Answering the question of boat length and style has implications in terms of the price of the boat, its ability to navigate the canal network, its practicality, and space.
Summary: In terms of the proposed craft the traditional style will be used principally for the additional capacity this format allows which will be relevant in terms of the Propulsion and fuel, and Interior Layout considerations. Taking into account the limits imposed by the navigation the maximum width available will be 7ft, with a maximum length of 60ft
In terms of style, in this context it refers to the rear of the craft. There are three main options or types, along with their meirts in relatioin to a live-aboard boat…
|Cruiser Stern||Traditional Stern||Semi-traditional Stern|
The cruiser stern is popular with holiday boats as it allows the enjoyment of the outdoor environment while on the move. The semi-traditional is really offering a variation on how to achieve this. In both cases the engine is below the cruiser deck, whereas in the traditional boat it takes up the first 8ft or 2mtrs of the first cabin (layout can vary). Given that the almost all boats have a front 'well' that allows outdoor socialing the need for a further section at the rear is reduced on a live-aboard craft. Furthermore, if socialising is the order of the day and an external locaion is required the towpath can usually support this or the boat moved to a location that can. This does not address 'socailising on the move'. On a traditional boat, this is possible but only for pilot and one other usually, unless sitting on the roof or standing at the sides is used. Again for a live-aboard this is usually seen as a lesser issue, especially if the boat is home for one or two.
In terms of the proposed craft the traditional style will be used principally for the additional capacity this format allows which will be relevant in terms of the Propulsion and fuel, and Interior Layout considerations.
In determining the length of the craft it is usual to consider the overall length and not just the cabin area. Usualy the biggest craft possible is desired, however there are some constraints to this, principaly related to the environment in which the craft will operate. This route avaiablity based on craft length is especially well illustrated in Waterways World, and reproduced below...
The frist map shows the waterways available to a 60ft boat, dashed is off limits as is green, red can be undertaken with care.
62ft map below shows how the routes are significantly reduced, dashed is off limits as is green, red can be undertaken with care.
At 70ft, you lose the L&L, and any journey between Yorkshire and the south requires a difficult tidal passage around Trent Falls, dashed is off limits as is green, red can be undertaken with care.
The following map (available here) indicate the significance of a boats width. The lines in purple indicate canals with a width limit of ~7ft from which it can be seen that the UK is broken into 2 or 3 distinct navigable areas.
Taking into account the limits imposed by the navigation the maximum width available will be 7ft, with a maximum length of 60ft