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boysclub09
boysclub09

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:27pm

Post Subject: when does a NB becomes classed as a WB?

Am in process ofordering a boat for people with disabilities, question is how wide can i make it and have it classed as a N/Boat before it is re-classed as a W Beam ? moorings / licences etc ?

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:51pm

Post Subject: when does a NB becomes classed as a WB?

British Waterways publish a list of dimensions they advise as maximum for a narrowboat and this will indicate a narrowboat should not be more then 6'10" in the beam. However some carrying narrow boats were built with beams of up to 7'2" but if you built a new one to these dimensions and got stuck BW would not want to know. As far as the Thames are concerned you are licensed by the square meter (Beam x Length)so they would not make any distinction. What mooring operators say is up to them, but I strongly suspect that they also would expect a narrow boat to be between 6'10" and perhaps 7' in the beam. From your three questions to date you give me the impression that you are going into this without sufficient research. There are builders who have a history of building boats for the less able and they should have ironed out most of the problems by now. There are also many charities operating boats for the disabled who, again, have considerable experience. My advice is to do a bit of research to identify such contacts and the go and view their boats and discuss your plans with them. Tony Brooks

boysclub09
boysclub09

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:10pm

Post Subject:

these questions are part of my researc... i am trying find out about wheelchair access, live in the N W so cant just nip down south to see other users for questions when they arise..

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:10am

Post Subject: when does a NB becomes classed as a WB?

That is as maybe, but you are moving into a specialist area with all sorts of potential problems that may only come to light after you have something built. For instance, I would have thought the boat may well have to be built to the BSS/Local Council/MCA standards for hire/passenger vessels. I suspect there may be H&S ramifications for the equipment. Depending upon the exact use you may well have to get your crew trained and certified to the relevant standards. About the only place you will get the correct answers (as opposed to opinions and guesses) is by talking to people who have or are actually doing it. Let me paraphrase your reply "I am going to spend tens of thousands of pounds on a boat for a very specific purpose but I am not going to make the effort to travel around a bit to make sure I get it right". In fact I expect there are just as many disabled boats in the north as there are in the south. The question about the height of the steps indicates that you have not grasped the fact that narrowboats are almost one offs and not built to a common standard across the industry. A deep draft boat designed for tall people will have a very different step height to a modern 2ft draft boat with a self draining cockpit. The permutations are almost endless. Most modern narrowboats have self draining front and back cockpits but that makes the floor higher and the steps deeper - especially if the boat has to be built to the hire craft/MCA standards. In your case a non-self draining cockpit may well be advisable (if allowed) to reduce the step height and make the boarding ramp less steep. You asked about the steps at the rear of the boat but in some/many places you can not get the rear right into the bank but you can usually get the front in. This means that with rear wheelchair access you will be either restricted in your boarding places or have to push the wheelchair over a long boarding plank with the H&S issues that raises. This is why I suggested you look at drop down sections of the hull side at the front. The hull forms the actual ramp. I have also seen a drop down hull section in the centre of the boat. All we know is that you intend to take the disabled on the boat so we can not know what regulations the boat will have to comply with and even if we did know the exact use I certainly do not have time to do the research for such a specialist project. If you can not do it yourself I think you need to employ a naval architect or designer who is experienced in this area so you do not waste tens of thousands of pounds. I am not trying to be rude or unhelpful but I am worried that you are getting into very heavy costs. Tony Brooks

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:01pm

Post Subject: when does a NB becomes classed as a WB?

I have just had a look at the WWW Q&A net page and see one of your questions asked there but this time telling them more about the proposed boat's use. If that questioner is you then please check with both the Boat Safety Scheme AND the Maritime & Coastguard Agency to make sure you know the regulations the boat and crew will have to meet. If that questioner is yourself I feel professional advice MUST be obtained because I think there will be regulations in respect of the degree of allowable list when the passengers are all on one side, the height above the waterline of hull openings and much more. I suspect private narrowboat rules will not apply. TB

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