A narrowboat is a type of canal boat designed specifically for the narrow locks of the United Kingdom. This practice has survived into the twenty-first century, but not all narrowboats are decorated in this manner. Modern narrowboats are utilized for vacations, weekend getaways, tours, or as full-time or part-time dwellings.
The traditional narrowboat is built for use on inland waterways in Britain and Europe. They tend to be flat-bottomed with an open foredeck, but there are also wide boats with only a small amount of freeboard. The length of a narrowboat depends on its use: if it's going to be used on a lake then it should be at least 6m (20ft) long; if it's going to be used on a river then it should be able to go up to 9m (30ft). The width varies from 1.5m to 2.5m (5-10ft), but most are about 1.8m (6ft). A narrowboat needs to be stable in rough water, so neither the draught nor the length of boat is very flexible.
Narrowboats were originally constructed out of wood, but now almost always out of steel. Before World War II, many were also made of teak. Although they can still be found today, very few are made from wood due to the cost involved in repairing damage caused by rotting trees. The hull is usually divided into several compartments with doors or hatches between them.
The distinction between a barge and a narrowboat as nouns is that a barge is a huge flat-bottomed towed or self-propelled boat used mostly for river and canal transit of heavy products or bulk cargo, whereas a narrowboat is a barge used on England's narrow canals. Narrowboats are usually no more than 20 feet (6 m) long but can be as long as 90 feet (27 m). There are now narrowboat clubs throughout the country.
Also called a gondola, a hollowed-out log or tree trunk. A single shell or double shell with horizontal struts and ribs; the interior is divided by diagonal crossbeams to form a series of rooms. The term "barn door" is also applied to this type of vessel because of their flat bottom shape.
There are several varieties of narrowboats: liveaboards are owned by individuals who use them for transportation around lakes and rivers; static boats are tied up at specific locations and can be boarded by friends and family members; touring boats have cabins that can be entered through sliding glass doors for day trips into nearby towns; racing boats are optimized for speed. Although they look complicated, narrowboats are actually simple to operate. All you need is a strong pair of legs and enough courage to climb inside!
Narrowboats were first built in the 16th century for transporting goods along England's canals.
A canal boat can also refer to a barge, which is a more general phrase that covers canal vessels. A widebeam canal boat is one that has a beam of 2.16 metres (7 ft 1 in) or more and is built in the form of a narrowboat. These are generally stable boats that are not particularly attractive to look at. They were originally used on inland waterways in Britain but are now found on canals all over the world.
There are different types of canal boat: cargo boats, houseboats, hotel barges, museum barges, pleasure boats, tour boats. Each type has its own specific use and design features. Canals do not have tides so there is no need for canal boats to be able to float higher or lower than other objects to reach water level. However, some types of boat are designed with stability as their main concern and have a flat bottom without any rise or fall. Others have a slightly sloping floor to help them slide down the side of the canal when moored up.
The word "barge" is also used for larger boats that can hold more than about two tons. These usually have a single mast and a broad shallow hull with no particular style or period detail. There are still barges being built today in many countries including China, India and Turkey.