Nar­row­boat all at sea

Canal Boat - - Letters -

MR PEM­BER­TON ( CB, DEC) asked about go­ing to sea in a nar­row­boat and a re­cent ar­ti­cle I read shows why it’s not a good idea.

Sta­bil­ity in the beam is not the only prob­lem, in fact, the boat in ques­tion coped tol­er­a­bly well in the cir­cum­stances, al­beit rolling heav­ily and throw­ing un­se­cured items around the cabin. It is when the boat is pitch­ing that it be­comes more dan­ger­ous. A for­ward well would pretty much seal the boat’s fate if flooded, and the steerer could be washed off the aft deck, also the pro­pel­ler would spend some time out of the wa­ter which, in turn, would al­low it to race with pos­si­ble dam­age to the en­gine.

In the ar­ti­cle, the boat’s owner made mod­i­fi­ca­tions to make it more sea­wor­thy. He did, how­ever, make some ba­sic sea­man­ship er­rors: al­low­ing a rope to get in the prop, sail­ing with­out up-to-date charts, not paying due heed to weather fore­cast to name a few.

An RYA qual­i­fi­ca­tion might have helped, in fact, the in­struc­tors would have done all they could to dis­suade him if they had known his plans! MARTIN HORNBY, via email

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