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Brum Square?


Mike1951
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Birmingham square: Sides of boat (between gunnel and baseplate) are vertical rather than leaning outwards. This gives a bit more internal space (though not particularly useful)

Downside is an increased chance of getting stuck in locks, and more difficult to moor, especially against a sloping washwall.

 

Most modern boats have a slope on the sides so that they can use a standard (2 metre?) sheet of steel for the baseplate.

  • Greenie 1
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Never heard it myself but if a 7` boat should be able to get to most places then that is reduced to 6`10" and the sides are pulled in to a 6` 6" across the bottom that makes for a really narrow narrowboat, then you take off , say, 4 " either side for framing, battens etc. you end up with 5` 10" . I've always thought I could do with losing half a stone, if I ever get another narrow boat I might have to lose a lot more.

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It's worse than that, as most boatbuilders leave a wear edge of about an inch projecting beyond the sides at the chine. So the width between the sides at baseplate level is more like 6' 4".

And all so that they can use a standard 2m wide plate. 

Edited by David Mack
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The term arose because of the tendency of some Birmingham builders to build with vertical sides on a wider base plate. The Allens at Oldbury we’re one such, along with Norton Canes Boatbuilders and Canal Transport Services, next door. For years I shared a boat with Graham Edgson of Norton Canes. He built Resolute to a beam of 6’11” and by using solid bar for knees and stringers, maximised the internal width to 6’4”. Visitors were always pleasantly surprised at the apparent width in the saloon. And before anyone comments on the extra inch beam, we never had problems in narrow locks!

  • Greenie 1
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10 minutes ago, dave moore said:

And before anyone comments on the extra inch beam, we never had problems in narrow locks!

Nor should you, as former working boats built to 7ft and over manage to get just about everywhere with few problems of width (unless you insist on boating with fenders down).

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35 minutes ago, dave moore said:

Indeed, David! I’m underwhelmed by the 6’10” brigade.

 

Bet you never did the Huddersfield narrow 😀  and the South Stratford must have been a bit tight.

  • Love 1
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You are right about the Huddersfield. I don’t recall an issue with the Stratford, in contrast to taking my school boat down there in 64. Tractor and/or Landrover to get us into some of the Wilmcote flight. Happy days!

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I remember that, when we went down the Southern Stratford to the Avon in the late 1970's, there was a notice at one of the locks with a list of about half a dozen boats that were too wide to go through it.  

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51 minutes ago, Ronaldo47 said:

I remember that, when we went down the Southern Stratford to the Avon in the late 1970's, there was a notice at one of the locks with a list of about half a dozen boats that were too wide to go through it.  

 

Is that in case a boat got stuck, came back a year later and completely forgot they got stuck before ? 😀

  • Haha 1
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We have taken Swift to the Stratford festival for quite a few years prior to COVID.  Just one lock on Wilmcote that usually needs flushing out and running in at a good pace to enter the lock.  Swift is over 7ft wide due to some bad spreading.

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3 hours ago, dmr said:

 

Is that in case a boat got stuck, came back a year later and completely forgot they got stuck before ? 😀

I assumed  they must have been hired boats: a privately-owned boat owner ought indeed to have remembered where it couldn't go.

 

I well remember the joints on a bottom gate of one lock were so loose that the lower part of the gate wasn't fully recessed when the beam was hard over, and the only way to get in when ascending was to run full tilt into the lock under full power to use the boat's momentum to get past the sticky bit, and then apply full reverse to avoid hitting the  cill. Going downhill, opening the paddles at the top gate to let some water down  helped flush us out past the sticky bit.  We were a group of 14 in two boats hired from Anglo-Welsh, and they both had the same problem at that lock.

Edited by Ronaldo47
typo, sticky lock comment
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