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Chicken and egg?


AndyE

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9 minutes ago, jetzi said:

 

Same here. What I'd really like is a "dutch barge style" narrowboat, minimal tumblehome, with a vertical and very tall prow - I think that this design looks the nicest when you have the cabin as far forward as possible at the expense of a well deck, and it would maximise the internal width. But I'm far too narrow minded to consider anything more than a 6'10" beam.

 

Minimal tumblehome not only looks a bit ugly (if you care about that) but makes it much more likely that you'll scrape the cabin under narrow canal bridge arches and tunnels, or take a chunk out of a bridge arch -- Dutch barges (in the Netherlands) don't have this problem. Many modern boats (especially widebeams) are built like this, but then they're marketed to people who don't actually travel much or at all.

 

The tall cabin prow pushed right forwards doesn't give you as much extra usable space inside as you'd think because the cabin (and hull) start to taper in well before this, and so does the space inside -- and if you want full width (e.g. for a king size bed without feeling "hemmed in") you have to think what you can actually use the narrowing space for.

 

The reason many people on conventional boats want a well deck is either for quiet travelling (away from the engine) or extra storage. With a reverse layout boat the alternative is to make the stern (semi-trad or cruiser) the place to be when travelling, but unless you have an electric boat you don't get away from the noise like you do in the bows. This is one reason reverse layout electric/hybrid boats with the generator where the well deck would be are becoming more popular for people with deep pockets...

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27 minutes ago, IanD said:

Minimal tumblehome not only looks a bit ugly (if you care about that)

It's a bit of a matter of opinion, personally I find the dutch barge style much more attractive.

 

27 minutes ago, IanD said:

more likely that you'll scrape the cabin under narrow canal bridge arches

Yes, but this is also (mainly?) a consequence of air draft, so if you have a thick baseplate, fairly deep draughted, minimal height bilge, and keep your interior height to a minimum, then hopefully won't be too much of an issue. We're only talking about a couple of inches wider at cabin roof height, right?

 

30 minutes ago, IanD said:

The tall cabin prow pushed right forwards doesn't give you as much extra usable space inside as you'd think because the cabin (and hull) start to taper in well before this, and so does the space inside

So you push the king size bed as far forward as you can and put your water tank, generator or gas locker above your head. You would then be able to get out of the sides of the bed about half way down the bed.

I don't know, again it's a compromise I guess.

 

 

33 minutes ago, IanD said:

The reason many people on conventional boats want a well deck is either for quiet travelling (away from the engine) or extra storage. With a reverse layout boat the alternative is to make the stern (semi-trad or cruiser) the place to be when travelling, but unless you have an electric boat you don't get away from the noise like you do in the bows.

 

I think another reason is for outside space. I feel like having outside space at both bow and stern is wasteful. I have a cruiser stern and it's still the place to be when travelling despite some noise from the engine. It's not loud enough to drive anyone off the stern deck but an electric boat would be nice! A cocooned diesel genny under the stern deck surely would be a hell of a lot quiter than a diesel engine in a hollow engine bay under your feet, anyway?

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1 hour ago, doratheexplorer said:

It's not just cruising areas, it's cost.  Of the boat, of the licence, of the mooring, of the maintenance, of the fuel.

 

they clearly arnt short of a bob or two which is why they were going for a proper sized boat ie a widebeam on a widebeam navigation, its what I have and it would allow me to have a super kingsize bed in the bedroom! cost wise not much in it as I have electric drive my license is 25% discounted and the mooring are the same cost wide or narrow

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On waters designed for 'big boats' the mooring fees tend to be the same irrespective of beam, except, we do tend to get charged a 25% (ish) premium for our big boat (23 foot beam) if going onto pontoon moorings in a marina as we take up 2 spaces.

 

On our 14' beam boat the bed is about 5' 6" wide and 6' 6" long, with dessing tables & wardrobes each side, with an en-suite shower room on the Port side and a Toilet and wash basin on the Starboard side. Headroom ~ 6'.

 

 

 

Versatility-35-28.jpg

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50 minutes ago, jetzi said:

It's a bit of a matter of opinion, personally I find the dutch barge style much more attractive.

 

Yes, but this is also (mainly?) a consequence of air draft, so if you have a thick baseplate, fairly deep draughted, minimal height bilge, and keep your interior height to a minimum, then hopefully won't be too much of an issue. We're only talking about a couple of inches wider at cabin roof height, right?

 

So you push the king size bed as far forward as you can and put your water tank, generator or gas locker above your head. You would then be able to get out of the sides of the bed about half way down the bed.

I don't know, again it's a compromise I guess.
 

I think another reason is for outside space. I feel like having outside space at both bow and stern is wasteful. I have a cruiser stern and it's still the place to be when travelling despite some noise from the engine. It's not loud enough to drive anyone off the stern deck but an electric boat would be nice! A cocooned diesel genny under the stern deck surely would be a hell of a lot quiter than a diesel engine in a hollow engine bay under your feet, anyway?

 

The Dutch barge style with (almost?) vertical cabin sides looks attractive to some -- especially on a proper Dutch barge! -- but has real problems if you want to travel widely on UK canals.

 

There's very little you can do to change the actual air draft by more than a few inches either way -- of course you can make it as much taller as you want (see some recent boats) but you can't reduce it much except by having a very deep water draft, with the obvious consequences on today's poorly-dredged canals.

 

Once you realise this, the amount of tumblehome makes a big difference to damage because of the way that bridge arches and tunnels curve in -- boatbuilders who put less emphasis on absolute maximum cabin/roof width use about 100mm tumblehome at each side nowadays, so the cabin width at the roof is 200mm/8" narrower than at the gunwale, which means the top cabin corners are also about 200mm/8" inset from the gunwale/hull edge. This is enough to greatly reduce the chances of scrapes in tunnels and most bridges. Vertical cabin sides halve the inset to 100mm/4" which makes damage much more likely -- the UK canals were designed to have clearances for traditional boats with even more tumblehome than I mentioned above.

 

If you push the bed forwards, even assuming you don't mind the walls closing in I doubt that most people would want much low-down below the roof above their head -- OK if it's over your feet, but then your head is at the wrong end of the bed. You certainly wouldn't want to put anything heavy right up there under the roof anyway (e.g. water tank or generator) because of the effect on the boat CoG.

 

A diesel generator under the stern is one option, but there's restricted height on top of the swim (typically 550mm) unless you fit one of the (small, noisier, complex, less reliable) high-speed generators (e.g. Fischer-Panda), and access can be a problem -- still quieter than a normal diesel though. In an electric boat you could fit one above the motor (inside the swim) where there's a bit more height, but then access to the motor is restricted -- and the "V"-shaped space inside the swim is often too small to drop the generator down into it.

 

If you put the generator (and nice big silencer) in the bows along with the fuel tank and any diesel heater (and maybe a water tank) you've already filled up most of the space for a well deck; with a reverse layout you might as well either go for a tug deck or a raised forecabin for extra storage, like Gra did in the Waterways World review. The bows are then not used when travelling at all, everyone outside will be at the stern, take your pick for the layout here.

Edited by IanD
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11 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

On waters designed for 'big boats' the mooring fees tend to be the same irrespective of beam, except, we do tend to get charged a 25% (ish) premium for our big boat (23 foot beam) if going onto pontoon moorings in a marina as we take up 2 spaces.

 

On our 14' beam boat the bed is about 5' 6" wide and 6' 6" long, with dessing tables & wardrobes each side, with an en-suite shower room on the Port side and a Toilet and wash basin on the Starboard side. Headroom ~ 6'.

 

 

 

Versatility-35-28.jpg

Very nice here is my bedroom the dressing table is at the end of the bed and I a stood by the full wall of wardrobes and next to the full size bathroom with bath and shower over 

Screenshot_20211012-124321_Camera.jpg

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59 minutes ago, jetzi said:


 

 

 

I think another reason is for outside space. I feel like having outside space at both bow and stern is wasteful. I have a cruiser stern and it's still the place to be when travelling despite some noise from the engine. It's not loud enough to drive anyone off the stern deck but an electric boat would be nice! A cocooned diesel genny under the stern deck surely would be a hell of a lot quiter than a diesel engine in a hollow engine bay under your feet, anyway?

Exactly my thoughts.

 

I have a front well deck and use it for nothing but storage.  It would make better storage if the cabin was just longer.  I'd also have electric drive with a diesel genny.  A much more flexible arrangement, and more future proof.

47 minutes ago, peterboat said:

they clearly arnt short of a bob or two which is why they were going for a proper sized boat ie a widebeam on a widebeam navigation, its what I have and it would allow me to have a super kingsize bed in the bedroom! cost wise not much in it as I have electric drive my license is 25% discounted and the mooring are the same cost wide or narrow

Widebeam moorings are usually more expensive, and harder to find.  The days of your 25% discount are numbered.

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On 11/10/2021 at 11:40, The Happy Nomad said:

 

 

 

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. 

 

Perhaps because most mattresses are between 6' and 6'3" long, so a probably expensive custom-made one would be required?

 

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 I

 

South West Durham's boats, supplied in great numbers to the notorious CanalTime, had such an arrangement. I must admit that I have secretly always fancied one of their boats, but I don't think they made any with Gardner engines.:D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/10/2021 at 12:27, magpie patrick said:

 such a bed is fun to share occasionally with one's intimate other.

Oooh, get him! Surely for a member of your species, "one's bird" would be more appropriate?

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40 minutes ago, peterboat said:

Very nice here is my bedroom the dressing table is at the end of the bed and I a stood by the full wall of wardrobes and next to the full size bathroom with bath and shower over 

 

 

 

It is surprsing what those few extra feet in width from an 'anorexic-boat' can make. Life is so much more comfortable, if you are happy with restricted (just 1000 miles ?) of cruising there is no reason to go 'skinny'.

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5 hours ago, jetzi said:

Well, where does bilge water come from? Condensation and leaks (hopefully above-waterline leaks!), right? So if you have a vapour seal between your interior fitout and the steel hull, there shouldn't be condensation on the inside of the hull. And if you do get water inside the inner lining, then it will end up on the floor to be mopped up.

Water can come from any number of places. Can you guarantee that your vapour barrier, floor covering and the join between them are 100% watertight for the life of the boat?

Most people's cabin bilges are bone dry. And that is because there is an air space and some (limited) air movement which allows the bilge to dry. Put floorboards directly in contact with the bottom, and any damp down there will stay for a long time.

5 hours ago, jetzi said:

Well, where does bilge water come from? Condensation and leaks (hopefully above-waterline leaks!), right? So if you have a vapour seal between your interior fitout and the steel hull, there shouldn't be condensation on the inside of the hull. And if you do get water inside the inner lining, then it will end up on the floor to be mopped up.

Water can come from any number of places. Can you guarantee that your vapour barrier, floor covering and the join between them are 100% watertight for the life of the boat?

Most people's cabin bilges are bone dry. And that is because there is an air space and some (limited) air movement which allows the bilge to dry. Put floorboards directly in contact with the bottom, and any damp down there will stay for a long time.

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1 hour ago, Alan de Enfield said:

It is surprsing what those few extra feet in width from an 'anorexic-boat' can make. Life is so much more comfortable, if you are happy with restricted (just 1000 miles ?) of cruising there is no reason to go 'skinny'.

 

I don't doubt that a widebeam is much more comfortable, but it is also much more expensive in a lot of ways. And surely they are much harder and slower to navigate - I very rarely see widebeams moving anywhere. I think I'd feel in the way - whether it's valid or not I feel like a lot of narrowboaters resent widebeamers, take this encounter on the K&A where these vloggers were abused simply for having a widebeam.

 

Just now, David Mack said:

Water can come from any number of places. Can you guarantee that your vapour barrier, floor covering and the join between them are 100% watertight for the life of the boat?

Most people's cabin bilges are bone dry. And that is because there is an air space and some (limited) air movement which allows the bilge to dry. Put floorboards directly in contact with the bottom, and any damp down there will stay for a long time.

Fair enough. Was really just considering the logical extreme of maximising interior height. Was thinking you could save an extra 3/4 inch by not needing a board substrate to your floorboards. Most boats have plenty of headroom for me anyway, a thick baseplate with minimal bilge space is probably the best answer then.

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15 minutes ago, jetzi said:

And surely they are much harder and slower to navigate - I very rarely see widebeams moving anywhere.

 

No they are not, it is a combination of being on the 'wrong' waterways and ignorance and inexperience.

 

As a comparison, It is not normal to learn to drive in an HGV, in the narrow Cornish country lanes - it would 'normally' be something like :

Moped / Motorcycle

Small Car

Big car

Car & trailer / caravan

LGV

HGV

 

(40 years of Narrow and Wide boating on the sea, the canals and the rivers., I have nothing against anorexic boats, they are perfect for what they were designed for, and hopeless in other areas for which they may be unsafe. Fat-boats are perfect for the wide deep commercial Canals and Rivers and a 'disaster' on the narrow canals).

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26 minutes ago, jetzi said:

 

I don't doubt that a widebeam is much more comfortable, but it is also much more expensive in a lot of ways. And surely they are much harder and slower to navigate - I very rarely see widebeams moving anywhere. I think I'd feel in the way - whether it's valid or not I feel like a lot of narrowboaters resent widebeamers, take this encounter on the K&A where these vloggers were abused simply for having a widebeam.

 

Fair enough. Was really just considering the logical extreme of maximising interior height. Was thinking you could save an extra 3/4 inch by not needing a board substrate to your floorboards. Most boats have plenty of headroom for me anyway, a thick baseplate with minimal bilge space is probably the best answer then.

And thats on a navigation made for wide boats

2 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

Exactly my thoughts.

 

I have a front well deck and use it for nothing but storage.  It would make better storage if the cabin was just longer.  I'd also have electric drive with a diesel genny.  A much more flexible arrangement, and more future proof.

Widebeam moorings are usually more expensive, and harder to find.  The days of your 25% discount are numbered.

Not heard anything about the 25% discount being removed in fact the exact opposite, maybe when the numbers of electric boats increase it might be an issue but thats years away

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35 minutes ago, jetzi said:

 

I don't doubt that a widebeam is much more comfortable, but it is also much more expensive in a lot of ways. And surely they are much harder and slower to navigate - I very rarely see widebeams moving anywhere. I think I'd feel in the way - whether it's valid or not I feel like a lot of narrowboaters resent widebeamers, take this encounter on the K&A where these vloggers were abused simply for having a widebeam.

 

Fair enough. Was really just considering the logical extreme of maximising interior height. Was thinking you could save an extra 3/4 inch by not needing a board substrate to your floorboards. Most boats have plenty of headroom for me anyway, a thick baseplate with minimal bilge space is probably the best answer then.

 

Up North and to the East of the system where the canals are 'proper' wide rather than than just the locks a moving widebeam is a very common sight. Some still linger on their moorings but lots take advantage of both the internal space and wide open waterways both man made and the rivers.

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Personally I hate having a slow slug of a boat, At the end of a long day, looking for a mooring, sad and lonely at the wheel whilst everybody else is having tea and cake in the warm and heading into the wind or rain or current I like to feel that another couple of hundred revs actually makes a bit of difference and not just makes more noise. Most narrowboats are reasonably quick - some aren't - but trying to get a massive boat along a relatively small channel is tedious, the water it displaces just can't get past it quick enough and for me that would be enough to stick to a narrowboat. Our boat is a bit over 11` wide but it has chines and a V bottom and the bottom is shaped like a fishes belly plus it lives on bigger canals but when we took it up the GU I was tempted to start smoking again to pass the time. (I exaggerate but only a bit)

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23 hours ago, jetzi said:

It's a bit of a matter of opinion, personally I find the dutch barge style much more attractive.

 

Yes, but this is also (mainly?) a consequence of air draft, so if you have a thick baseplate, fairly deep draughted, minimal height bilge, and keep your interior height to a minimum, then hopefully won't be too much of an issue. We're only talking about a couple of inches wider at cabin roof height, right?

 

So you push the king size bed as far forward as you can and put your water tank, generator or gas locker above your head. You would then be able to get out of the sides of the bed about half way down the bed.

I don't know, again it's a compromise I guess.

 

 

 

I think another reason is for outside space. I feel like having outside space at both bow and stern is wasteful. I have a cruiser stern and it's still the place to be when travelling despite some noise from the engine. It's not loud enough to drive anyone off the stern deck but an electric boat would be nice! A cocooned diesel genny under the stern deck surely would be a hell of a lot quiter than a diesel engine in a hollow engine bay under your feet, anyway?

 

Virtually all of the narrow beam Dutch Barges I have seen have wider gunwales (and are thus slightly narrower inside at waist height) so that the top edges of the vertical cabin sides are further away from the bridge arches.

 

As Alec said earlier, everything is a compromise on a boat.

Edited by cuthound
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12 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Virtually all of the narrow beam Dutch Barges I have seen have wider gunwales (and are thus slightly narrower inside at waist height) so that the vertical cabin sides are further away from the bridge arches.

 

As Alec said earlier, everything is a compromise on a boat.

 Absolutely. As pointed out, if you like the Dutch Barge look but have vertical sides with 200mm gunwales to avoid the bridge/tunnel problem, you pay for the look by having even less room inside at shoulder width than a conventional narrowboat, which has little enough to start with...

 

On a widebeam, a Dutch barge style works beautifully and I think most people would agree looks much better than a "fatboat" -- meaning, a narrowboat viewed through a distorting lens 😞

 

But having one built with a properly shaped hull and cabin instead of a rectangular box is going to make a new build narrowboat/widebeam look cheap...

Edited by IanD
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27 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

But having one built with a properly shaped hull and cabin instead of a rectangular box is going to make a new build narrowboat/widebeam look cheap...

I've often admired the handsome lines of Dutch, and for that matter French, barges. But if one is buying the boat primarily as a floating home rather than as a cruising craft, the "fatboat" surely offers better use of interior space, so I can see why people buy them. 

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3 minutes ago, Athy said:

I've often admired the handsome lines of Dutch, and for that matter French, barges. But if one is buying the boat primarily as a floating home rather than as a cruising craft, the "fatboat" surely offers better use of interior space, so I can see why people buy them. 

Me too. We moor next to a fatty in our marina and he is always out and about on the Trent.

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2 hours ago, Athy said:

I've often admired the handsome lines of Dutch, and for that matter French, barges. But if one is buying the boat primarily as a floating home rather than as a cruising craft, the "fatboat" surely offers better use of interior space, so I can see why people buy them. 

I can see why people who want a cheap house which happens to float buy them, as opposed to a boat.

 

Cycled past a square-sterned 70'x14' widebeam moored on the GU today, it has all the aesthetic appeal of a giant grey housebrick with windows, and I imagine it swims like one. But if all you want is cheap space, fill your boots...

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On 12/10/2021 at 15:20, Alan de Enfield said:

(40 years of Narrow and Wide boating on the sea, the canals and the rivers., I have nothing against anorexic boats, they are perfect for what they were designed for, and hopeless in other areas for which they may be unsafe. Fat-boats are perfect for the wide deep commercial Canals and Rivers and a 'disaster' on the narrow canals).

 

Fair enough. My experience of broad canals is the GU, Lea&Stort, part of the T&M, L&L, and K&A in pictures. I'm not sure that I'd class those as "wide and deep" at least not for their full lengths. I have seen many, many widebeams moored up but very, very rarely seen one moving. In fact, though I'm sure there have been others, I can only recall a single time I passed a widebeam in the last 3 years, I remember because it was unusual! I'm a continuous moorer myself though so it might just be that I myself don't cruise that much.

 

 

On 12/10/2021 at 15:22, peterboat said:

And thats on a navigation made for wide boats

Exactly. Rightly or wrongly, I get the sense that widebeamers are resented by everyone else, whether the canal is a broad canal or not. It might be a "reverse classism" thing, it's fashionable to despise the wealthy. I don't feel that way, for the record, I haven't ever been inconvenienced by a widebeam.

 

 

7 hours ago, IanD said:

if you like the Dutch Barge look but have vertical sides with 200mm gunwales to avoid the bridge/tunnel problem, you pay for the look by having even less room inside at shoulder width than a conventional narrowboat

I'm going to keep an eye out for the bridge/tunnel problem in the future, because I do like the Dutch barge vertical sides and would consider one in the future (though wouldn't be willing to sacrifice interior space for it). I haven't noticed any bridges that have been tight at my cabin corners, though having said that there is a large dent on one cabin corner where my boat met a bridge, probably back in her hire days. So I'm probably just oblivious.

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