Planning on a purchase of a narrow boat requires three things: what you need for a boat, your budget, and a good, reliable narrowboat builder. First, consider your lifestyle: do you need a narrow boat for a leisure cruise or will you use the boat as your second home? Do you want more space, more fixtures and equipment or just need a simple one? Second, do you have a sound budget for the kind of boat you want? Suppose you have already done planning your dream boat by answering the previous questions, what’s next? All you need to do now is to select a professional narrow boat builder that can specifically provide you with the closest description of what your ideal boat is.
The Boat Builder’s Trade
Visiting at least two boat shows and drawing a shortlist of at least three narrow boat builders is the best strategy to start your boat- builder-hunting. You need to research company details of potential boat builders on your list then compare prices and visit their shop on-site. Boat builders do not supply the details of what a customer should need in a boat, rather, they often offer and sell the best from among their boat craft and product line; their aim is to sell the costliest boat or the new product in their shelves to unsuspecting customers. A large number of canal boat firms specializing on out-of-the-shelf standard styles would want their buyers to try their pioneered product before offering to them what they really need or what their budget can afford.
There are lots of established narrow boat builder in the market; all you need is to choose the most reliable one, and someone who could offer you a better price, and good quality. Choose a builder with the history of fulfilling and completing a wide variety of canal boat project and has the reputation of accomplishing specific needs of customers. Find one among referrals from your friends and contacts- it is more reliable and dependable than just knowing the builders by reading their ads.
An experienced narrow boat builder provides a showcase of his or her works which ranges from hire craft to high tech portfolio of completed narrow boats. Be sure as well to make a background check if the builder is a member of registered boat owners or marine federation in your area; this is to ensure compliance to the codes of practice and standard mandated by the law.
Affordability and Quality
Take note that you are going to purchase not just a boat but an investment; treat the purchase as a businessman treats his/her assets and stocks. Some buyers nowadays hire a marine surveyor to supervise or oversee the process of fitting, customizing, designing and purchasing a boat to ensure that they get exactly what they aim and paid for. Installment payment for your builders on a regular basis is ideal, rather than giving the whole payment before the boat is fully made; in this manner, you can control and document the progress made and ensure a quality workmanship fitting to your boat.
To help you lay out your ideal boat type, do consider surveying an actual narrow boat with a standard design, which you can customize later according to your preferences. Know the details of your boat as well. Be sure that only high quality materials are used for cabin lining. Other systems such as water tank, central heating, pipes, ventilators, galley equipment and other fixtures and furnishings should be tailored as you required; choose those that are easy to maintain but are of high quality. Boat engine installation should conform to the standards set by the law. The well-proven standard in the engine installation industry is Beta 43 known for its economical and reliable feature and your boat builder should know this.
Finally, find a narrow boat builder which can produce boats equipped with full cruising inventory and components quality; with excellent standard specifications and preferably a safety certificate to match. Be sure as well that transfer of ownership after boat completion is going to be smooth with no legal problems.