Open wa­ter cruis­ing

Canal Boat - - Letters -

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

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