Narrowboat all at sea
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