Fitting Out A Liveaboard We Tell You How And The Costs Involved
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Mon Nov 17, 2014 at 11:23am

Fitting Out A Narrow Boat 

Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to fit out a narrowboat? Well we have put a pricing example together to give you a rough guideline of what it would cost. (Please note - we do not fit out boats at the marina)


We have based the costings on a 57 foot shell which is an average sized narrowboat, and used a mid range of products and fittings. You will need to factor in your own time and any professional help for a contractor.


A very basic second hand boat which needs work; sometimes known as a project boat will cost;

Prices in the region of;

  • 35 foot £15,000
  • 57 foot £26,000
  • 70 foot £35,000

New Shell/Sailaway:

Alternatively you can buy a new shell, known as a sailaway (57 foot) for as little as £18,000 +VAT see here or £29,250 +VAT see here and fit it out yourself.

There are a number of different skills needed to fit out a shell. The key ones are, woodwork, plumbing, electrical, painting and gas fitting. Consider if you have the skills to carry out these jobs and also the time to complete the project. 

You will need to add the costs for any labour needed, as well as the cost of the fittings to the total project cost.

For a 57ft boat you should allow around 120 working days (that is roughly 60 weekends)  spending around 8hrs per day working on the boat. Additional time will be needed for research and shopping!

Pricing example of fitting out a 57 foot shell

These costs are estimates based on a 57 foot narrow boat and are only a guide to give you an idea of approximate cost. We have picked a shell priced mid way between the two guide prices discussed earlier.

Of course the quality of the fittings you purchase will have an affect on the overall cost, in this example. We have used mid range products to give a estimated price for this exercise. You can upgrade, or go cheaper depending on your own budget.

 57 foot Boat Shell
 Basic Sailaway
 Engine (38HP)
 Spray foam
 Delivery  £1000 £32,800

 Cost  Sub Cost For This Section
 Upper lining 
 Lower lining  £660  
 £90  £1870
 Wiring  £950  
 Fixtures (Light fittings etc)  £275  
 Consumer unit / Fuses  £120  £1345
 Hot water system & calorifier
 Cold water supply
 Pump etc
 Waste  £60  £1505
 MFI Unit Assy / doors  £190  
 Oven & Hob  £359  
 Fridge  £369  
 Sink & taps  £95  
 Work Top Tiles  £155  £1,168
 Bulkheads / partitioning and doors
 Shower (Tray, tiles taps etc)  £300  
 Hand basin
 Toilet  £260  
 Accessories  £150  £930
 Framework for bed
 Mattress  £180  £480
 Table  £180  
 Cushions  £340  £520
 Carpet Tiles  £225  
 Vinyl tiles (bathroom)  £90  £315
 Curtain Tracks
 Curtain Material
 Shelves / Overhead cupboards
 Outside paint top
 Outside Paint (bottom - black)


 Other misc (screws, fittings etc)  £400  
 Brass vents
 Battery (domestic)
 Inverter  £425  
 Fenders  £300  
 Wood trim around inside windows   £600  £5,080
 Total Fit-Out
 Grand Total Completed Boat

If fitting out a shell isn't for you, and you would prefer to buy a boat that is already fitted out and ready for living on, check out the used boats for sale at our marina.

We have boats of various styles, lengths and prices to suit all budgets available for sale! Take a look at our Narrowboats for sale