a new build (and spoiler: it's very different to what I thought I'd want at first!)

A thicker baseplate means less ballast is needed, so less of a gap under the floor. However the difference is nothing like as big as Alan makes out...

 

If you replace a 10mm baseplate with 13mm, the extra 3mm of steel weighs about as much as 10mm of ballast (assuming something like engineering bricks or high-density concrete is used) because steel is just over 3x as dense (7.8x water) -- however the baseplate covers the whole bottom of the boat and ballast rarely does. It's still not going to let the floor be lowered by more than an inch or so, depending how much underfloor space can be filled with ballast -- certainly not 6". Going from a 10mm to a 13mm baseplate is unlikely to remove the need for ballast as Alan seems to be suggesting, the added weight for a narrowboat is about 800kg which will lower the boat in the water  by about an inch, normally rather more ballast than this is needed.

 

As explained above, you can easily get a full-width double (4'6") in lengthways (any length you want, the Napton boats have 6'9 long mattresses) in a reverse layout, a 5' king-size gives very little room to get past the bed but isn't impossible.

Edited by IanD
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9 minutes ago, jetzi said:

 

The floor of my boat is laid directly onto the ribs, so how does it help to have less ballast? Wouldn't that just mean more space in the bilge?

Or do you mean, knowing that you need less ballast, you can make the ribs shorter to accommodate less? Most but not all of my bilge has concrete paving slabs in it.

 

You can make the ribs slightly less deep, but probably by less than an inch, see above. Whether this is worth the increased cost of a thicker baseplate is debateable...

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4 minutes ago, IanD said:

A thicker baseplate means less ballast is needed, so less of a gap under the floor. However the difference is nothing like as big as Alan makes out...

 

If you replace a 10mm baseplate with 15mm, the extra 5mm of steel weighs about as much as 15mm of ballast

 

Very interesting and makes complete sense. Thanks. Dumb question probably, but is a cabin bilge really necessary - if you were to use a very thick baseplate, say 15mm or even 20mm, could you not just lay the floor directly on top of the steel and forgo ribs entirely? (correcting any list or trim issues with the potato weights Alan mentioned).

 

6 minutes ago, IanD said:

As explained above, you can easily get a full-width double (4'6") in lengthways (any length you want, the Napton boats have 6'9 long mattresses) in a reverse layout, a 5' king-size gives very little room to get past the bed but isn't impossible.

 

My bedroom is in the centre of the boat, and having quite thick insulation behind the walls and a radiator in the corridor next to the bed, an extra 6" of bed would be very awkward to have to shimmy past multiple times a day. My next boat will have a bed in the bows. Preferably full width, but I guess that getting in and out at the foot of the bed would probably get tiresome! Boat layout is always a compromise... unless you have a widebeam I suppose, to the OP's point!

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11 minutes ago, jetzi said:

 

Very interesting and makes complete sense. Thanks. Dumb question probably, but is a cabin bilge really necessary - if you were to use a very thick baseplate, say 15mm or even 20mm, could you not just lay the floor directly on top of the steel and forgo ribs entirely? (correcting any list or trim issues with the potato weights Alan mentioned).

 

 

My bedroom is in the centre of the boat, and having quite thick insulation behind the walls and a radiator in the corridor next to the bed, an extra 6" of bed would be very awkward to have to shimmy past multiple times a day. My next boat will have a bed in the bows. Preferably full width, but I guess that getting in and out at the foot of the bed would probably get tiresome! Boat layout is always a compromise... unless you have a widebeam I suppose, to the OP's point!

 

In theory yes, but most builders probably wouldn't be happy with this, the ribs are used to fasten the floor down to. Also you'd need a *very* thick baseplate which be expensive, and also a pig to work with...

 

See my comments about bed widths above -- a 5' kingsize in dead-end bows does mean you have to climb in and out over the foot of the bed, fine if you're happy with that but I've tried it and hated it -- try doing it with two pint mugs of tea in the morning. I'm going for 4'6" which means you can walk past it reasonably easily (unlike 5') to an access door (steps/hatch) in the bows, with a gap at the foot of the bed for access. But this won't be used much (tug deck with genny etc underneath), most living/travelling will be at the stern. It's all a compromise with a narrowboat, there's no perfect solution...

 

Of course none of this is a problem with a widebeam, but there are a few teeny weeny (or huge) other problems... 😉

Edited by IanD
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16 minutes ago, jetzi said:

 

The floor of my boat is laid directly onto the ribs, so how does it help to have less ballast? Wouldn't that just mean more space in the bilge?

Or do you mean, knowing that you need less ballast, you can make the ribs shorter to accommodate less? Most but not all of my bilge has concrete paving slabs in it.

 

I was not involved in the building of my boat, it was a Reeves build.

The space under the floor was just about big enough to slide my hand in 'flat'  - maybe a little over an inch. On previous NBs I have been able to reach right under the floor up to my shoulder - maybe 5+ inches  between base plate and underside of the floor. They had two thicknesses of 2" paving slabs with space above. The only ballast in the Reeves was a couple of potato-weights on the counter and in a couple in cupboards along the sides to counter balance the galley and bathroom.

 

20mm base plate boats are being built. I have seen them advertised but not really interested now so have not made a note of who is doing it.

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4 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

In which case I think you used the term 'bridge clearance' incorrectly.

 

From Google :

 

Bridge clearance (BC) is the distance from a boat's waterline to the highest point on the topsides. It indicates the height of a bridge under which a boat can pass. Bridge clearance is listed on marine charts, with the height above mean high water given.

I stand corrected, does anyone know the correct term? 

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1 minute ago, nb Innisfree said:

I stand corrected, does anyone know the correct term? 

 

I am not aware of any single term, it is an addition of the two 'drafts' (Air draft and Water draft). I cannot see why there would be a term for that measurement as what use would it be ?

 

If the BC is (say) 10 foot, (8 feet air + 2 feet water) that doesn't mean that a boat with a 3 foot draft and a 7 foot air draft will fit, neither does it mean that a boat with an airdraft of 9 feet and a draft of 1 foot will fit (as if the water depth is 2 feet there will be 1 foot of 'unused' BC.

 

Everything I have seen from both sea-going charts to C&RTs charts / spreadsheets show the two dimension seperately - much in the way that you need to think and measure 3-dimensionally for canal dimensions Width, Height and Depth and you need to draw a 'box' of your dimensions - it doesn't mean that your boat will pass at the maximum of all dimensions.

 

Taking my schematic - if your height (air draft) is at maximum then you cannot use the maximum width of the bridges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I am not aware of any single term, it is an addition of the two 'drafts' (Air draft and Water draft). I cannot see why there would be a term for that measurement as what use would it be ?

 

If the BC is (say) 10 foot, (8 feet air + 2 feet water) that doesn't mean that a boat with a 3 foot draft and a 7 foot air draft will fit, neither does it mean that a boat with an airdraft of 9 feet and a draft of 1 foot will fit (as if the water depth is 2 feet there will be 1 foot of 'unused' BC.

 

Everything I have seen from both sea-going charts to C&RTs charts / spreadsheets show the two dimension seperately - much in the way that you need to think and measure 3-dimensionally for canal dimensions Width, Height and Depth and you need to draw a 'box' of your dimensions - it doesn't mean that your boat will pass at the maximum of all dimensions.

 

Taking my schematic - if your height (air draft) is at maximum then you cannot use the maximum width of the bridges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless when choosing or designing a boat the measurement from underneath a bridge to canal bottom is the only absolute measurement (ignoring any future silting or dredging) and needs to be considered. 

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