A Man & His Boats…

APART from his legendary forays into the world of live comedy and spirit essences, Keith Emms is the designer and creator of the Canal Boat.

The Dream

To be able to travel the worlds rivers, lakes and canals in a water caravan

The Application

Utilising shipping containers, or in actual fact the basic floor and ends…..called a flat rack…as an affordable means of transport between continents. The English narrow boat was the chosen platform. Loaded on board a truck no permits are required anywhere on the globe. From here on the difference between the conventional European design and this canal traveller is considerable.

Starting with the material used to obtain lightness (Vessel less than 5 tonne  at 13 metres) A composite of hexagonal polypropylene honeycomb (hexacor.com) sandwiched with woven fibreglass is the hull skin. The frame is a monocoque of aluminium round  and square tubes. Marine ply is used in conjunction with alloy for bulkheads and flooring.

Draft with the outboards up or partly up is 300mm. This allows a whole lot of options for cruising anchorage and berthing. The underwater drawing is from a naval architect and reflects in the handling, it spins very easy for this type of boat.

The boat can carry over1500 litres of water, in 2 built in tanks and bladders, this leaves a very stable boat with a high ballast ratio and lots of water for showers and separate fresh water for the head. Insulation is very good both thermal and acoustic. The engines are Yamaha’s small work horses, 2 X  25 hp of heavy build for pontoon /houseboat use. A lot of the gear being off the 60 hp. Top speed was over 10 knots on the GPS.