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New Boat

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New Boat
16 July, 2015 11:32
Hello everyone,

I'm currently expanding my collection of boats ( 2 canoes) to three as I'm fitting out a metal canal barge (42 by 8 feet) that I bought as a shell. The diesel engine is in place but needs 'commissioning' ie controls attahcing, battery attaching, exhaust fitting, bilge fitted etc.

I'm in Athboy, County Meath (boat on a trailer on my drive) with the hope of getting the boat in the Royal Canal this year. Does anyone recommend a good contact to do this? Can it be done out of the water ( on my drive) or does this type of thing need to be finished when its in the water? Any indication of cost?

Sorry if questions are stupid, this has been a steep learning curve

Any advice welcome

Re: New Boat
20 July, 2015 10:25
surely someone has some words of advice? Please?
Re: New Boat
20 July, 2015 16:33
Hi Andrew I am no expert but i would say most of those jobs could be done afloat ,but when the boat is on the hard it makes it twice as easy,I dont know anyone but a lot of that work you should give it a go yourself,with a little internet research and with some forum help. Good luck with the job
Re: New Boat
20 July, 2015 20:25

When you say the engine is "in place", is the shaft in and the engine lined up to the shaft or is the engine just sitting in the engine bay ? There is a certain skill required to line up the engine to the shaft and you might be advised to get professional help with that. Obviously if there is no shaft in the boat it would be important to get that fitted and attach the prop before you launch !

If you have all the bits and the appropriate provision has been made by the hull builder (like skin fittings installed and suitable mounting points installed for the controls and so on) I think a lot of that work would be within the scope of a DIY person. If you have to go welding or whatever, that might be a different story.
If you need to drill holes for skin fittings (like for cooling water intake) you'll need to do that, and install the skin fitting itself before you launch.

There's a bunch of marine mechanics and electricians listed on the website (see and some of them might be willing to make home visits.
You are probably going to have to engage the services of a surveyor at some point for insurance purposes so maybe find one early and get them to come and look at what has to be done and advise. They would probably be able to recommend suitable people to do the bits that you don't feel able to do.

There's a list here:

Another option is to try and make contact with some fellow boaters and ask one or two who have been involved in self-builds or conversions or the like to come and have a look.

The various IWAI branches are shown on the main website and you could contact whichever one suits and see could they suggest a few names.

I'd offer to come and have a look myself but I'm based in Galway !

Best Wishes,

GMY Chang Sha
Re: New Boat
22 July, 2015 12:29
Thanks for the advice so far;

The engine is in place and the shaft is lined up and in place. There are mounting points for controls but no skin fittings in place- presumably only the exhaust outlet , water for coolant in and an outlet for the bilge?

Many of the links on the IWAI now dont work and all the mechanics listed seem to be around the shannon, or specialise in yachts or outboards hence the enquiry about someone nearby.The IWAi branch for the Royal canal area is appranetly not active at the moment, hence the post where I was hoping to make contact with fellow boaters. Having spent some time canoeing the canal it seems they are few and far between.

I think a surveyor might be an option, but I dont think its necessary for insurance as its a new boat, but it might help guide me..

Re: New Boat
23 July, 2015 07:42
Hi Andrew,

IWAI Foigha-Keenagh is a very small branch, still in start up mode. You might do better contacting Dublin or Kildare Branches.

Normally the exhaust and bilge pump outlets would be above the water line so that could be done with the boat in the water.

It occurs to me that if the shell was built in England, they may have made provision for a skin cooling system that doesn't involve a raw water intake. That's a common enough system on the English canals.
They basically use a kind of thin tank welded into the side of the boat and feed the cooling water through that.

Older boats also have skin fittings for the sea toilet but I presume that if it's a new build you'll be going for some kind of holding tank.

There will also be skin fittings for the outfalls from the galley and bathroom sink and shower but again, these would normally be above the waterline.

Best Wishes,

GMY Chang Sha
Re: New Boat
23 July, 2015 22:23
Hi Andrew,

you can't go wrong with some Nigel Calder:

Re: New Boat
24 July, 2015 10:05
I have sent you a PM

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