Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

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Paul Willis
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Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby Paul Willis » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:34 pm

Whilst browsing a few topics on modelling, I came across a link to this website.

It is intended mostly for wargaming, but I was fascinated by the variety of boats - particularly the abandoned and half sunken ones. As someone who grew up in the Black Country in the eighties, it seemed like you couldn't go anywhere without seeing a wrecked barge mouldering away...

https://anyscalemodels.com/shop/railways/1-2-submerged-canal-narrow-boat.html

The full site is https://anyscalemodels.com/shop/railways/boats.html The quality isn't Finneyesque, but they seem perfectly serviceable for the price, andcould respond well to some detailing.

Cheers
Paul
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Philip Hall
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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby Philip Hall » Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:32 am

Thanks for the pointer, Paul, this has all sorts of stuff that could be useful and which I at least had no idea existed. And the prices are extremely reasonable.

Philip

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kelly
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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby kelly » Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:22 am

Excellent find. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to bookmark that page, as some of those items might well prove useful for when I manage to find some time to work on the layout, which like a lot of things got put on the back burner for most of this year due to lack of time.
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Guy Rixon
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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby Guy Rixon » Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:22 am

Very nice. The craft all look modernish to me, so one should be careful of period.

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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby martin goodall » Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:41 am

Just took a look at this website.

Not just boats, but also canalside and dockside structural items and fittings.

Could be useful for anyone building a canalside / riverside / dockside scene, not to mention the vessels and their fittings.

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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:32 pm

Guy Rixon wrote:Very nice. The craft all look modernish to me, so one should be careful of period.


None of the narrow boats look modern, they are all trading boats rather than pleasure boats but they are all short, 50 or 60 ft when they should be 70ft. Cut and splice should make 4 out 0f 5 or thereabouts.
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Tim V
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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby Tim V » Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:04 pm

Not quite correct there, depends on the canal. The Ripon canal (for example) had maximum dimensions of 57'x14'3". There was no 'standard gauge' for canals!
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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:47 pm

Indeed broad canals often had shorter lengths and a few narrow boats were built to use them, but a very small minority of narrow boats since it reduced the cargo capacity. I'm not aware of any short narrow canals, and it was narrow boats I mentioned.
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Guy Rixon
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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby Guy Rixon » Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:53 pm

The broader barges in the catalogue have steel hulls. To me, this suggests that they are post-WW1 and therefore "modernish" to my pre-grouping eye. Similarly, the fishing boats seem to be the kind with internal-combustion engines (MFV = Motor Fishing Vessel?), and I don't know when that type became common in the UK.

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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby billbedford » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:55 am

I think that some steel barges would have been built before WW1, but not very many.

As for fishing boats, before WW1 most would have been built to traditional, local designs and you would need something like this as a reference.

Between the wars, boats increasingly acquired motors, deckhouses and sometimes, where appropriate, decks.

The MFVs were originally an admiralty design from WW2. They were subsequently copied and adapted by commercial builders later.
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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby david_g » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:21 pm

The problem with the canal boat models is that they bear little resemblance to any actual canal boat. Most model canal boats and canal scenes I've seen on model railways make me wince (I've worked on and owned ex-carrying boats for most of my adult life). There are, of course, honourable exceptions.

As Keith says, short cargo carrying narrow boats were a rare beast, the owners/skippers would always want to maximise the cargo capacity so boats were built to the maximum length of the locks they would expect to trade through - 71'6" in the case of Barrow(mine) and similar ex Grand Union Canal Carrying Co. boats. The only short carrying narrow boats I can think of without recourse to the bookshelf were built to trade on the Huddersfield Canal and adjoining Sir John Ramsden's Canal/Calder & Hebble Navigation, the former having nominally 70'x7' locks and the latter two 57'6"x14'. Shorter narrow boats were usually maintenance craft. If authentic Black Country is your thing Paul, you could go for a half sunk 'ampton boat which went up to 80' long and well over 7' wide; there was a sunken example at the Black Country Museum which I believe is still there.

The shape of the boat and cabin suggest a wooden BCN day boat - sunken examples of these and their iron/steel(rarer) brethren used to be all over the Black Country canals - but one with a cratch (the triangular structure at the fore end of the hold) would be a rare beast, these were usually found on long distance carrying boats along with the mast, stands and planks which ran aft. Though there are plenty of examples with cabins, at a guess (from looking at photos) most BCN day boats didn't have a cabin. The floating versions lack beams and/or chains which fit between the gunwhales and either prevent water pressure pushing the sides in or loose cargo pushing the sides out depending on the load.

I could go on but I would recommend a look at Allan Sibley's survey in MRJ 16 which is a decent article and has some bostin' (to use the Black Country term) photos.

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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby kelly » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:29 pm

It should be remembered that they're primarily aimed at wargamers, it is just fortunate that they off stuff in a railway friendly scale.
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Paul Willis
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Re: Boats. Of all shapes and sizes...

Postby Paul Willis » Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:16 am

david_g wrote:The shape of the boat and cabin suggest a wooden BCN day boat - sunken examples of these and their iron/steel(rarer) brethren used to be all over the Black Country canals - but one with a cratch (the triangular structure at the fore end of the hold) would be a rare beast, these were usually found on long distance carrying boats along with the mast, stands and planks which ran aft. Though there are plenty of examples with cabins, at a guess (from looking at photos) most BCN day boats didn't have a cabin. The floating versions lack beams and/or chains which fit between the gunwhales and either prevent water pressure pushing the sides in or loose cargo pushing the sides out depending on the load.

I could go on but I would recommend a look at Allan Sibley's survey in MRJ 16 which is a decent article and has some bostin' (to use the Black Country term) photos.


I have very few books on canals - it being a reminiscence, rather than an interest or hobby. This is the key one of where I grew up though. My parents' house was (and still is) roughly equidistant between the Dudley No.2, the Casuseway Green branch, and Netherton tunnel (which I cycled through many times with friends whilst we were exploring. This has lots of photos of where I knew:

Scan_20201217.jpg


And these were the typical sights that I had at the time. Not much sign of "canal renaissance" and gaily painted brassware back in the Eighties...

Scan_20201217 (3).jpg


Scan_20201217 (2).jpg


As ever with hindsight, I wish I'd paid more attention at the time...

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Paul
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