The saloon situated at the stern of the boat with just enough space to accommodate two leather recliners!
The lids of the steps are made out of thick solid oak and are hinged to access more storage space under.
A quick progress report, these photos were taken a couple of weeks ago so things have moved on either further than the photos below. Above: All the windows are now in place including the side hatch and bow door windows (below).
The solid oak panelling is now mostly complete and the porthole liners have been installed. Above: The major bulkheads are now in place, this is the view from the saloon forward through the walk through bathroom into the sleeping cabin beyond. Above: We wanted to maximise the space in the galley so we decided to bring the stair bulkhead back towards the stern.
We take the theft of our original work very seriously & would draw to your attention it is protected under UK copyright law. Last Monday we headed north west past the acres of canal-side polytunnels at Whittington, then on to Huddlesford, the tranquility slightly marred by Virgin trains thundering past on the West Coast Main Line little more than a hundred feet away. Around the next bend we were held up briefly behind a red and green narrowboat zigzagging from bank to bank, cruising so slowly that I had to reverse half a dozen times to stop myself running into him.
Eighty litres filled the diesel tank to the brim which means that my average consumption over fifty eight hours use since my last refill was a slightly concerning 1.38 litres per hour.
Once back on the canal we passed Streethay Wharf sandwiched between the West Coast Main Line and the ever busy A38, along a short stretch a handful of feet away from the whizzing duel carriageway cars and lorries, then a much more tranquil setting at Fradley Junction where we had a bit of an accident. The considerable impact instantly snapped the steel top fender loop leaving the fender hanging below the boat’s bow by the two bottom chains. We stopped on the visitor moorings above the lock, removed the fender, assessed the damage, and then set off confidently towards the canal shop at the junction I spotted in my Pearson’s guide. With the immediate problem overcome, we treated ourselves to coffee and carrot cake at the Kingfisher Holiday Park’s canal-side cafe back at the junction then, in the spirit of doing as little as humanly possible, sat on a bench in the sun next to our moored boat and read for a couple of hours. Up next morning at the crack of dawn we continued our journey along wooded canal banks, pleasantly devoid of rubbish and clutter. We pulled in to King’s Bromley marina where I invested most of my month’s boat maintenance budget in two metres of eye wateringly expensive stainless steel chain and a handful of shackles.
We used their loos then spent a pleasant half an hour wandering around their beautifully landscaped grounds and two fascinating features; a pair of dilapidated lock balance beams and a short rust covered narrowboat with a sentry box like structure towards the rear which must have prevented the boat from passing under bridges, not that passing under bridges was an issue given that the boat was moored on a lawn.
Once out of Rugeley, and in the face of a strengthening wind, we decided to stop for the day at bridge 69 opposite Taft Wharf farm where there’s an operating diesel and coal boat sitting firmly in the mud. After buying a dozen eggs from the farm, squeezed from hens while we waited, we spent a pleasant night on the boat then set off at 8am on the arduous two mile, one lock cruise to the visitor moorings north of bridge seventy two. There was an Elsan point and water at the junction, so there was no problem emptying one and filling the other but we needed to determine where we could moor later so that we would still be within easy walking distance of Cannock Chase and be able to return easily to the junction again for water and waste disposal.
Turning at the junction then returning to our present mooring was no good because if we then wanted to revisit the water point we would need to cruise four hours to Fradley junction before we could turn the boat and head back. We turned left at the junction towards Tixall Wide and had the pleasure of listening for a couple of minutes to a lady with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp and an attitude to match. Rather than recognise that wind and narrowboats don’t mix, shrug philosophically, smile and move out of the way of the helplessly drifting boat, she took a deep breath and in her shrillest voice yelled, “Oi!
The placid crew on the seventy footer winced, pushed their bow away from one of the dozen Anglo Welsh hire boats moored at right angles to the canal and lowered their heads to avoid the withering stare directed at them as they passed. Another fine minutes was all we needed to establish that Tixall Wide, more small lake than canal, offered plenty of room to easily turn the longest narrowboat so twenty minutes later we were back at the boat for the short cruise to the water point and Elsan facility and then to our new spacious mooring. Charlie is a friendly, loving but rather nervous springer spaniel with an annoying habit of barking whenever people or other dogs approach. After Sally towelled Charlie dry, we moved to Tixall Wide then spent the rest of the day pottering.
While Sally removed all our gear plus plastic matting from the front deck then hosed and scrubbed it clean, I replaced the chain on our front fender, then spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the engine room (see below) and tackling some long overdue jobs. Then I looked at everything I have stored in the engine room and realised how much I appreciate having a traditional stern narrowboat and the dry and secure storage space afforded by the engine room.
I appreciated the extra space even more once I took everything out and laid it on the towpath so I could give the engine room a spring clean. One of my spring cleaning duties was to remove a little water which has suddenly appeared in the bilge.
All I know is that there’s two or three pints of clear liquid in there after even a short cruise.
At the moment if I want to remove every drop of water from the engine bilge I have to squeeze into a tight gap between the immovable frame around the engine and the port side of the boat, then bend double under the frame so I can mop up the water with a cloth then wring it out in a bucket.
I’ve been looking for a while now for a wet and dry vac powerful enough to do the job and small enough to store in the engine room. If you haven’t yet decided which narrowboat stern will suit you best, maybe I can help you.
A boat with a semi traditional stern also has a large rear deck but the cabin sides extend almost to the back of the boat enclosing the deck.
Both the cruiser and the semi traditional stern narrowboats enjoy more space for standing in comfort outside while the boat is in motion.
As far as I’m concerned, the advantages of a trad stern far outweigh the disadvantages.
You may be tempted to dismiss the additional space in the engine room but, before you do, let me tell you what I have in mine. There’s a huge amount of stuff in there but, once I paid a fortune to have the engine professionally boxed in and sound proofed, there is room to store everything neatly and out of the way. I took everything out of the engine room and laid it out on the towpath so that I could list it.
Kipor suitcase generator – We purchased the generator to allow Sally to use high power mains appliances when off grid. Sally’s also found a labour saving and very effective solution to the ironing problem. Recovery Gear – I have a recovery magnet slightly smaller than a match box but capable of lifting 50lb and a 100m length of paracord which I tie it to. I have a four feet long tiller which I use when I’m on my own at the back of the boat and a two feet long tiller for when I have guests. Tools – Electric drill with screwdriver and drill bits, bolt croppers, wood saw, hacksaw, ratchet spanner set, socket set, adjustable spanners, a tape measure or two, mole grips and a pry bar, all in a tool box stored on a shelf. Boats will large open rear decks often have lockers where you can store some of your engine room essentials but they are rarely either weather proof or secure.
A trad stern narrowboat has one other important advantage over those with cruiser or semi traditional sterns. Some live aboard boat owners decide on a cruiser stern boat because they have additional space for sitting outside.
If you’re new to this site you might not know about the service I launched in June 2014. I’ll be running the discovery days approximately on the first ten days of June, August, October and December this year. Each time I write a newsletter, I tick another subject off the list of things which those new to boating have told me that they want to read about. I created the site just over four years ago to provide a source of information for anyone interested in narrowboats and the possibility of living on one full time. You need a licence to cruise the waterways of England and Wales but with a number of different licences and options which do you choose? Three years since we last painted our hull so this week we had the dubious pleasure of taking the boat out of the water to do it again.
A Cautionary Tale – Canals and narrowboats offer all the ingredients for some pretty nasty accidents. London cruising – Every week I receive emails from potential boat owners who want to live on board in London or who want to visit the capital as part of a holiday cruise.
Narrowboat fuel consumption – How many miles to the gallon can you get out of your floating home?
How to spot bogus narrowboat adverts – Beware narrowboats for sale at bargain basement prices.
Narrowboat CO2 emissions  – Is living on a boat a green alternative to a home on dry land? Anti social behaviour on the cut – How common are the unpleasant incidents you sometimes hear about on the canal network and who are the worst offenders? The pros and cons of buying an ex hire boat to live on – How suitable are ex hire boats for living on board full time? I ran short of time during this week and couldn’t think of much to write about anyway, so I just detailed an idyllic week we spent away from the marina, pottering about for a few days in Braunston and then finishing off the week on the south Oxford canal down as far as Fenny Compton. Emergency food on board – Some of the most pleasant places to moor are a long way from the nearest supermarket. Following your dream – Is your goal to some day spend a life of leisure out on the canal network?
Long term narrowboat hire – Is hiring a boat long term a realistic alternative to buying one?


Narrowboat heating, electrics and engine specifications – How is the perfect live aboard narrowboat configured? The pros and cons of a wide beam boat – More and more wannabe boaters are considering more spacious wide beams rather than narrowboat. Speeding boats – Are rocking stationary boats the fault of speeding passing boats or the fault of boat owners who can’t moor securely? Single handed boating – Choosing the right type of boat for single handed cruising and equipment to make your solo journeys safer and more enjoyable.
The A -Z of everything narrowboat – With over 5,500 posts and pages on the site now, quickly finding exactly what you want can sometimes be a problem.
How do you continue to earn money to support your boating lifestyle as you cruise the network? Sharing your narrowboat space – The practicalities of sharing living accommodation the same size as a large shed. Paying for a narrowboat – What practical steps can you take to ensure you’ve established legal ownership and how do you deal with the transfer of monies between buyer and seller? Narrowboat Knots – At my first lock on my first cruise I watched my boat drift into the centre of the canal along with my twelve year old son. Toilets is a subject often discussed by narrowboat owners but they usually talk about either pump out or cassette toilets. Boat owners who live on board are considered to have a pretty simple and basic life by many living in bricks and mortar homes. Planning for the year ahead – Written plans and goals have always been important to me.
The practicality of hosting Christmas afloat – How do you achieve a floating festive event (and do you really want to)?
Liveaboard case study, The Pearl – Tony and Jane Robinson believe in forward planning.
Narrowboat Storage Space – How much space is there to store your worldly goods on board a narrowboat? Roses and Castles Canal Art – What is it and why do boaters spend so much money decorating their boats with it? Secondary double glazing for your boat – The pros and cons of double glazing on a boat and why secondary double glazing is a much better bet and a fraction of the cost. Popular narrowboat terminology – Hundreds or words or phrases used to describe parts of boats and the waterways they cruise through. The wind chill factor – How strong the wind is blowing and which direction it’s coming from can determine how difficult it is to heat your boat. On demand water heater problems – Discover a common fault with these water heaters and what you can do to resolve the problem. A disaster – I inadvertently deleted this week’s newsletter and there wasn’t a backup on the server.
Liveaboard Case Study – American Richard Varnes has taken a year out from work to cruise the canal network and write about his adventure. CART Guide Approval – The waterways’  governing body is now promoting the information packages available from this site. Liveaboard Case Study – Keith and Nicky downsized their property in Jersey, used the released capital to buy their 57?
Downsizing from a 3 bed semi to a narrowboat – What do you do with a lifetime’s accumulated possessions? The cost of a continuous cruising lifestyle – How much does living the life of a water gypsy really cost? The cost of living on a narrowboat – An article in the Daily Mail… and why most boaters disagree with what they said. Hire boat expectations – Fully understanding what facilities will be available to you is essential if you’re going to enjoy a narrowboat holiday. Anticipating winter weather – You may well be enjoying unusually warm winter weather but the winter will be with us all too soon.
Keeping your stove glass clean – Maybe you think it’s an odd subject for the summer but you can’t trust the English weather. Traffic chaos caused by Braunston’s historic boat rally – On a day with high winds and a canal full of working boats returning home after the rally, I had the pleasure of taking some very nervous hirers out on the cut. Considerate boating – An article prompted after a near head on collision with another boat trying to avoid a fallen oak.
Laptop hacking – An update on the problems I encountered after buying a brand new laptop which I suspect was tampered with before I bought it.
Diary of a new narrowboat owner – Frequent forum poster “Our Nige” finally moved on to his new floating home. Narrowboat blogs – My own first cruise, Our Nige takes his new home on its maiden voyage and a chance for you to have your very own blog section on this site. The Trust target illegal moorers but just what does the Trust consider to an illegal mooring?
RCR engine servicing – River Canal Rescue (RCR) are well known as the waterways equivalent of the AA but did you know that they will also come to your mooring to service your boat?
Case study – You need to committed to sell your home to fund the purchase of your narrowboat. Be inspired – There are always reasons why you don’t make the move from bricks and mortar to steel and water. Here’s an example of what happens when you really don’t understand how your narrowboat works.
Essential boating equipment – Here’s a low cost item which has paid for itself over and over again. Getting rid of unwelcome visitors – Geese used to regularly disturb a peaceful night’s sleep where I moor.
Essential stove maintenance – Here’s what you need to do to make sure that your stove always performs well. Case Studies – I put together 21 of the best case studies and analysed and summarised the data in this low cost guide. I asked newsletter subscribers to send me detailed breakdowns of their bricks and mortar expenses so I could compare them with the cost of running a narrowboat.
How to clean your stove glass – One of the real pleasures of a living fire is watching the flames on a cold winter’s eve.
As a result of the article about the downside of living on a narrowboat published in the 18th March newsletter, I asked liveaboard narrowboat owners to complete a survey to give a balanced view of the issues raised by Pauline.
Case study: The Woodsman – Pauline Roberts again giving an insight into the life that you may think she doesn’t like.
There are dozens of helpful and interesting articles on the site, but have you found them all? The extending dinette requested by Richard has already proved popular, the bespoke boat build after next will also be having the same style of dinette.
The cross bed flap design makes it quick and simple to make up – no more struggling with pulling out extending frames! A large custom made mirror has been fitted to the bulkhead to create a feeling of extra space. The base of each cupboard contains a large storage area – you can just make out the access doors at the bottom of the photo. Therefore half can be accessed from the rear deck when cruising and the cupboard nearest to the camera can be accessed when inside the boat. The galley units are now in place and awaiting the team from Plan It Granite in Burton on Trent to template them up.
Unfortunately this interfered with the hatch so we came up with the idea of creating a solid oak packer to lead you into the stairwell whilst accommodating the profile of the bulkhead below…with a bit of thought most problems can be solved and resolved! The gardens of Whittington’s canal-side properties were a joy after the industrial squalor of Birmingham. After half a mile he crashed into the towpath, fell rather than jumped from his boat, then skidded along the grassy bank frantically heaving on his centre line before he realised that he’d left the boat in gear.
Good news though when the very helpful Irish guy serving us asked if we would like to top up with water and use their Elsan point before we left. Sorry Tesco, I dropped four bags of rubbish in the bin by your entrance, but I’m sure you don’t mind. We wanted to stay close to Cannock Chase for a few days but we had liquid management logistics to consider. Carrying on past the water point and mooring somewhere on the towpath between there and the entrance to Great Haywood marina was an option but with limited mooring opportunities there we thought our best bet would be to reverse off the water point a hundred metres back to the junction, turn on to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal and moor half a mile from the junction at Tixall Wide. In the recessed hatch surround is a drainage hole to channel any water falling on the deck through a three feet length of rubber hose running from beneath the hatch through a hole in the side of the boat then into the canal. The ingress is driving me mad after months of having a bone dry bilge, but I’m sure I’ll discover the reason eventually. Until this week, every machine I found was either too large or had poor customer reviews, but I think I’ve found one which is perfect for the job. It’s small enough to fit easily in the engine room, has very good reviews, some from narrowboat owners, and it costs less than ?50. The back of the boat has a large open deck area where half a dozen happy holiday boaters can stand in comfort with the helmsman while he or she grips the tiller with a white knuckled fist wondering how on Earth they are going to keep the unwieldy vessel in the middle of such a thin ribbon of water.


The downside is that there is less cabin space within the boat and that the engine bay is often prone to unwanted water ingress via the deck above. With a forty eight feet long cabin I have two hundred and eighty eight square feet to pack all of Sally’s and my own worldly possessions, including thirty square feet in the engine room. All of the following are items which I want or need on board but which I don’t particularly want cluttering our living space. She told me that she couldn’t do without her iron, hair dryer, hair straighteners and vacuum cleaner. She folds everything neatly and stacks the clothing in the cupboards we had fitted in the bathroom when we had the gas water heater removed.
I use it to hold several pairs of gloves, a couple of fleece hats, a wide brimmed leather hat I bought for ?20 from the Crick Boat Show three years ago, and another made of kangaroo and crocodile skin bought online and shipped at great expense from Australia. There are tins of blue top coat and undercoat and cream for the cabin sides and roof, red Damboline for the engine bay, rear deck and the bow around the engine hatch and varnish for the internal woodwork plus various grades of sandpaper, a scraper and wire brush, paint brushes, rollers and cleaning fluid. The para cord is handy for all kinds of different jobs including making a washing line between trees. There are three mooring pins, each capped with a high visibility yellow tennis ball, three mooring chains and two lump hammers plus three windlasses, an anti-vandal key and a BW facilities key and, last but not least a pair of different length tillers and two tiller pins. The longer tiller with more leverage helps turn my heavy rudder with less strain but the short tiller allows two guests to stand on the back of the boat with me without being swept off the boat.
You simply can’t store this amount of equipment securely and out of the elements with a cruiser or semi traditional stern narrowboat.
If you plan to do any engine maintenance yourself, a trad stern boat allows you to work in a warm and weatherproof environment rather than standing in a damp and cold engine bay open to the elements. As summer approaches more and more site users are booking the relatively few discovery days still available. The hardest part of the process isn’t the writing itself, it’s constantly thinking of new content for each issue. Are there any areas of narrowboat life you don’t think I’ve covered enough or areas which I’ve missed completely? This advice from a very experienced boater will be of great interest to you if you’re one of them. Six months before the start of our continuous cruising lifestyle, it was just what we needed to whet our appetites.
Here are some suggestions to ensure that you’re never short of a tasty meal on your idyllic canal-side retreat.
There is clearly more living space on board but how practical are wide beam boats on the inland waterways? If you want to avoid the same embarrassment and potential damage to both your boat and your self esteem, you need to know how to tie your boat securely in a number of different situations.
There is a third type though and it’s one which is both environmentally friendly and cheap to run. Compared with the lifestyle of the farmers I’ve been staying with in the Philippines though, my UK life seems overly materialistic and expensive. Here are the first two parts of a very detailed account of the building of a Sea Otter aluminium narrowboat. Kim Wainwright recorded her journey on the forum from nervous anticipation to current liveaboard boat owner. You can use your water supply as and when you need it when you live in a house with all mod cons.
Sally and I cruised from Calcutt to Braunston, north along the north Oxford where we joined the Coventry canal briefly before taking a very sharp right turn onto the Ashby canal.
There’s something very special about standing on the back deck in the pouring ran protected by a set of bomb proof waterproofs. Here’s an anecdote which demonstrates once and for all that there really aren’t any worthwhile excuses. This alleged fact about the boat sales at Whilton has come to me from several different sources. An in depth look at the cost of my 36 year old boat, and how much I spent (and still need to spend) before it will be a comfortable full time cruising boat. If you want ton save yourself hundreds of hours of research and costly mistakes, you need to read this guide.
Quite a few subscribers obliged. I added the breakdowns to my narrowboat costs guide and the budgeting application. Here are the survey results and a much more positive article by liveaboard narrowboat owner and frequent forum contributer Peter Early. One of them waxed lyrical about life on the waterways and enjoyed every minute of her life afloat. The narrowboat has also moved into the Dry Dock for painting, so when i get chance I’ll update the blog again. We’ll give these panels another coat of eggshell at the end of the build as they will inevitable be marked when carrying items in and out of the boat.
The canal ducked under the railway next to The Plough in Huddlesford where a rambler in a wide brimmed leather hat raised his steaming plastic flask cup in salute. Each of the pontoons is protected by a locked wire gate and the toilets by locked doors, thwarting boaters like me trying to avoid using my own loo.
Even two neighbouring properties, each garden complete with an ancient and rusting JCB, had carefully manicured the lawns around the old machinery. A 70′ boat coming from the north turning onto the Staffs and Worcester canal was immediately caught by the wind and blown into her path. The hose regularly blocks so I rerouted the hose vertically into the water trap and bilge pump beneath the stern gland.
I’ll let you know how I get on with it but right now I have to find my bucket and cloth and disappear into the depths of the engine bay again. I also have a Brushmate for storing paint covered brushes ready for instant use when I need them next. For any items I want to get out of the water which are too heavy for the magnet, I have a grappling hook.
Both Sally and I enjoy sitting outside as much as anyone else but with miles and miles of verdant and mostly well maintained towpath, there’s plenty of room to accommodate the pair of us, our two camp chairs and our folding table. I booked your discovery day for some hands on experience and to confirm whether or not a life afloat would be an option for me and boy is it! I probably picked up more knowledge in 10 hours with you than I would have done in 10 months surfing the internet. I’ve already created (below) indexes of the site articles and the more popular forum posts.
There’s a five minute video tour of the boat and a summary of the pros and cons of the boat’s design and equipment. Now the two retired education workers moor in a marina for the winter then explore the waterways during the warmer months.
You can pretty much do the same when you’re on a marina mooring with a water supply just a hose length away.
It was all about the damage you can do to your boat if you don’t watch what you’re doing in a lock. Thanks to all those that dropped by to say high and book in work your support is appreciated. Once the rear gates were closed, in a moment of madness, Sally opened the paddles fully which resulted in the boat being launched into the top gate like an arrow from a bow. Unfortunately for him, the opposite direction on this occasion was straight in to the canal. I know it’s not condensation forming on the uninsulated engine room metal, something which I suffer from during the winter months, and I know it’s not rainwater overflowing the blocked drain in the deck above, or water dripping from the stern gland. In can accommodate two people in addition to myself on my rear deck in reasonable comfort, providing I use a shorter than normal tiller which doesn’t extend into the cockpit where one of the guests needs to stand. Sally is still washing her hair just as much but now with so much free time on her hands, she doesn’t feel the need to dry it almost instantly with a hair destroying, power hungry machine.
These covers don’t do a bad job of keeping the gear on the rear deck dry but the problem is what to do with everything stored there when the cover is removed ready for the boat to me used for cruising.
I spent the day with him, designed a route to include twenty six locks and spent ten hours helping him hone his locking skills.
I have a very poor memory but instant and total recall of all my cruises is just a click away. Mine cost ?2,000 to run in the previous 12 months so I decided to get rid of mine to see if I could manage without one. I can throw the grappling hook, attached to the para cord on to the opposite bank, then pull the boat laterally away from any obstruction. If you are interested in joining me for a fun and information packed discovery day please check the diary before it’s too late.



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Comments to «Narrow boat storage boxes»

  1. XAKER on 16.08.2014 at 13:58:46
    Sealant to essentially make your wood extra foremost.
  2. LEDY_BEKO on 16.08.2014 at 13:20:38
    Per the measurements given on the end, and in many ways this meters lang po kasi lot ko,,,eto.
  3. cedric on 16.08.2014 at 16:10:27
    Gas pipes or sinks and all other crucial kitchen price to build a deck.
  4. Konulsuz_Imran on 16.08.2014 at 23:48:37
    Frame instantly on prime of the primary layer may think about accommodating.