The future of luxury narrowboating


 
 

PAST

 

Originating in the 18th century, narrow boats were built for transporting heavy goods along narrow canals. Made of wood, they were drawn by horse along the tow path of canals during the Industrial Revolution.

 

PRESENT

 

To navigate the canals today, narrowboats require a maximum width of 6 feet 10 inches and are up to 70 feet in length. The design of these boats has changed little over the years and a decor of traditional painted folk art survives. 

Horses have been replaced with diesel engines and modern narrow boats are used for recreational boating or as a permanent residence along the 2,200 miles of canal networks throughout the UK.

 

FUTURE

 

WHEN

It’s the year 2015. The narrow boat lounge experience is the first private luxury boating service to grace London’s canal network.

 

WHO

Sleek and modernised narrow boats appeal to the younger generation of London's elite with style, comfort and convenience. 

 

WHY

Perfect for short day trips, the network of serene canals is a unique way to discover some of London's best kept secrets away from the congested Thames commuter traffic. 

 

HOW

The existing narrow boat package is reworked to utilise indoor and outdoor space but still allowing passage through existing waterways and locks. 

 

London's skyline is rapidly changing communicating a new language for a modern cityscape. The challenge was to integrate this futuristic form with current narrow boat dimensions to create a luxury lounge concept.

 
 

INSPIRATION

 
 
 

IDEATION

 
 
 

DEVELOPMENT

 
 

CURRENT LAYOUT

 

Most narrow boats are residential but cruise boats also retain a traditional design with a small outside deck. Draft angles, wood cabins, small windows, hinged doors and separated living areas make the interiors dark and crowded. The majority feature a steel hull, diesel engines and single lever control using a tiller to steer.

 
 

PROPOSED LAYOUT

 

An open plan interior layout with large windows, sliding doors, light wood and reflective surfaces will create the feeling of light and space. The exterior features a lightweight fiberglass hull, electric propulsion motor, and modern steering from the rear deck. A private charter lounge boat service will increase canal side business and a large front deck allows a more social boating lifestyle.

 

 
 
 
 

INTERIOR IDEATION

 

 

VISUALISATION