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Barney Boats

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Hello!

Just recently joined the forums and have tried searching for threads on Barney Boats, while I have found the odd one here or there about Sabb engines and dealing with Wooden Tops, I haven't seen one about the boats themselves. I'm interested to hear what people's stories are on or around these boats as they seem to have a bit of a classic car vibe about them. It's always interesting to see what shape these boats have become as owners add new features or battle leaks.

I'll start with the boat my family has owned for the past 15 years. Sutton is a 35ft 1975 Barney Boat, which I have been told is a part of the 'Hawksbury Class' narrowboats that Braunston Boats offered. When my Dad bought the boat it was fitted with a Wickstrom 3 cylinder Petrol Paraffin engine, which when you went full throttle you couldn't actually keep up with it. Everything stank of petrol. All the gas appliances were condemned due to the risk of igniting petrol fumes.

After a precarious journey up the Grand Union the engine was taken out when the boat was over-plated. The engine was replaced with a Sabb G single cylinder engine that it's sisters were all fitted with. Due to leaks which were there when the boat was bought, we eventually had the top over-clad in another layer of ply. This didn't work so well and recently the boat was taken out of the water and the outer layer of the superstructure was removed and allow to dry in a barn for 6 months. The boat then had a new outer layer of ply added and a new fabric and resin wrap applied. It was decided we wouldn't add the aluminium strips to the sides as less screws meant less places for water to enter.

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It would be interesting to hear other people's experiences with these boats!

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Hi,

 

nb 'Sutton' is a lovely boat, same ownership for years and based at Dunstable & District Boat Club.

 

The TVO engine was exciting and the boat was well kept.

 

Hope the background helps.

 

L.

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UCC have a nicely traditional outlook on boat propulsion: apart from one rogue Beta, all their boats are powered by Sabb, Perkins or BMC 1.5. I had not realised that their shorter boats were Barneys; do these have wooden tope also or are they all steel?

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Hi guys,

We once stopped at the DDBC to people asking to have a look around/Drop off some items from the previous owner several years ago. We heard some stories of Mr Sherwood and his adventures. The boat still has all of the brass rally plagues. We had to remove one or two as you would remove your skin off your fingers when you changed gear.

@Leo, the boat was in good condition, the trip up with the TVO engine was fun. The engine would overheat every couple of hours if anything got wrapped round the prop. The alternator had also packed in so the last leg was a bit interesting as the light died while travelling through Braunston tunnel. The boat had failed it's boat safety, the engine coil had caused severe erosion on the hull so we had to get it over-plated.

@Ray T, We originally moved it to Braunston just to have the Engine changed by UCC, we ended up staying there for several years. Now we're up by Foxton. I remember seeing Melanie Jane moored in the marina near the towpath. I also seem to remember Melanie Jane having the steel top put on beside the canal one holiday. I want to say Clifton, but I could be wrong.

@Athy, We always get our Sabb serviced at UCC, it's actually just being done as we speak as it was burning through oil. We once went on a joint holiday with our Barney and friends on a UCC Barney. They're steel topped and have a more modern take on the classic interiors.

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. The boat still has all of the brass rally plagues.

Sounds like a serious health hazard.

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Hello and welcome.

 

I know little about Barney Boats but Union Canal Carriers have three in their hire fleet, Malvern, Cheviot and Wrekin.

 

http://www.unioncanalcarriers.co.uk/

 

Might be worth getting in touch?

 

Also Melanie Jane is often around Braunston Bottom lock.

 

 

17895993541_4b995e57ea_z.jpgLE sect GU 014

 

The "Barney Boats" in the UCC fleet are not true Barneys, but replicas of the Chris Barney design, built much later with a steel top by Roger Farrington. As far as i know they all have two cylinder Sabb engines.

Edited by David Schweizer

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Single cylinder me-thinks ;-)

 

Yes, having checked the three "Barney Boats" in the UCC fleet do all have single cylinder Sabbs, but Sabb also make twin cylinder marine engines. Jonathon at UCC specializes in overhauling and re-building Sabbs, and i am sure i have seen twin cylider ones in a partially dismanted state on his work bench, as well as singles.

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Yes, having checked the three "Barney Boats" in the UCC fleet do all have single cylinder Sabbs, but Sabb also make twin cylinder marine engines. Jonathon at UCC specializes in overhauling and re-building Sabbs, and i am sure i have seen twin cylider ones in a partially dismanted state on his work bench, as well as singles.

Mine being one of them ;-)

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It's just fun spotting them out and about and seeing what changes have been made.

In Braunston alone I remember seeing,
Melanie Anne, which has a metal roof.
Melanie Jane, which has a metal roof.
Barnaby, which due to a fire has a new cabin top
Natwester, which I think has a new name. Also a metal roof.
Rachel was around for a while, has a port hole in the hull if I remember correctly.

The 3 UCC Barney Boats.

Met someone in the Gongoozler's Rest that had saved a Barney from scrap. Somewhere up near Clifton at the time, gave it portholes.

Cockney Rebel near crick. Still has a wooden roof.
Saw Thyme at the bottom of Foxton.


I had heard that there was some kind of Barney Boat register, I guess for all the owners to contact each other. But never seen it.

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.

Saw Thyme at the bottom of Foxton.

 

 

I had heard that there was some kind of Barney Boat register, I guess for all the owners to contact each other. But never seen it.

 

Hi,

 

Thyme used to moor 2 down from me at the Cowroast. The owner Ken Graves (now deceased) looked after it carefully and spent ages maintaining the wooden top. His wife did the artwork on it.

 

Ken was a stalwart of the Wendover Arm Restoration team and moved the boat to DDBC moorings.

 

The author and painter Shirley Ginger, (who kept the canal shop at Norton Junction) and her husband had a Barney boat -nb Warwickshire Lad.

 

Her books are good to read and feature life around Norton Junction in the 1970's, she also produced a small booklet 'How to paint Roses & Castles' which is useful reading.

 

All are probably out of print now but may be available from some canalside enterprises.

L.

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@RayT I believe that is the one I mentioned before with the portholes. Seeing that photo reminded me that the exhaust was rerouted through the roof. I see the wood is de-laminating. We had that issue when we clad ours in another layer of ply.

@Leo When I saw Thyme it had been given a metal roof, I think this was about 3 or 4 years ago. I remember it sat about 4 inches deeper into the water than our boat.

Recently uploaded a video of the engine starting for those who like old engines.

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That was before it was repaired recently. The piston was in a bad way after the head cracked last year. Been serviced by Ucc. Picking it up at the end of the week.

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hi all. i bought the barney boat that was on the back water by mount sorrell lock last summer and brought her down to the K&A, cracking little engine, never let me down. can anyone tell me how thick the hull is supposed to be?

 

@woodentop nb sutton. i think we met on the way down?

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hi all. i bought the barney boat that was on the back water by mount sorrell lock last summer and brought her down to the K&A, cracking little engine, never let me down. can anyone tell me how thick the hull is supposed to be?

 

@woodentop nb sutton. i think we met on the way down?

Well I was going to report that the boat was no longer there but you beat me to it. Hope you enjoy having it. In our hiring days we loved the UCC ones.

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I thought for a moment that it was 'Dover'.

 

Will a single-pot Sabb be man enough to power a 55-footer?

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