Open water cruising
MALCOLM PEMBERTON POSES an interesting question regarding preparing a narrowboat for open water cruising.
Calling on some open ocean yachting experience, including a Panama Canal transit, and seeing as how he has asked for feedback, I thought I’d add my two penneth worth.
As far as waterproofing the hull goes, Malcolm has pretty much covered it, as long as the front and rear hatches (and engine hatch) can be locked down watertight, and large windows covered over to deflect any green water. Proper ground tackle is a must for anchoring. The other important issues concerning narrowboats are horsepower and directional stability. Most would need a power increase to sufficiently drive the boat into a seaway, against waves, current and winds, all of which are much stronger at sea.
And, of course, some form of skeg or fin to allow the boat to maintain direction against wind, currents etc.
As Malcolm infers, there’s nothing wrong with the seaworthiness of a flat-bottomed vessel. Whether all of the conversions of a canal specific vessel are worth it? Well, that’s a whole new topic for discussion.
GARY PHILLIPS, Brisbane Australia