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Boat descriptions - Wide-beam boats

Wide-beam boats with a suitable draught can be used on some navigable rivers and most wide canals in the UK.

wide-beam boat

If you believe you will be happy at being restricted to the broad waterways and rivers of the UK, where the bridges are high enough to allow navigation of such a craft - then you may wish to consider a wide-beam boat. They by nature have a greater volume of living accommodation and generally have a weather proof helmsman's wheelhouse (that may fold down to negotiate low bridges). The wheelhouse can be a social area for the helmsman and crew when cruising. Wide-beam boats with a suitable draught can be used on some navigable rivers and most wide canals in the UK. If your boat has a keel then it may also be cruisable in tidal waters and in some instances costal waters subject to licensing. Generally wide-beam boats are over 30 feet long with a beam over 7 feet built on a hull style of a canal, river or coastal going barge, and can be constructed with or without a keel.

Dutch Barge style Widebeam boat in Limehouse Basin, London - used as a live-aboard

Dutch Barge Widebeam craft make great houseboats Wide-beam boats also make good 'houseboats' due to their roominess and ability to displace a higher tonnage, giving less restriction on the carriage of water volume (and black water). The usual build for wide-beam boats is of the 'Dutch Barge' style, although there are other styles and designer boats. If you just like the appearance of the Dutch Barge style, then this is adapted by some boat builders for a narrow boat design.