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Old 03-09-2016, 07:58   #1
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Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

I'm pretty new to boats, so apologies if any of these questions are stupid. Any advice much appreciated.

We're looking for a liveaboard boat, we live in Edinburgh in Scotland. The local liveaboard moorings are all on the canal and the interesting looking places to explore are all on the coast. We're therefore ideally looking for a boat that can handle both.

Is this an unrealistic demand from one boat?

The canal has a max beam of 12', draft 3'6" and airdraft 8'9". Main options that fit that seem to be broads cruisers (I assume not very seaworthy), some GRP cruisers, e.g Princess 32, or dutch steel cruisers (pedro, de groot, gelder).

Is there some kind of list of things to look for which allows you to judge if a boat is intended to be sea going? We're talking island hopping in nice weather, with training/more experienced people on board rather than anything more ambitious.

Any help/advice would be great. Thanks : )
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:13   #2
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

Welcome here! I am interested in responses to this query too (and I am sure there are folks here who will know the perfect boat for you) because though I have yet to visit the UK I do have ancestral roots there and I wondered about doing the same thing when I get there. How about a sailing barge from Holland?... I have heard they are pretty seaworthy:
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:18   #3
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

@Don C L. I would love a Dutch Barge, they're amazing. The age of them and possible lack of local expertise makes me a bit nervous though!
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:36   #4
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

There is a member here from Holland named Lizzy Belle, she will know! Lizzy, where are you?
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:51   #5
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyMcDuff View Post
I'm pretty new to boats, so apologies if any of these questions are stupid. Any advice much appreciated.

We're looking for a liveaboard boat, we live in Edinburgh in Scotland. The local liveaboard moorings are all on the canal and the interesting looking places to explore are all on the coast. We're therefore ideally looking for a boat that can handle both.

Is this an unrealistic demand from one boat?

The canal has a max beam of 12', draft 3'6" and airdraft 8'9". Main options that fit that seem to be broads cruisers (I assume not very seaworthy), some GRP cruisers, e.g Princess 32, or dutch steel cruisers (pedro, de groot, gelder).

Is there some kind of list of things to look for which allows you to judge if a boat is intended to be sea going? We're talking island hopping in nice weather, with training/more experienced people on board rather than anything more ambitious.

Any help/advice would be great. Thanks : )
Howdy and Ahoy Daisy! Welcome aboard CF too!

My first thought is that you should definitely view the wonderful free video series on YouTube on the channel called "Keep Turning Left." In that series, the author, video host Dylan Winter, goes around the coast of England and Scotland while on a multiple year long circumnavigation of the UK. He does so in small boats as the Westerly Centaur (26 feet) and often he would motor up canals and explore by dinghy some of the shallows and canals. I thoroughly enjoy his videos.

Here is some information on the Westerly Centaur (26feet LOA)bilge keels, which has a 3 foot draft)
http://www.boatus.com/boatreviews/sa...lyCentaur26asp

Here is a link to the playlist Dylan, the producer, made to get you started in the series, which is now in the 8th year of production. The concept is simple: he uses a few small sailboats (26-28 feet long) to do a circumnavigation around the UK. His narrative style and his nice videography make his videos very pleasant and he shows what can be enjoyed with a small budget and an open mind. Be aware, there are 500+ videos in his series, and the link below is just what he created as a "Start" playlist for the series.

http://youtu.be/GpsYphE_lwQ?list=PL-...PPgH_joGjuIRqk

While his series is aboard sailboats, and you want a power boat, I think you will likely learn and enjoy watching his series.

Second thought is I would want a boat with a tabernacle mast, if it has one, that can be easily lowered for going under the bridges.

Which boats?
There are many boats designed for the UK waters that are never seen here in the USA, and vice versa. Sailors in the USA (a large portion of the members of this forum) will not be familiar with most of the boats seen in the UK. Perhaps some UK based members will help you with specifics. I have looked at hundreds of boats located in the UK, but only online, and most would not fit your requirements.

Third thought: you did say "liveaboard boat" so the Centaur and others may not be very comfortable for living aboard by a couple. That depends on the people.

Fourth, I was focused on sail boats. I have seen many power boats in the Netherlands which are optimized for shallow water cruising and canals. I would move towards a power boat for liveaboard in a canal.

---------

Here is something that may help you:

There is a vast amount of information here and many helpful members who have extensive experience.

My Favorite CF Forum Tip: Use the Google Custom Search Function

I know that most people who are new to this forum might try the ordinary search function of the forum when they have a question in mind. Unfortunately that always yielded few results for me when I tried that when I first joined this forum. In contrast, a standard Google search outside of the forum can produce a bewildering list of links too. It was only later that I learned to quickly and easily find great links to archived or previous threads on a topic.

I only use the Google Custom Search field on this forum when searching this forum, and I find all the answers I need here too using that.

I find it superior to an ordinary search using the standard "search" field and usually get the answers I want very quickly. So, it is my "number one tip" to newer forum members. .

Note! The Google Custom Search field is found under the "Search" menu seen at the top of your browser window when you are in the CF forum on any page. However, it is NOT shown as an option if you are viewing the Forum site using the CF Mobile app. Use a browser like Safari instead.

----------

Here is a link to a search I just did for term "canal boat" in CF.

https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...oat&gsc.page=1
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:03   #6
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

I like to read posts like this, where people are asking about what type of boat to buy. My wife and I hope to do the same one day.

I have a Facebook friend (acquaintance) in Edinburgh, she posts some beautiful pictures of that city. Would love to visit. The pronunciation is actually with an L at the end?

Good luck in your search.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:25   #7
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pirate Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

If you are not tied to a budget I suggest this.. OVNI 395 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

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Old 03-09-2016, 15:20   #8
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

Steady hand - thanks so much, i'll check the videos for sure, looks really interesting and useful search tips cheers. M2244, Edinburgh s beautiful, pronounced Edin-brrr (no g). I think we are looking for a motor cruiser but sailboats are still interesting to consider.
Thanks for all the help so far and its encouraging that no one yet seems to think its a crazy idea
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Old 03-09-2016, 22:31   #9
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

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Originally Posted by DaisyMcDuff View Post
Steady hand - thanks so much, i'll check the videos for sure, looks really interesting and useful search tips cheers. M2244, Edinburgh s beautiful, pronounced Edin-brrr (no g). I think we are looking for a motor cruiser but sailboats are still interesting to consider.
Thanks for all the help so far and its encouraging that no one yet seems to think its a crazy idea
Crazy? Ha! That's not crazy! Ya want to see crazY? Stick around, ya ain't seen nothin' yet!
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:21   #10
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

I think the biggest issue is the air-draft.
- That rules out most sailboats. Sure you can raise and lower the mast but by the time you get above 30' it's a project. Not something you want to do for a sunset sail and with a few exceptions requires outside assistance with a crane.
- Lots of powerboats could work though 8'9" is still going to rule out a lot of boats. Anything with a flybridge is out but lots of seaworthy power boats all depends on the conditions you want to go out in. Even some of the canal boats will work if you are patient and can wait for good weather windows.


I'm not familiar with the local tides but is 8'9" at high tide (I know further south, there are some pretty big tides) that might allow for a much wider range of boats.
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:29   #11
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

I'd say the most inflexible of those requirements is draft. So to meet it in a sailboat, you'll need to look at; bilge keelers, some twin keel boats, centerboards/keel centerboards, a few lifting keeled boats, sharpies, & a few multihulls.

Sharpies tend to be primarily E. Coast, USA designs, but would work for what you're thinking, given masts that are easy to raise & lower. And about 35' vessel LOA is where such masts start to get too big.

There are lots of twin keeled boats in the UK & Europe. So look at their draft & masts.
Ditto on the other monohull types.

In terms of multihulls, there are some catamarans that are designed to be fairly easy to expand & collapse in width. Ditto on a few Tri's. Albeit the Cat's only have trampolines in between the hulls. Like http://www.cat2fold.com/ Which is originially a Kurt Hughes design that's been put into production due to that exact unique attribute. http://www.multihulldesigns.com/desi...cat2fold36.htm
Kurt also has a number of other designs which collapse down width wise. www.multihulldesigns.com/index.htm
Though I think that in it's stock form Cat-2-Fold won't meet the air draft requirements. Though custom boats based on the principle would. Perhaps Richard Woods could come up with something? Especially as he's more local, being semi-UK based.

Your best bet might be to lease or long term charter something expressly for canal travel. Much as people long term lease cars. As guys do the same with racing sailboats, for various lease/charter lengths quite commonly. So it's more than plausable.

One other nice option is to have a sailboat which meets all of the requirements but for air draft. So then for your time dedicated to the canals, pull the mast & lash it to a couple of saw horses on deck. Which isn't at all uncommon to do. And do your canal touring under power.
Then when you get to the sea or a big lake, re-step the spar & head off sailing. It takes but a few hours to do this, so it's more than viable. And such seen via the gorgeous videos of a 30' catamaran currently for sale here on CF.
Piana 30 Catamaran
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:11   #12
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

How often are you planning to transition from canal to sea? If it's a couple times per year, pulling the mast is not a major issue. If it's every time you want to go out, it's a huge hassle even on a smaller boat that can be done by hand.


Catamarans work for draft but not many that would qualify as liveaboard with under a 12' beam.


Then again, what's your idea of liveaboard? Some people would be quite happy in a 24' monohull. Others couldn't see living in anything under 50'. Makes a huge difference.
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:41   #13
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

Daisy,

When I look at boats for sale, there are many in the Netherlands that appeal to me.

Here is one that is going to be auctioned. I find it very appealing, and would love to have this as a liveaboard cruiser for canals and river and bay power cruising. The mast will be on a tabernacle base to make it easy to lower when going under bridges.

You should check the specs carefully to see if it would work in your location. But, this is a TYPE of boat designed for the purpose you have in mind.

That said, it is a steel boat. You may want to limit your maintenance to GRP or Fiberglass hulls only. I happen to like steel boats and the Dutch generally make good ones.

1978 KEMPALA KOTTER Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:42   #14
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

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Old 04-09-2016, 07:43   #15
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Re: Boat for canals & coastal cruising - possible?

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