New Bespoke Narrowboats

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
  • A warm welcome to our own purpose built premises in Derbyshire
  • Beautiful, high quality crafted woodwork by our team of talented carpenters. Marine engineering with attention to detail and also a thought for future maintenance access.
  • A team fully conversant with new technology. As well as standard diesel propulsion we offer Hybrid narrowboats that are gas free and powered by Lithium or Carbon Lead batteries.
  • Hulls grit blasted and cabin tops two pack gloss spray painted as standard. Two pack hull blacking as an option.
  • Facebook photo album page to allow you to catch up on your build remotely
  • Transparent boat build contract with staged payments of 10%, 5%, 30%, 35%, 15% & 5%
  • Clear timeframe: Hull build, steel blasting & two pack painting 10 weeks, internal fit out 14 weeks (depending on length & complexity)
  • Collaborative consultations, meetings and photo updates
  • Feel part of our skilled boat building team
  • 25% discount with Aqua Furnishings
  • Excellent after sales service – Fully RCR compliant with landlord gas certificate & boat safety certificate, 12 months warranty on parts & labour plus ongoing telephone and email support
narrowboat builders

No. 50: GILBERT (2022)

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%, 5%, 30%, 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 £3000 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 page which is updated regularly so you can view the progress online here –

How do I calculate the cost of my boat build?

Just fill out our ‘Request a Quote’ form here with all the required details and we’ll provide you with a full and detailed quotation. Each option you’ve requested is highlighted and priced individually so you’ll  receive a full and itemised quote with no hidden costs or just one large lump sum that is difficult to understand what you’re paying for.. The quotation stays on file so you can come back to us if you need to alter any options etc. If you decide to go ahead with a build we’ll then go through the quote at our design meeting nearer to the build date – so there is ample opportunity to discuss ideas and change the quote again before anything is signed or committed too.  During the build if you decide to add or remove any options then these will be calculated and added at the end stage build payment. However, in the unusual circumstance of you adding an option that is of very high value during the build, we may need to add this to a stage payment sooner than the end stage payment.

Do you only build 57ft, 60ft and 65ft 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 bespoke narrowboat and widebeam canal boat builder so provide a price for either.

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 best quality. All our boats meet and are tested to the necessary Recreational Craft Regulations (RCR) and will be UKCA marked with full documentation and manuals provided. We also ask a Marine Boat Safety Examiner to inspect and issue an additional Boat Safety Certificate and a landlord gas certificate (if gas is installed). Our new narrowboats are warranted for one year (some parts will be warranted by the manufacturer for longer) however we provide excellent after sales and ongoing support to all our customers – so if you need advice or support after the warranty period we are happy to help via telephone or email, or indeed by popping in at The Boat House (although it’s best to call ahead to make sure the appropriate member of staff is working). As well as our normal liability insurance we also have Builders Risk insurance which covers the loss of a boat in build should our premises catch fire etc.. and you’ll also be fully covered when you first take the boat out on a snagging cruise. However we also recommend you start your own insurance policy as soon as the boat is launched.

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 a hull builder myself?

We don’t offer fitout services on a customer’s own shell  – we only offer a full complete bespoke boat building service from steel work to completion. However we do work with various hull builders including Colecraft, X R and D boat builders and Jonathan Wilson Narrowboats.

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. See as many boat designs as possible to build up an idea of what you like and what you dislike – view our Boat Build Gallery or our Facebook album page here. 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 bespoke narrowboat build by Aqua Narrowboats then we will arrange an individual visit to The Boat House where you can discuss your new narrowboat and take a closer look at the work we produce. We will discuss the specification (if you haven’t already received one), plus the next available timeslots. Most customers will be visiting a number of narrowboat builders to decide who is the right fit for them and therefore have some time to look over the quote and think about the service that we offer. If you decide to choose Aqua Narrowboats then we ask for a £3000 slot reservation fee – this isn’t refundable but is deducted from the first stage payment.

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. Barton Turns Marina (our hire fleet base) will be more than happy to discuss a mooring with you and it has some excellent facilities.

What about after-sales service?

Our new narrowboats are warranted for one year (some parts will be warranted by the manufacturer for longer) however we provide excellent after sales and ongoing to support to all our customers – so if you need advice or support after the warranty period we are happy to help via telephone or email, or indeed by popping in at The Boat House (although it’s best to call ahead to make sure the appropriate member of staff is working).

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 (including VAT) effective from September 2022 for available 2024 build slots (allowing for annual price increases and current inflation). Due to the current price volatility of raw materials these costs are subject to change at late notice therefore please contact us for the latest up to date prices.

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 x2.
  • 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.
  • One 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 5 chrome or brass mushroom vents.
  • Choice of  single glazed window locations, finishes and type, standard Drop Back Vent or Portholes.
  • Steelwork Blasted & Single colour two pack spray paint finish with coachlines.
  • Non-slip gunnels, cabin roof and front/reardecks.
  • Blue Engineering Brick Ballast for reduced moisture absorption. Our quality starts from the bottom up.
  • 24mm Superior Latvian Birch WBP Plywood Sub Flooring.


  • Beta 38hp (43hp on 60ft) engine with PRM 120 gearbox and standard control panel.
  • Steel battery tray complete with 4 domestic 110amp batteries and 1 starter battery.
  • Automatic bilge pump in stern and another in the cabin.
  • Traditional stern greaser.
  • Centaflex 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.
  • LED downlighters throughout.
  • Engine Bay & Cabin Auto Bilge Pumps.


  • Oak or Ash lining with solid Oak/Ash trims.
  • Two Solid Oak partition doors with glass tops 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 three 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.
  • Integrated Bosch/Neff/Siemens 240v fridge with/without 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 with auto lights on doors.
  • Shelf over bed.
  • One double 240v socket.
  • Cubby Hole with glass base and usb sockets.


  • Semi Trad stern c/w lockers.
  • Semi-cruiser stern c/w stable doors.
  • Bow lockers.
  • Vetus 60kgf or bigger electric bow thruster c/w battery and control panel. (brushless or non brushless)
  • 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 or Houdini hatch lined in solid oak/ ash c/w portholes.
  • Double Glazing
  • Front bulkhead windows
  • Outside deck lights
  • Steel work to allow tow ball mounting for bike rack
  • Flexiteek decking


  • Upgrade to hydraulic PRM 150 gearbox.
  • Upgrade engine to Beta 43 with PRM 150 (INC on 60ft).
  • Hybrid or electric drive systems
  • Dometic Travel Power on Engine provided direct 230v on board.
  • 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 or larger for gas free boats.
  • Lithium Batteries (We only use Victron or Mastervolt systems).
  • Lead Carbon Batteries.
  • Victron Galvanic Isolation Transformer.
  • Victron Cerbo & Touch Screen (can be connected to customers on board wifi) for remote monitoring
  • Auto seeking satellite system complete. (Includes Oyster Caro and a flat mounting plate built into a cabin roof during fabrication of shell)
  • Victron 702 battery monitor.
  • Remote control RGB LED lighting under gunnels.
  • Solar Panel Systems.
  • Gauges Pack for Water & Diesel Levels.


  • Additional partition door.
  • Sliding doors into pocket bulkhead
  • Hardwood flooring.
  • Painted internal cabin roof and side panels.
  • Solid oak tongue and groove under gunnel in saloon.
  • Solid Oak side shutters to glazed side doors.
  • Upgrade to designer radiators.
  • Solid fuel or Diesel stove.
  • Blinds & Outdoor Cushions supplied by Aqua Furnishing  with 25% discount.


  • Bulkhead or wall cupboard.
  • Granite or wood worktop dependent on layout from.
  • Integrated 240v freezer A+ rated (if space allows).
  • Integrated washing machine.
  • Integrated dishwasher.
  • Floor lockers for veg and/or wine.


  • 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.
  • Composting toilet (Owners need to be aware of CRT waste disposal rules)
  • Upgrade to large 900mm Quadrant cubicle.
  • Recessed shower taps.
  • Auto nightlight for midnight trips to the loo!


  • 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.
  • Electric Lifting Table – no more heavy table lifting and no more removing Desmo legs
  • Solid fuel stove with tile surround installed to new BS regs.
  • Corner or Refleks 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

No. 47: LILY PAD (2022)

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 £3000 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%, 5%, 30%, 35%, 15% and 5%.

Please note the slot date is when the steel shell arrives with us at The Boat House. Therefore the steelwork will have been started about two and a half months prior to these dates, and the contract signed approximately two months prior to steel work commencing.

March 2023:
Booked – Private bespoke 65ft Hybrid narrowboat
May 2023:
Booked – Private bespoke 57ft narrowboat

November 2023:
Booked – 58ft Sponsored hire boat
January 2024:
Booked – Private bespoke 57ft narrowboat
March 2024:
Booked – Private bespoke 69ft narrowboat 
May 2024:
Booked –
Private bespoke 57ft narrowboat
August 2024:
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

No. 49: MINIMUM WARP (2022)

bespoke galleyNo. 47: LILY PAD (2022) 


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.

lithium hybrid narrowboatNo. 45: WESTWOOD OAK (2021)

Hi 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

No. 41: ALBANNACH (2020)

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

No. 46: ASTRAEA (2021)

narrowboat builders

No. 42: PERFECT TIMING (2020)

Press Reviews

Click on an image below to read press reviews of bespoke narrowboats built by Aqua Narrowboats:

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

No. 45: WESTWOOD OAK (2021)
Reviewed by: Waterways World Magazine

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

No. 33: SHUFFLE HOP TOE (2018)
Reviewed by: Waterways World Magazine

narrowboat builders

No. 26: ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (2017)
Reviewed by: Waterways World Magazine

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

No. 22: DOLLY BLUE (2015)
Reviewed by: Canal Boat Magazine

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

No. 19: INKLING (2014)
Reviewed by: Waterways World Magazine

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

No. 12: THE BETTY B (2012)
Reviewed by: Waterways World Magazine

narrowboat builders Aqua narrowboats

HONESTY (2011)
Reviewed by: Canal Boat Magazine