My boat specification

I'd like as large a boat as will fit throughout the waterway system. says:

Most canals are one of two standard sizes... broad canals, and narrow canals. Strictly, the name does not refer to the width of the canal itself . rather to the dimensions of the locks along them.

As locks and boats fit hand-in-glove, the size of existing local craft dictated the lock-size on a new canal, and after the canal was open, the tables were turned, and lock-size dictated the size of new canal craft.

Often when canals were designed to join two rivers, locks were made 14'-15'wide to accommodate existing river craft e.g. Leeds & Liverpool, Kennet & Avon. Where water is plentiful e.g. Bridgewater Canal or the Wey Navigation leading from the Thames, they can also be wide, but where canals climb to hill-top summits, locks are designed at half that width in order to reduce water-use e.g. locks on the Trent & Mersey and Staffs & Worcs. Canals are just under 7' wide.

If a present-day boat is to travel the whole system, it needs to be as narrow as the narrowest canals and as short as the shortest lock... roughly 7 feet wide and 60 feet long, which is why new boats are often narrowboats, even if they are based on rivers!

To start with, this is the list of what I'd like to have on my boat; once I get a boat it will be what it is at the time, and how I want to modify it. See also My everyday encumbrances for my list of what I consider necessary and useful to have around.

Kitchen / Dining Room
with bottled gas cooker and fridge
with bed, obviously -- and probably clothing and linen storage
the main heating may well be in here -- a nice wood stove, perhaps
Engine Room
with batteries and inverter; possibly mains alternator added to the engine, and hydraulic power takeoff
With workbench and storage for tools and stock of bits of stuff. The computer will go in here too, as I wantI want to make sure that I regarded as simply a tool, as I think that this attitude will be helpful for recovery from RSI. I'd like to put as much of the complicated and practical things as possible all into one area, and keep the rest of the boat as simple as I can. The workshop may actually be the the same as the engine room, or otherwise will be built around it.
This will be in various places around the boat, sometimes taking up things which might otherwise be dead space, such as under seats.
A small area reserved for prayer so I don't have to clear clutter before meditation
A small area with a multigym and exercise bike
Out in the open area, of course. In some ways this may be a bit of a luxury, but should be very nice in the summer.
John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 22:12:57 GMT Daylight Time 2007