Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Waterways World Guide to Narrowboat Planning

Waterways World Guide to Narrowboat Planning by Graham Booth
Book Review

I picked up a copy of this guide whilst aboard Black Prince's Kiwi, shortly after we purchased Wand'ring Bark.You may wonder why a hire boat after buying your own? - and that's not a stupid question.

Wand'ring Bark was a compromise in terms of length (shorter then planned), layout (cruiser stern not semi trad), price (more expensive of course) and age (about 15 years younger than expected). Wand'ring Bark was therefore not exactly what we wanted on day one, and needed a lot of work to bring her format and spec up to that which we desired. The good thing was that as soon as I altered the main saloon to accommodate two single berths as an alternate configuration to the existing double cross bed, we were in business and ready to cruise. However, there wasn't time to complete this work in time for our 2006 holiday so we used our Tesco's vouchers to hire Kiwi to do the Cheshire Ring.

Whilst I have strong carpentry skills, I need design ideas to feed off and that's where this book comes in. It would certainly be very useful if you are planning to commission a brand new boat but even if, like us, you are looking for inspiration and ideas to upgrade / refit and existing boat Graham's insights are excellent. He comes across as a hands on DIY boat fitter with several vessels to his name. His ideas are therefore both functional and stylish.

The book covers all the main types and layouts you are likely to encounter and weight the pro's and con's of each. If you are thinking of commissioning or altering a boat spend a few hours reviewing the ideas this book contains. Wand'ring Bark may be 80% my handiwork but the credits for the concepts are largely attributable to the worthy Mr Booth.

ISBN 187000294 - 6

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