Types of narrowboat
Cruiser, trad, semi trad, narrow beam Dutch Barge – like some other aspects of boating it’s a Marmite thing. You love a certain style or you hate it. And then you change your mind but pretend you didn’t really. However, below I have listed some pro and cons of all of them. I’m sure there are plenty of other points to be made, and I will be adding any as they come to mind or are suggested to me.
Trad: Trads broadly divide into two categories – those that have an engine set beneath the floor of the aft cabin, which I will call the modern trad, and those that have a back cabin (often laid out as a traditional boatman’s cabin) with the engine set in its own room, which I will call the trad trad. Then there’s the semi trad (which could equally be called a semi cruiser) the cruiser, the tug and the narrow beam Dutch barge.
Narrow beam Dutch barges
You either like ’em or you hate ’em. Some love the fact that they are different, some think they simply don’t look right on our waterways. For the latter view I have to wonder what the working boatmen would have made of today’s narrowboats anyway – any of them.”It’s a lot of fun and it’s different,” says one owner.
Commonly (but not always) with a folding wooden wheelhouse which provides a pleasant seating area protected from the elements and with a good view.
You will need to become well acquainted with a pot of varnish to keep the wheelhouse woodwork looking bright.The wheelhouse will have to be dismantled if you are cruising in an area with low headroom at certain bridges. Check a navigation guide carefully.