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Electrically Propelled Houseboat Building Permission


Stelka29
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Hi, I've never posted anything on this forum but have found myself here a couple of times while researching. Assuming weight, height, safety, heat or energy, etc aren't issues, does anyone have knowledge of roadblocks a guy would face building a pontoon houseboat for continuous cruising. I've heard something about retaining the character of the canals with regards to planning permissions, is it a good idea to contact the environmental agency directly? Also just curious whether there's anything I didn't think about. Thanks.

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Welcome Stelka. 

 

I think you need to get up to speed with your terminology. ‘Houseboat’ means a boat built for living on, but specifically with no engine and permanent residential mooring. Having a method of propulsion means it isn’t technically a houseboat. 

And planning permission is a technical term too, in the case of s houseboat relating to its permanent mooring. 

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Please don't replicate this infamous monstrosity 

 

What do you mean by continuous cruising and where - IMHO if you are going to properly cruise you need a proper (more conventional) boat

 

What is your motive - saving money or being different

 

1660878174_20160730_174519_zpsamtaliev1.jpg.4ab94bed33d15ee25f4e207528a260fd.jpg

Edited by Halsey
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15 minutes ago, Stelka29 said:

Hi, I've never posted anything on this forum but have found myself here a couple of times while researching. Assuming weight, height, safety, heat or energy, etc aren't issues, does anyone have knowledge of roadblocks a guy would face building a pontoon houseboat for continuous cruising. I've heard something about retaining the character of the canals with regards to planning permissions, is it a good idea to contact the environmental agency directly? Also just curious whether there's anything I didn't think about. Thanks.

You can build any sport of vessel you like for your own use and provided you do not sell it for five years. If you do sell it in that time it will have to comply with the recreational Craft Directive but on the face of your proposals I can't see that being an obstetrical unless you make it very tall when the stability requirement may come into play.

 

If it is not to be sold for five years then it will have to be built to comply with the requirements of the Boat Safety Scheme but again I can't see it being an issue with a properly built boat.

 

You will need at least third party insurance so the insurance company will need to be assured of the build quality so they can assess the risk.

 

I can't think of anything else that would limit what you can do apart from draft, width and bridge clearance.

 

 

Edited to add - there are a few more odd balls around as well as the one Hasley showed. Some are not much more than a shed on floats or pontoon.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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6 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

You will need at least third party insurance so the insurance company will need to be assured of the build quality so they can assess the risk.

 

Basic Boat (and probably others) don't require any sort of assessment of build quality to insure third party. But there is probably some wording in the policy about being required to maintain the boat in a seaworthy condition.

Edited by David Mack
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27 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

Basic Boat (and probably others) don't require any sort of assessment of build quality to insure third party. But there is probably some wording in the policy about being required to maintain the boat in a seaworthy condition.

Best place for such monstrosities, in the sea! Or better, under it.

  • Greenie 3
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On 08/11/2018 at 08:59, Mike the Boilerman said:

Welcome Stelka. 

 

I think you need to get up to speed with your terminology. ‘Houseboat’ means a boat built for living on, but specifically with no engine and permanent residential mooring. Having a method of propulsion means it isn’t technically a houseboat. 

And planning permission is a technical term too, in the case of s houseboat relating to its permanent mooring. 

Hi Mike, thanks I wasn't aware those terms had such specific characteristics.

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On 08/11/2018 at 09:05, Halsey said:

Please don't replicate this infamous monstrosity 

 

What do you mean by continuous cruising and where - IMHO if you are going to properly cruise you need a proper (more conventional) boat

 

What is your motive - saving money or being different

 

1660878174_20160730_174519_zpsamtaliev1.jpg.4ab94bed33d15ee25f4e207528a260fd.jpg

I won't for all of our sakes. The plan is to cruise the London canals daily, or longer spans through the weekends.  Saving money and low maintenance are my main motives with exploring close behind. A good looking easy solution for raising and lowering the roof of the craft is my main puzzle if I stick to pontoons.

  • Happy 1
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On 08/11/2018 at 09:08, Tony Brooks said:

You can build any sport of vessel you like for your own use and provided you do not sell it for five years. If you do sell it in that time it will have to comply with the recreational Craft Directive but on the face of your proposals I can't see that being an obstetrical unless you make it very tall when the stability requirement may come into play.

 

If it is not to be sold for five years then it will have to be built to comply with the requirements of the Boat Safety Scheme but again I can't see it being an issue with a properly built boat.

 

You will need at least third party insurance so the insurance company will need to be assured of the build quality so they can assess the risk.

 

I can't think of anything else that would limit what you can do apart from draft, width and bridge clearance.

 

 

Edited to add - there are a few more odd balls around as well as the one Hasley showed. Some are not much more than a shed on floats or pontoon.

 

Thanks Tony, very useful info. I don't think Id get too far with a boat like the one Halsey sent, Aerodynamics is also worth considering, the width will be fine though 5 foot 9 is around the lowest air draft for bridges so there's that.

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44 minutes ago, Stelka29 said:

Hi Mike, thanks I wasn't aware those terms had such specific characteristics.

Although the VAT man and the local councils may have different 'charateristics' the ones normally taken by the Association Of Inland Navigation Authorities (AINA) are :-

 

Different types of vessels and floating structures in residential use
Examples of different types of vessels or structures in ‘residential use’ include:


Conventional vessels These are boats that have originally been designed and built for navigation. Normally they have some form of mechanical propulsion. The majority are cabin cruisers, narrow boats or wide-beam vessels e.g. barges.


Vessels not capable of navigation These include vessels that have been modified (e.g. engines removed and/or interior altered) and vessels that are simply too large to navigate the waterway where they are currently based. Examples are converted Peniche type barges from European waterways, or old hulls with added large superstructures.


Floating structures not capable of navigation These are purpose-built ‘floating cabin’ type structures with no (historic or present-day) connection at all with inland navigation. They are simply accommodation constructed to float on water.


The term ‘houseboat‟ is usually taken to refer to a static vessel or purpose-built floating structure with no form of mechanical propulsion used, or designed for use, for residential purposes. However this term is also sometimes used to refer to any of the above types of vessels and structures in residential use.

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20 hours ago, David Mack said:

 

Basic Boat (and probably others) don't require any sort of assessment of build quality to insure third party. But there is probably some wording in the policy about being required to maintain the boat in a seaworthy condition.

I'm thinking of using 40-foot pontoons, Id use shorter ones depending on the kind of maintenance requirements.

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57 minutes ago, Stelka29 said:

Saving money and low maintenance are my main motives with exploring close behind.

 

In which case  building a boat from scratch is a BONKERS thing to do. Building a boat is expensive and only really for them with deep pockets. There is no one thing that costs a load of money, more that there are loads of things that cost apparently affordable sums in isolation, but they just come thick and fast, and once you are committed to the project you have no choice but to keep of shelling out.

 

As Her Dora-ship says, buy an old, cheap, finished boat. Save yourself a fortune!

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What is it about that fine vessel that makes you both think it would not pass a BSS?

 

No engine, no fuel system. About the only thing that would involve the BSS regs is gas, and it might not have that either. And if it has, you can't see any of it from the photo.

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

What is it about that fine vessel that makes you both think it would not pass a BSS?

 

No engine, no fuel system. About the only thing that would involve the BSS regs is gas, and it might not have that either. And if it has, you can't see any of it from the photo.

 

 

 

 

Stove?

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9 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

Do you have any experience of boat ownership or travelling the canals?  I can think of 100s of unforeseen problems with a novice building their own cruising boat out of pontoons.  Why not buy a cheap boat and get used to travelling the canals on that first?

Hi Dora, I don't have any experience with boat ownership, I think using the test boat would be so different that it's hard to justify. But your right about building the craft. I'm thinking of using expanded cork for insulating double studded walls, possibly rubber underlay, but this is the area in the grey zone until I find a way to "Raise the roof". 

25 minutes ago, Bazza954 said:

I think this is still floating its way around the system, man powered !!

 

Floating shed.jpg

Could a boat have more character

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