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gareth939
gareth939

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:51pm

Post Subject: a steel top ?

I currently own a 59ft narrowboat built in 1984 by the Uxbridge Boat Centre with a steel hull and a wood and fibreglass top. The wood and fibre glass has significantly deteriorated and I am looking at replacing it with a steel top. I have virtually no experience of narrow boat building and was hoping someone could advise me on best course of action. I have recently had the boat surveyed and it does require some overplating (the report states that "potentially the immersed hull side plating and counterplate should be overplated as it is anticipated that the internal surfaces of this plating will be significantly corroded" but this could only be fully determined with a full internal inspection which could not be carried out. Also the top of the starboard swim plating needs overplating otherwise the rest of the hull seems in reasonable condition).Is it worth putting a steel top on this hull? And if so could anybody make any recommendations. The boat is currently on the Kennet and Avon but is heading toward London although I would happily head up to the Midlands if a reasonably priced steel fabricator was recommended. Thanks in advance for any replies.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:10pm

Post Subject: a steel top ?

Dear Gareth, I hope some of our readers will recommend a welder based on their own experience because the only way forward that I can see is to discuss the cost with a few boat welders, allow extra for the inevitable overrun and then decide if the cost will be worth it to you. Remember either you will have to reline the cabin sides and deck-head and possibly carry out extensive wiring or you will have to pay someone to do it for you - in addition to the metalwork. I suspect the further north you go the less the job will cost. I am not happy with the quoted section unless the surveyor did extensive ultrasound tests. It looks to much like back covering on the basis of what you tell us. Unless tests have been done there is no way a surveyor can decide if it really does need attention unless they start removing ballast. Tony Brooks

gareth939
gareth939

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:55pm

Post Subject: a steel top ?

Dear Tony, Thanks for your response. The surveyors report does seem to contain fairly extensive ultra sound and hammer tests on the exterior of the hull but was, except for a couple of small areas of the internal bottom plate and hull sides, limited by accessibility internally. I gather that from the evidence of what was seen by the surveyor unless this internal inspection can be carried out more extensively the assumption has to be that where the hull side meets the bottom plate the entire length will need overplating. I'm currently removing as much of the interior as possible in order to make this possible and hopefully gain a more precise knowledge of the area that needs doing in order to ascertain whether the addition of a steel top is economically viable. I'm guessing that if it the entire length needs doing along with the counterplate then it probably wont be! Any recommendations of welders/ steel fabricators from anyone would be much appreciated. Thanks again for your advice

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