More Information

Boat heating

Heating your boat

1) Solid fuel stove
2) Central heating gas or diesel powering radiators.

Example Makuni – diesel
Eberspacher – diesel
Alde –gas
Webasto – diesel

Domestic water

Most boats generally have a water tank on board whether it is an integral or a stainless steel tank.

Heating your water

Hot water can be supplied by these 4 popular methods.

1) From the engine through a calorifer
2) Via central heating system
3) Via the solid fuel stove with a back boiler
4) Or instantaneous gas water heater

inverter

Electrics

The majority of boats are powered by 12v electrics. However if you wish to run items such as hair dryers, washing machines, microwaves etc then you will need a 240v system.
This can be achieved by either plugging in a shoreline connection or having an inverter which come in all shapes and sizes and convert the 12v DC to 240 AC.

Toilets

Basically there are two types of toilet.

The Cassette which has to be manually emptied free of charge at most marinas and at various BW points down the canal. Capacity is limited.

The pump out toilet comes with a large holding tank which means it doesn’t have to be emptied as often as the cassette. However there is normally a charge for this service as it is done externally by machine.

An idea of running costs

Every boat on BW water must have a valid boat safety certificate (B.S.C), which is similar to a car MOT, a CRT narrow boat licence and a valid insurance policy. Other costs to keep in mind are engine services, diesel, gas, wood/coal and of course a mooring for your new purchase.

BSC – This is a certificate issued by an examiner which lasts 4 years and costs approx £160. Without this document your insurance is not valid.

Licence – Cost of the licence is based on the size of the boat for example a 57-60ft narrow boat in August 2015 is £967.13 per year. This can be paid in instalments or annually.

Mooring – If you choose to moor in a marina which has facilities then again the charge depends on the size of your boat, for example a 60ft mooring at Swanley Bridge Marina in April 2015 is £2301.00 for a year. You may choose a linear mooring which offers little or no facilities but obviously this is normally reflected in the price.

Insurance – This price depends on many factors but for an average boat/person it will be around £200 for a year.

Length

Narrowboats vary from around 20ft to 72ft in size.
Swanley Brokerage is situated at the start of the Llangollen Canal between bridges 6 and 8. When purchasing a boat it’s important to think about where exactly you want to be able to cruise. The Llangollen can accommodate a 70ft boat. As a rule of thumb a 70ft boat can cruise most of the network.

The Shropshire Union canal is approximately a 20 minute cruise from Swanley and can also accommodate a 70ft boat.

Another important factor is lock dimensions. There are some locks around the country that have restricted access for example, Leeds & Liverpool 60ft and the Calder & Hebble 57’6’’.

Most beginners restrict themselves to a max length of 57ft believing they’re going to miss out on so much canal cruising due to restrictions in size. You’ll find when talking to current boaters there actually aren’t that many who have managed to cruise 100% of the network. In fact they’ve opted for more space and comfort by going for a large boat instead and have still cruise the majority of the network with some exceptions.

boat engine

Engines

There are three main types of engines:

  • Air cooled
  • Keel cooled
  • Raw water cooled

For boating enthusiasts you may want a vintage engine housed in an engine room maybe complimented by a boatman’s cabin. For first time buyers you may just want to be satisfied that the engine of your chosen boat is in good order and can give you many hours of service and enjoyment. Most modern boats have one of the following engines:

  • Beta
  • Isuzu
  • Barrus Shire
  • Vetus

An engine service will set you back around £230 and is always advisable at the beginning of every season. Our engineers could advise each individual owner dependant on the boat and your usage.

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