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Darrenroberts

What "Vintage" narrowboat hulls should I look out for

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Hi guys iam still looking for a boat, just a quick one is there any vintage boatbuilders I should look out for when iam trawling through the marinas. Looking for a project worth restoring back to its original condition. Cheers. Darren 

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Are you looking for something, (irrespective of age) that was built as a leisure boat, or something originally built as a working boat?

What is your maximum budget?

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On 24/03/2017 at 04:16, Darrenroberts said:

Hi guys iam still looking for a boat, just a quick one is there any vintage boatbuilders I should look out for when iam trawling through the marinas. Looking for a project worth restoring back to its original condition. Cheers. Darren 

 

Firstly I'm rather puzzled about what you class as a "vintage boatbuilder". Boats were never built as vintage boats in the first place. As Alan asks, do you mean you want what is termed these days a "historic boat"? Or do you just mean a modern style leisure boat twenty of thirty years old by a recognised builder and that that has taken a bit of a beating?

The thing is, both historic boats and older leisure boats by good builders command a remarkable premium whatever the condition so hopefully you have very deep pockets. If on the other your plan is intended to save money, it won't! You're better off buying a boat in good condition in the first place. It costs LOADS more to restore a boast than its value once done. A labout of love these days for well off people able to outbid the competition for desirable boats.

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Thanks for getting back to me let me try and explain what I mean. Bare with me a sec, when I was an apprentice I spent my wages and time searching the Internet and carboot sales for old woodworking tools as the quality of machining and material are as good If not better than modern made high end tools only they where a fraction of the price due to the poor condition. I would look for particular brands/tool makers as I knew if I found what some people would regard as a rusty peice of junk I could restore them and have a quality tool for a fraction of the price, I just had to put the work in. So I was wondering if this logic could be applied to boats? Wether there where particular boat builders of the last 30-40 years that were renound for quality craftsmen ship? I keep seeing alsorts of older boats made by different builders but is there makers I should keep an eye out for in particular.  Iam looking for a 35-40 foot trad stern I that helps? 

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Buying an old boat is like buying a old car, a good name doesn't mean jack if the maintenance of the car over the years has been poor.  So going by name alone doesn't equal good condition.  For me I just looked for the style of boat I liked, check the condition then researched the name.

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On 23 February 2017 at 05:18, rusty69 said:

I have seen an advert for 1999 ,58 foot narrowboat advertised as a project boat,fot 10K.Although its quite a way from Hereford/Worcester,and I can't comment on how structuraly sound it might be.Let me know if of interest I will PM you the advert.

Ok let's have a look at it although 10k is the top of my budget without hitting into loan territory lol

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1 hour ago, Darrenroberts said:

Wether there where particular boat builders of the last 30-40 years that were renound for quality craftsmen ship? I keep seeing alsorts of older boats made by different builders but is there makers I should keep an eye out for in particular.  Iam looking for a 35-40 foot trad stern I that helps? 

There is "quality" as in the standard of workmanship when the boat was built, and there is "quality" as in the overall lines and appearance of the boat design (and nice looking hulls can have pretty poor cabin structures and vice versa) and then there is the "quality" of maintenance that the boat has had over its 30-40 years life. A boat that scores well on all three is unlikely to be available in your price bracket. Only you can decide which of these quality aspects is most important to you, and what compromises you might have to make along the way.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Darrenroberts said:

Ok let's have a look at it although 10k is the top of my budget without hitting into loan territory lol

 

With a £10k budget you're in no position to be picky about the builder!!

 

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Cheers Dave so I should continue looking for hull shape combined with overall condition, my budget is 10k but that's with out taking any kind of finance out, one option I was looking at was a personal loan of about 10-15k for the purchase then using my savings for the getting in the water/ maintence and general sprusing up. Times not realy an issue for me as iam just looking to get out of the renting market and a loan repayment on the boat would be cheeper than renting in London enabling me a few years of actually been able to save money/ spend my money on my self lol and not see it go down the drain. Dose this sound like a reasonable plan? 

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5 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

With a £10k budget you're in no position to be picky about the builder!!

 

Sorry Mike thanks for your input, but your slightly missing my point. Iam not after owt for nowt here, just asking if there was any info to help me identify a good boat from the hundreds out there. 

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13 minutes ago, Darrenroberts said:

Cheers Dave so I should continue looking for hull shape combined with overall condition, my budget is 10k but that's with out taking any kind of finance out, one option I was looking at was a personal loan of about 10-15k for the purchase then using my savings for the getting in the water/ maintence and general sprusing up. Times not realy an issue for me as iam just looking to get out of the renting market and a loan repayment on the boat would be cheeper than renting in London enabling me a few years of actually been able to save money/ spend my money on my self lol and not see it go down the drain. Dose this sound like a reasonable plan? 

Surely living in London? is about as bad a plan as is humanly possible to conjure with regarding cheap living of any manner? Your location shows as Grimsby but you state London. Forget trying to live cheaply in London especialy on a boat as Moorings are extortionate and continuous cruising getting increasingly harder due to volume of boats.

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Haha London isn't as bad as people think but it is expensive, iam from grimsby but moved to south London as iam a cabinet maker, unfortunately London is an are where people buy heigh end work so I get good money down there. Down side is my rent on a flat combined with my workshop rent sort of left me a bit stuck, making more money but spending more too. Hence the boat iam intending on moving back up north but want to use the assets I have down here to finance the buying of a boat so I can move my business and life, if that makes sense lol

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1 minute ago, Darrenroberts said:

Haha London isn't as bad as people think but it is expensive, iam from grimsby but moved to south London as iam a cabinet maker, unfortunately London is an are where people buy heigh end work so I get good money down there. Down side is my rent on a flat combined with my workshop rent sort of left me a bit stuck, making more money but spending more too. Hence the boat iam intending on moving back up north but want to use the assets I have down here to finance the buying of a boat so I can move my business and life, if that makes sense lol

Yes now i see. It never ceases to amaze me that people move to London for the increase in income but blow it all on the costs involved in living there. Better to live somewhere nice with less income and less outgoings, after all its not what you make that counts its what you have going out that matters. Do be careful though as others have said it will cost more to " Do Up " a scabby boat than its end worth and many many hours. I used to run a pub near Grimsby :D

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Lol well it wasn't my first choice but it's where I finished my apprenticeship contacts,suppliers and clients all made it a logical decision a few years back. Also Croydon is a totally different kettle of fish to getting near the river lol. Only plus side to coming back down would be my workshop on the canal side, anything made from wood is where I'll realy save on money. It's the metal bits that scare me. Handy thing is my dad wants to be involved and is a sheet metal worker with a separate set of skills and resorses. I realy wanted to buy land and move my workshop to there but again that's another big step I thought I could use a few years on the canals scouting out some where good to settle down. Where abouts was your pub? Are your on the canals now? 

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1 hour ago, Darrenroberts said:

Sorry Mike thanks for your input, but your slightly missing my point. Iam not after owt for nowt here, just asking if there was any info to help me identify a good boat from the hundreds out there. 

 

If its not to save money why not just buy a decent boat in the first place? 

This IS actually the cheapest way anyway!

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As a tradesman with a father who is capable of sheet metalwork you should be well placed to build your own shell.I have a similar background but had no family members who could do metalworkers but Have build several shells in past years. Fabrication is easier than woodworking, no joints are involved, you just run welds .where the plates join. Visit a few boat builders and look at the products. They are simple constructions and £10,000 buys a lot of new steel but not much in terms of ready made boats.

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2 hours ago, Darrenroberts said:

Thanks for getting back to me let me try and explain what I mean. Bare with me a sec, when I was an apprentice I spent my wages and time searching the Internet and carboot sales for old woodworking tools as the quality of machining and material are as good If not better than modern made high end tools only they where a fraction of the price due to the poor condition. I would look for particular brands/tool makers as I knew if I found what some people would regard as a rusty peice of junk I could restore them and have a quality tool for a fraction of the price, I just had to put the work in. So I was wondering if this logic could be applied to boats? Wether there where particular boat builders of the last 30-40 years that were renound for quality craftsmen ship? I keep seeing alsorts of older boats made by different builders but is there makers I should keep an eye out for in particular.  Iam looking for a 35-40 foot trad stern I that helps? 

Hello Darren, I can see where you're coming from and yes, there are names from the past that would make folk in the know sit up and take notice, especially if the boat was on the market at a bargain price.   But how much it matters who built the boat is debatable.   With only £10k to spend any boat you look at will have been neglected to a high degree, and though there might be a premium attached if the boat has some aesthetic value, generally speaking there's little point in considering who created it.     

 

 

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With your  £10k plus a loan on £15k you might just be able to afford a sailaway. 

That is a brand new hull with ballast windows,  insulation and engine. With your skills you could line it out and fit it yourself over a period of time.

http://www.nickthorpeboatbuilding.com/prices.asp

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17 minutes ago, cuthound said:

With your  £10k plus a loan on £15k you might just be able to afford a sailaway. 

That is a brand new hull with ballast windows,  insulation and engine. With your skills you could line it out and fit it yourself over a period of time.

http://www.nickthorpeboatbuilding.com/prices.asp

 

This seems a far better idea than buying and doing up an old rustbucket by an originally 'good' builder.

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I agree with Cuthound, take a look at sailaways as it is likely to be a better option as you won't be gambling on the state of an old hull that could be thin if neglected over the years. You wouldn't want to start renovating an old worn out boat only to find it sinks in a couple of years due to the hull rusting through. If you are going to spend time stripping it back to an empty shell then spend a bit more up front and start with an empty shell.

Have you considered moving your workshop on to the canal and having a floating workshop, buy a longer boat with the front section under cloths as a workshop, that would save renting a workshop and you could travel the canals working where you fancied.

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14 hours ago, Mike Jordan said:

As a tradesman with a father who is capable of sheet metalwork you should be well placed to build your own shell.I have a similar background but had no family members who could do metalworkers but Have build several shells in past years. Fabrication is easier than woodworking, no joints are involved, you just run welds .where the plates join. Visit a few boat builders and look at the products. They are simple constructions and £10,000 buys a lot of new steel but not much in terms of ready made boats.

You are right, with a father like that who's willing to help his son out, it wouldn't be very hard to produce a floating shell of the right dimensions (not too large for the canal locks) brand new, as you say £10.000 will buy you a lot of new steel and a pile of welding rods.

 

He will not end up with a boat made by a well know quality boatbuilder, but that would never happen with a £10.000 budget anyway, but fitting out the brand new shell build by his father would be well within his possibilities as a cabinet maker, and that would be something that father and son could be very proud of.

 

Peter. 

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1 minute ago, bargemast said:

You are right, with a father like that who's willing to help his son out, it wouldn't be very hard to produce a floating shell of the right dimensions (not too large for the canal locks) brand new, as you say £10.000 will buy you a lot of new steel and a pile of welding rods.

 

He will not end up with a boat made by a well know quality boatbuilder, but that would never happen with a £10.000 budget anyway, but fitting out the brand new shell build by his father would be well within his possibilities as a cabinet maker, and that would be something that father and son could be very proud of.

 

Peter. 

 

Yes I agree. 

Buying a knackered old boat by a good builder then stripping it out, repairing the hull then refitting it seems to me to be about the most awkward and difficult route possible to ending up with a nice sound boat.

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On 24 March 2017 at 17:47, Darrenroberts said:

Ok let's have a look at it although 10k is the top of my budget without hitting into loan territory lol

Sorry, I think it sold.

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