Vlog 123: See Shells

How is a narrowboat built? That’s what this vlog aims to answer, looking at the construction process from the very first pieces of steelwork forming the baseplate, via an awful lot of welding up to a finished shell which can then be insulated and fitted out.

Many thanks to Aintree Boats for letting me roam around and film entirely at my discretion; please note they exerted no editorial control and did not pay me for this video. www.aintreeboats.co.uk


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11 Comments

  1. Blinking brilliant Vlog. Thanks for sharing….

  2. Very interesting… I’ve often thought about the number of narrowboats and how all the boatyards still make them, with relatively few being scrapped as they last such a long time – are we getting to the point of overcrowded canals? How long can more be introduced?

    • It is odd to think of all these new boats coming on stream, I agree, and of course there are plenty of other boat builders as well but even Aintree, at their prodigious rate of production, turn out only 30ish boats per year so I would guess – just a guess – the UK total may be around 150-200 boats? Still sounds like a lot but spread over 2000+ miles of canal, plus rivers it’s not so bad. And many will spend much of their lives moored in marinas (of which there is plenty of capacity) only coming out at weekends in the summer.

  3. Just one multi-part question: For a 30ft cost for a standard boat. No special equipment however ready to launch? Also 40ft 50Ft 60ft and 70ft cost average. Like your Volgs and look forward to yours and a few others every week.

  4. Thanks for this. This is the very sort of video that I spent a large part of my career producing, writing and directing here in Oregon. I would have loved to have had you on our crew. It would be most cool if you would cover the mechanical fitting-out, but regardless this episode was spot on!

    • Thank you! This was always intended to be a “construction only” video and even the little fit-out I mentioned was a bit of an afterthought. I may do a further video about the interior and engine. Cheers

  5. A truly well-done video David, thank you! These guy’s are truly gifted and put out a very well-made product which will undoubtedly last a lifetime. My only concern watching the video ,however, was the workmen’s safety. I would like to have seen the gentleman who was sanding all that paint, wearing a proper respirator rather than just a cheap dust mask. As an Aircraft Mechanic, I’m aware of the toxicity of polyurethane paint to the human body. I suspect that the marine paint used here is of some epoxy-based material, but am guessing, I’m nowhere anything near an expert on this subject, but I suspect these paints too, are quite harmful to breath in. Thanks again for sharing such a fine company’s ability to build such a fine product, I wish them every greatest success.

    • I bow to your better knowledge but would presume these guys have an appropriate system in place since they are turning out so many boats. If it helps, he was practically standing outdoors, right next to the massive warehouse doors.

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