Overview      Electrics      Plumbing     Heating       Woodwork 

As we said in the introduction, we wanted to have a narrowboat that met our needs and was bespoke. Whilst not pushing the boundaries of narrowboat design and creating the minimalist modern designs you can see today, we didn't want a castle and roses traditional replica.

We wanted a narrowboat for holidays and extended periods over the warmer months, possibly for months at a time. So it had to accommodate the two of us in comfort and allow plenty of flexibility for when the children (all teenagers) decide to come with us.

After looking at many layouts and visiting the shows and friendly boat owners we decided on the layout as shown below.

Starting from the stern (right):

The counter is semi trad with lockers built in to each side. The engine (Barrus Shire 40), Mikuni (MX40) diesel central heating unit and weed hatch are accessed thought two hinged access panels. 

The utility room is entered through the rear doors covered by the sliding hatch. On the left hand side are the engine controls and the electrical panels (12v and 230v AC) are contained in the cupboard on the right above the calorifier. The inverter (Sterling 2500w Modified Sine Wave) is located low down on the left hand side in the lower cupboard, a general storage cupboard is above. The utility room is also designed to house the washing machine beneath a worktop.

Through the door to the bedroom a standard layout of a lengthways bed on the left with the toilet holding tank (105 gallons) installed beneath the permanent base, also under the bed there are drawers (four in total). At the foot of the bed is a wardrobe and dressing table.

Forward of this is the bathroom, which is a full-width walk-through that can be closed off at both ends for privacy. The double shower with glazed block wall is to the starboard with the wash basin, storage and macerator toilet (Saniflo C43) on the port side.

Forward of this is the galley which is equipped with a standard full-size refrigerator backing onto the bathroom bulkhead with shelving above incorporating the microwave. Forward is a gas oven and hob (Stoves 500 DIT) and the sink to the starboard underneath the galley window, a Houdini hatch provides extra light and ventilation and the side doors are opposite the sink.

In place of the standard dinette arrangement we have a table and chairs, this is a Pembroke style collapsible table allowing the area including the saloon to be used for additional sleeping if required.

At the front is the saloon area with free standing furniture. Shelving and an LCD TV unit are built-in to the port side of the cabin walls between the windows. The stove (Stovax Brunel 1A) sits above a coal drawer to the port side.

The front well deck houses a steel water tank below and has lockers/seats either side. These lockers provide storage as well as acting as a chain locker for the anchor. A forward gas locker houses 2 mid-size bottles with auto changeover regulator.

Lighting is provided by room switched brass / chrome down-lighters, two wall lights in the saloon and LED lights under the gunwhales for mood lighting.

The internal layout design was carried out using a software package called Kitchendraw and this is available as a free download for up to 30 hours use (so far I have only used 8 hours of this time). The package is quite easy to use but does take a little bit of getting used to and does produce nice 3D views including near walk through displays (see below).

Technical Specifications

Hull Specification 

Style - Semi trad to include trad style roof rail, stern lockers and rear doors
Base plate 10mm, hull sides / gunwhales 6mm, cabin sides / roof 4mm
Rubbing strakes 3 off, 1 full length, all fully welded
Bow gas locker suitable for 2 mid-sized bottles
Water tank 150 gallon, coated, inspection hatch on front deck
Diesel tank 150 litre
Weed hatch
Rope posts - stern 2 bollards, centre 'O' ring, bow T/bar
Pole / plank rack
Stove chimney opening / collar in saloon.
Stern doors - double steel with sliding hatch
Bow doors - glazed hardwood doors with side windows
Bow / stern rope fenders
4 off anodes


            Ballast type slab
            Bilge protection - bitumen
            Insulation type spray foam
            5 off mushroom vents
            Bow & stern vents


Gold anodised Worcester windows SX type
4 portholes (2 bedroom, 2 bathroom (opening))
5 windows 42 (1 galley, 2 dinette & 2 saloon)
1 side door (galley)
1 Houdini hatch (galley)


            Blacking type, firwood bitumen
            Finish standard, zinc phosphate primmer, undercoat & 2 coats Rylard Navy gloss
            Decks / gunwhales / roof non-slip
            Coach lines / sign writing - Rylard Magnolia
            Roof rail - Rylard Mercedes Red           


            Barrus Shire model 40
            Aqua-drive CVD 1010
            Gearbox PRM 150 hydraulic
            Keel cooled
            Twin alternators (50A starter / 110A domestic)
            Tray for five (110Ah) domestic batteries and one (85Ah) starter battery
            Engine control panel inside starboard of stern door
            Control lever starboard on stern locker

Fit Out

Lining Material

Floor material ply
Sides and roof ash veneered ply
General construction ash veneered ply


            Mikuni diesel heater model MX40
            Twin coil calorifier vertical 14 gallon in utility room
            Connection to engine and Mikuni heater
            Radiators 3 off 500 x 500 standard + towel rail in bathroom
            Water pump / accumulator / pressure switch
            Hot and cold supplies to bathroom and galley area
            Saniflo C43 porcelain macerator toilet & stainless steel 105 gallon holding tank


            12v distribution via 12 way Wylex consumer unit located in electrics cabinet
            Five 110Ah domestic lead acid batteries
            RCD protected 230v ring main, 6 double sockets
            Sterling 30A Galvanic Isolator
            Sterling 2500w modified sine wave inverter
            Shore line hook up and manual change over switch
            Sterling Power PDAR advanced alternator regulator
            Sterling Power 50A digital battery charger


            Stoves 500 DIT stainless steel cooker hob and oven