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Metal & Water: A Glance At Narrowboat Construction

Life on land isn’t for everyone, and with the cost of property constantly rising, we wouldn’t blame you for considering an alternative existence. For those seeking something a little different, narrowboats and barges are often the perfect escape.

Perhaps the idea of a home on the water appeals to you, or maybe you’re considering investing in a narrowboat for a business idea. Whatever your reason, it is worth understanding the basic structure of these buoyant beasts.

Here at Staffordshire Fabrications, we’re well-versed in the world of narrowboat, pontoon and dry dock construction. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the design and construction of narrowboat hulls using steel.

Initial Design

Of course, the first step in the process of narrowboat, barge or pontoon construction is to design the structure itself. Traditionally, this was done by hand, using detailed drawings and engineering diagrams. Today, however, computers allow for greater intricacy, control and accuracy.

Thanks to modern advancements in Computer Aided Design Software (CAD), every aspect of the design process can be customised, with bespoke solutions available to meet each and every requirement a designer or client may have.

Here at Staffordshire Fabrications, we’re proud to offer premium CAD to customers. This allows the design of a narrowboat to be tweaked and finalised before fabrication is begun.

Material Use

Typically, narrowboats are built using a combination of materials, designed to offer strength, buoyancy, durability and aesthetic appeal. Of course, construction techniques will vary based on factors such as intended environment, size and location.

The main hull of a narrowboat is usually built using high-quality steel. Once this has been completed, elements such as the engine and other mechanical components are installed, followed by the insulation, windows and interior fittings.

Steel Fabrication For Narrowboat Shells

Here at Staffs Fabs, we’re proud of our reputation as market leaders in the marine sector. Among the many products we manufacture for the UK canal network, narrowboat shells and hulls are the primary output. Both commercial and private clients trust us for our high-quality fabrications and consistent reliability.

What’s more, the marine sector is one of the many commercial spheres we are proud to supply. Get in touch with a member of our expert team to discuss your specific requirements and discover our range of fabrication and design services.

Call us on 01543 379 693.