David Britton wants to build his own canalboat. He wrote to me earlier this week, asking:
I wonder if you could help me find some plans for a narrowboat? I have a small fab shop, guillotines, welders, plasma cutters etc, and would like to build either a narrowboat, or wide beam from scratch. I have a riverside property near Goole.
Well, of course I don't, I thought. This is going to be a short answer to him, I thought. But thought I'd ask you all, anyway.. Can you help?
It's a veritable treasure trove of traditional working boat plans from a leading canal historian. Laurence sells these for £12/time, and that seems cheap considering what you will shell out (literally, as it happens) for the construction.
David (or someone with a similar name) also pitched the question on the Boat Design Net forums, and there are some useful answers on this thread, including a whole bunch of designs from Selway Fisher of Melksham.
Try Selway Fisher's 39ft Chaffinch trad design, for example. Try to set aside £220 (inc VAT) for the full plans, that's what it'll cost you.
If you have any more ideas, you can contact David at email@example.com, but feel free to post them in the comments here too, for others to benefit.