Beauty is in the Detail


“The boat is top of the range and the team at Aqua Narrowboats are friendly and supportive”

R J Betts

Your Bespoke Narrowboat or Canal Boat Build

As reputable canal boat & narrowboat builders , we support your boat build with:

  •  Innovative design and planning service where your ideas count
  •  Transparent boat build contract with staged payments of 10%, 35%, 35% 15% & 5%
  • Clear timeframe: hull build 6 weeks, internal fitout 12 weeks (dependant on the size and complexity of fit out), painting 4 weeks
  • Collaborative consultations, meetings and photo updates
  • Feel part of our skilled boat building team
  • Beautiful and high quality carpentry & engineering finish
  • 25% discount with Aqua Furnishings
  • Excellent after sales service – Fully RCD compliant with landlord gas certificate & boat safety certificate, 12 months warranty on parts and 1 engine service

How can I finance my boat build?

Many people finance a boat build due to a windfall via retirement, redundancy or inheritance. If you are not lucky enough to have the available finances, the next option may be to remortgage your property and approach your current lenders.

How do I pay for my boat build?

We operate a boat building contract with staged payments of 10%, 35%, 35% 15% and 5% on completion. At each of these staged payments you will be able to see the boat and discuss your boat build with our team, to reach the next stage. We require a £1,500 deposit to secure your boat building slot.

What if I can’t arrange to visit the boat yard at each stage?

This isn’t a problem as we post the ongoing progress of your build on our Facebook site which is updated regularly so you can view online at

How do I calculate the cost of my boat build?

We have an easy to calculate system of a price per boat plus optional extras. We will provide a quote and decide all your design requirements before the boat build starts so you are clear the exact payments at each stage and the total cost. You can decide to add optional extras at a later stage and any additional costs, not originally quoted for, will be added to the next staged payment.

Do you only build 50ft, 57ft and 60ft boats?

No, we can build any length boat over 50ft, these boat sizes have been priced as they are the most popular size of boats in the market.

Do you build widebeam canal boats?

Yes we are a narrowboat & canal boat builders, so we can provide a quote for a widebeam and build these too as we

How do you let me know what is happening with my boat build – I would like to feel in control of the process?

As mentioned above, we keep our Facebook page up to date so you are aware of the progress of your boat build. You will have decided the design and layout at the start of the boat build and signed the boat build contract. In addition you will have four or five design meetings with the Managing Director to ensure you are happy with the progress and to make any further decisions required at each stage. You are of course welcome to make further liaison via emails and phone calls. Following the boat build, we will keep you up to date with regular e-newsletters.

Can you provide any references?

Yes, we are happy to provide further references from our very happy customers, please get in touch for further information.

What other assurances can you offer?

We ensure all our staff have continual professional development. We primarily use British products and services of the best quality. We provide an excellent after sales service, with a free engine services and warranty on your parts for 1 or 2 years depending on the part. Once your boat is completed you will take it on a snagging trip and any ‘snag’ that you identify is resolved as soon as possible.

Do you offer support with the boat design?

Yes, you will have a team of experts to offer help and advice, with a wealth of experience in boat design and fit-outs, however it is ultimately your dream and we are committed to meet your requirements.

How long does your boat build take?

There is usually a lead time of about two or three months for the hull manufacture, once the hull arrives at our workshop the carpentry and engineering fit-out takes another 12 weeks and the boat painting takes another 3-4 weeks. In total you will need to allow at least 24 weeks from start to finish, so we would suggest that planning starts 12 months in advance as we usually have a 12 month lead time for a boat build due to demand.

Can I choose any hull?

Yes, we most frequently use Colecraft Hulls, but we will work with the hull of your choice. If you need further advice regarding hull manufacturers please get in touch.

I am really interested in buying a boat, what to do next?

The first thing to do is make sure you have the finances available. Next, we would recommend visiting a few boat shows such as the Crick Boat Show and the IWA Boat Show. See as many boat designs as possible to build up an idea of what you like and what you dislike – view our gallery to help you decide. We usually attend the Crick Boat Show & hold one Open Day annually at our new purpose built premises in Foston, you are most welcome to visit & look at the quality of our work. If you are interested in a boat build by Aqua Narrowboats then we will arrange for you to visit our workshop so you can see the quality of all our work and the professional management of your boat build. We will discuss the specification of your design and provide a quote based on your specification, plus the next available timeslots. If you are happy then a £1,500 deposit is required to secure your boat building slot and we continue to liaise until the boat build is complete.

Where can I moor the boat?

There are many moorings available, most marinas will have moorings and Canal & River Trust also have linear moorings along the banks of the canal. Mercia Marina, our base, will be more than happy to discuss a mooring with you and it has some excellent facilities.

What about after-sales service?

All new boat sales come with a 12 month warranty on parts; we also offer a free engine service within 12 months, and resolve any problems following your ‘snagging trip’. We have a boat maintenance and repairs team so should you wish to make alterations in the future or need your boat blacked after a couple of years we are happy to help.

narrowboat builders

Price List of a Bespoke Narrowboat

Our bespoke narrowboat price list gives you an easy to calculate formula, listing all the specification included within the standard price and optional extras that you may want to include allowing you to develop your own design within your budget. The layout is your choice and our design and planning service will help you create the boat of your dreams.  Standard narrowboat prices (inc VAT) effective from 1st March 2020 are as follows:

narrowboat & canal boat builders
narrowboat & canal boat builders
narrowboat & canal boat builders
narrowboat & canal boat builders

Aqua Narrowboats offers you a bespoke boat building service.  The Aqua range includes all items listed as ‘standard’, to make your canal boat truly bespoke you can add ‘optional extras’, at an additional cost, to your build quote and we will design the layout of your choice.


  • Cruiser stern built by Colecraft Engineering renowned builder of British hulls.
  • 10mm base plate, 6mm hull sides and 4mm cabin roof.
  • 50mm rubbing strakes continuously welded top and bottom.
  • Centre rope ring.
  • Integral finger rail.
  • Integral fender eyes.
  • Self-draining front and rear deck.
  • Steel stable-type front doors and complete with windows and oak lining.
  • Steel rear doors and hatch on brass runners.
  • Pair of steel side doors location chosen by customer.
  • Stainless steel water tank.
  • Vented gas locker complete with gas bottle.
  • Pole and plank rack.
  • Integral diesel tank with locking cap.
  • 4 anodes.
  • Quick release Weedhatch.
  • Quality sprayfoam insulation by Websters.
  • Choice of 4 chrome or brass mushroom vents.
  • Choice of window locations, finishes and type, standard Drop Back Vent or Portholes.
  • Single colour paint finish with coachlines.
  • Non-slip gunnels, cabin roof and front/reardecks.


  • Beta 38hp (43hp on 60ft) engine with PRM 120 gearbox and standard control panel.
  • Steel battery tray complete with 3 domestic 110amp batteries and 1 starter battery.
  • Automatic bilge pump in stern.
  • Traditional stern greaser.
  • Uniflex coupling with 11/2 propeller shaft.


  • 12v circuits and distribution panel c/w breakers.
  • 240v ring main complete with 1600VA/70A Victron Multiplus Inverter/ charger and RCD.
  • Immersion heater connected to Calorifier.
  • Shore power socket.
  • Halogen downlighters throughout.


  • Oak lining with solid oak trims.
  • One partition door positioned as required by the customer.
  • Fire safety kit including three fire extinguishers, fire blanket and fire alarm.
  • Choice of chrome or brass door furniture finishes.
  • Carpets to saloon, bedroom and passage ways. Vinyl flooring and laminate flooring to bathroom and galley.
  • Webasto central heating system complete with four radiators and towel radiator.


The location and layout options of the galley can be chosen by the customer.

  • 4m of base cabinets complete with laminate worktop and upstand, stainless steel sink and taps with the addition of a separate filtered drinking water faucet.
  • 240v fridge with ice box.
  • Choice of cooker or separate hob and over.
  • 2 double sockets above work surface and 1 under the fridge


The location and the layout of the bathroom can be chosen by the customer. Although consideration will need to be given to services such as plumbing and waste outlets.

  • 800mm Quadrant cubicle complete with waterproof surround, chrome pivot door and thermostatic shower.
  • Sink unit with storage under.
  • Storage cupboard adjacent to shower cubicle.
  • Large wall mirror.
  • Thetford cassette toilet.
  • Extraction fan with light.
  • Vinyl tile flooring.


The location of the saloon can be chosen by the customer. The area is designed for free standing furniture but options are available for either a fixed L shape or Pullman style dinettes.

  • TV Cabinet – choice of either corner cabinet or slim-line under gunnel cabinet both complete with aerial socket.
  • Two 240v double power sockets.
  • Choice of either sweeping access stairs with wardrobe or standard access steps.
  • If steps chosen an additional wardrobe of the same size can be provided elsewhere.


The location of the bedroom and style (walkthrough or separate) can be determined by the customer as can the location of the wardrobe. Additional drawers or cupboard space and extending bed at additional cost.

  • 4Ft x 6ft 3inch bed with 8” deep luxury mattress complete with drawers under (drawers not included if macerator toilet option chosen).
  • Large 2ft wide, floor to ceiling wardrobe with a choice of shelving or hanging space.
  • Shelf over bed.
  • One double 240v socket.


  • Semi Trad stern c/w lockers.
  • Semi-cruiser stern c/w stable doors.
  • Bow lockers.
  • Vetus 55 electric bow thruster c/w battery and control panel.
  • Brass/ Chrome navigation lights.
  • Extra pair of side doors c/w windows.
  • Windows to existing side doors.
  • Glazed cratch and canvas cover.
  • 3 colour paint scheme.
  • Pigeon box lined in solid oak/ ash c/w portholes.


  • Upgrade to hydraulic PRM 150 gearbox.
  • Upgrade engine to Beta 43 with PRM 150 (INC on 60ft).
  • Upgrade to deluxe control panel c/w gauges for battery voltage, oil pressure and temperature.
  • Hospital silencer for quieter cruising.


  • Upgrade Inverter to Victron 3000Va / 120A inverter/ charger.
  • Galvanic isolator with gauge.
  • Victron Galvanic Isolation Transformer.
  • Auto seeking satellite system complete. (Includes Oyster Caro and a flat mounting plate built into a cabin roof during fabrication of shell)
  • Victron 602 battery monitor.
  • Remote control RGB LED lighting under gunnels.
  • Solar Panel Systems.


  • Additional partition door.
  • Hardwood flooring.
  • Painted internal cabin roof and side panels.
  • Solid oak tongue and groove under gunnel in saloon.
  • Upgrade to 5 designer radiators.
  • Thick oak partition foors with frosted glass tops.


  • Bulkhead or wall cupboard.
  • Granite or wood worktop dependent on layout from.
  • Integrated 240v freezer A+ rated (if space allows).
  • Upgrade standard 240v fridge to integrated.
  • Compact 6kg washing machine.


  • Deluxe macerator toilet to remote stainless steel tank, c/w toilet, tank, control panel, sensor, pipes and Brass / chrome pump out fitting.
  • Upgrade cassette toilet to cassette with ceramic bowl
  • Upgrade to large 900mm Quadrant cubicle.


  • L shaped or 4 seat Pullman style dinette. Includes upholstery, table and Desmo legs.
  • Pullman dinette to seat 6 c/w pullout seats and upholstery.
  • Solid fuel stove with tile surround installed to new BS regs.
  • Corner diesel stove.


  • King size cross bed c/w luxury mattress.
  • Arched wall cabinets above bed.
  • Additional cupboards/ cabinets/ wardrobes charged according to time and materials involved.
narrowboat builders

Ordering your canal boat

If you are interested in buying a new canal boat from Aqua Narrowboats then get in touch with us to discuss your ideas and we will show you our latest bespoke narrowboats, workshop and provide you with a quote for your narrowboat sale. If you are happy and would like to progress, a £1500 deposit is required to secure your narrowboat build slot.

We use a standard narrowboat building contract with staged payments, depending on the work completed, of 10%, 35%, 35% 15% and 5%.

May 2020:
Booked – Private bespoke 57ft narrowboat

July 2020:
Booked – Private bespoke 60ft narrowboat

September 2020:
Booked – Private bespoke 60ft narrowboat

January 2021:
Booked – Private bespoke 60ft narrowboat

March 2021:
Booked – Private bespoke 60ft narrowboat

May 2021:
x1 – Currently available
Late July 2021:
x1 – Currently available

September 2021:
x1 – Currently available

November 2021:
Booked – 58ft Sponsored hire boat

March 2022:
Booked – Private bespoke 70ft narrowboat
May 2022:
x1 – Currently available

Narrowboat Design Tips

Top tips to remember:


  • A full central heating system is provided in our standard price, therefore, whilst designing the layout think about the location of the radiators. On a 57ft boat we’ll normally install five radiators.
  • A cratch board and cover provides a covered outdoor space over the front deck – ideal for relaxing with a glass of wine in Spring and Autumn evenings, or hanging wet coats and dirty boots!
  • Most ‘double’ beds run the length ways along the boat and tend to be 4 feet wide. If you’re looking for more elbow room think about a bed extension or for maximum use of space consider a king size ‘cross’ bed (a bed that is situated across the width of the boat and that when folded down covers the walkway).
narrowboat builders Aqua Narrowboats


For customers thinking of living on board we’d normally recommend the installation of double glazing, reducing the issue of condensation during the winter months.

Carpet or Wood?

Both have pros and cons. Although more luxurious, carpet can quickly become worn as foot traffic is concentrated on smaller walkways through the boat. Wood is a practical alternative although still requires maintenance and can become slippery when wet. For hard wearing areas such as the bathroom and galley we can install quality vinyl products such as Amtico.

Toilet talk…

Included in the standard price is a cassette toilet. If you’re thinking of having a domestic style macerator toilet then the remote pump tank is normally hidden under a bed, ideally the toilet needs to be located as close as possible to the tank.

hitech2Hi Tech?

If you’re thinking of including all the mod cons such as a washing machine, freezer, satellite and plasma TV’s then think power – particularly if you want to spend time on the canal system and not plugged into the mains in a marina. The more power needed on board, the more time you’ll need to spend charging the battery bank. If you can’t live without all the modern conveniences of modern life then think about an in board generator. Another option to boost your power supply are solar panels, we supply and fit the curved solar panels which look very smart.

Looking for something different?

…and can’t find it on our option list then get in touch and we’ll try our very best to help you.

And finally prioritise

We understand that most of our customers are working to a budget so remember to think carefully about what you really need on board and what you intend to use the boat for. Our fitout quality is exceptional regardless of optional extras.

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats
Narrowboat Builders Aqua Narrowboats
narrowboat builders

Press Reviews

Click on the articles below to read press reviews of bepoke narrowboats built by Aqua Narrowboats:

narrowboat builders

Narrowboat All You Need Is Love
Completed Oct 2016
Reviewed by Waterways World Magazine

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

Narrowboat Dolly Blue
Completed Dec 2015
Reviewed by Canal Boat Magazine

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

Narrowboat Inkling
Completed Oct 2014
Reviewed by Waterways World Magazine

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

Narrowboat Betty B
Completed Dec 2012
Reviewed by Waterways World Magazine