Does Size Matter?
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Wed Apr 2, 2014 at 9:19am

We are talking about narrow boats just so you are clear!

Tape measure57 is not the magic number!  There is a myth that a 57 foot narrow boat is the maximum length that can travel the whole of the inland waterways. 

This is NOT TRUE!  We don’t know where this statement came from, but we can tell you it is complete rubbish!

The Truth –

  • A 40ft  is the maximum if you wish to cruise the whole network!

  • A 58ft 6in  is suitable for the whole system (except you can’t cruise the last few hundred yards of the Little Ouse River to the town of Brandon in Norfolk).

  • A 62f will get you through canals on the network except the Calder & Hebble, the Huddersfield Broad Canal and the Ripon Canal.

  • A 70 footer  will get you around most of the system.
If you are planning to live full time on a narrow boat, we would recommend that you look for a boat 57ft in length and above, for the main reason that the extra space you gain will be very much appreciated and it will possibly make day to day living more pleasant.

Space is by nature limited on a narrow boat, so why not take advantage of a longer boat to maximise your storage and living space.

Narrow BoatHaving said that, it’s not impossible to live on a smaller boat either.  However we are often asked to sell a boat for a customer only because they need something bigger and for no other reason.

By having a longer length boat you will able to cruise most of the 2000 – 3000 miles of Inland Waterways, and you will also have the benefit of additional space. 

The length of a narrow boat makes no difference to the handling, so don’t be put off buying a longer boat for this reason.