Have Fun Taking a Narrowboat on a River Cruise

Riding a narrowboat or canal boat around the canals and waterways is a way to see the countryside in a leisurely manner. Narrowboats were originally pulled by draft animals and people, and they were later powered by steam. Modern narrowboats are used as recreational boats, and you can find an inexpensive, pre-owned canal boat for sale on eBay that will let you relive the old days on the river.

Types of narrowboats and canal boats for sale

Narrowboats are all standardly sized at 2.08 metres. Narrowboats are designed to fit all the locks on the canals and rivers in the UK, and this is the width size that allows free passage. The maximum length of a narrowboat is around 21.95 metres, which corresponds to the length of the longest locks on the waterway systems.

Narrowboats have differing types of sterns, of which these are the main three types:

  • Traditional stern - This stern size is the smallest and offers the least amount of external space. These narrowboats are based on traditional working canal boats and have a short back deck, which means more room inside.
  • Cruiser stern - Narrowboats with cruiser sterns have a large external space, which is ideal for recreational cruising on the river. These boats make great holiday boats and have plenty of outside space for socialising. They are also good choices for renting out to large parties.
  • Semi-traditional - These narrowboats are a compromise between a traditional and cruiser style of stern. They combine the look of a traditional stern with the outside space of a cruiser. These canal boats also are good for renting out for party cruises.
Liveaboard narrowboats

Just as more people are choosing to live in caravans, more people are also choosing to live on narrowboats. If you choose to adopt this lifestyle, you can often find used narrowboats for sale online that are already outfitted with everything you need for life on the river. You can also purchase a used narrowboat for sale and customise it yourself with any features you like.

What powers a narrowboat?

Most narrowboats are powered by diesel engines, and electric narrowboats require a diesel generator to charge the batteries. All narrowboats have two 12-volt battery banks, one of which starts the engine and one which powers on-boat objects like the lights, water pump, and other appliances. You will need to use 12-volt compatible appliances or use an inverter to convert your power to 240 volts when running power on the boat. You can also hook up to shore power.