Author Topic: UK narrow boat AKA river boat  (Read 277 times)

Offline playmofire

  • Klicky Firemeister
  • Playmo Guru
  • ******
  • Posts: 10705
  • Gender: Male
    • Copt Hewick Volunteer Fire Brigade - probably the world's smallest fire brigade!
Re: UK narrow boat AKA river boat
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2022, 15:21:17 »
“A riverboat is a watercraft designed for inland navigation on lakes, rivers, and artificial waterways”

So a “narrowboat” is a specific type of “riverboat”

Merriam-Webster - Definition of riverboat: a boat for use on a river

Cambridge English Dictionary - riverboat: a large passenger boat that travels up and down a river

Collins English Dictionary - A riverboat is a large boat that carries passengers along a river

and I could go on, but won't, other than to say that a narrowboat is specifically designed for use on a canal, and a narrow canal at that.

Only Wikipedia appears to have the very general definition you quote, Ras.

“Today well-lived makes every yesterday a day of happiness to remember and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

Offline GrahamB

  • Moderator
  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 3030
  • Gender: Male
    • Playmofanatic
Re: UK narrow boat AKA river boat
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2022, 17:12:01 »
Having owned a real narrowboat until quite recently, I would agree with playmofire that, at least in a British context, the term applies to boats on the canal system, some of which uses rivers to link canals, confusingly. For example, if you want to go from Bristol to Birmingham, one route is to travel down the River Avon, up the River Severn, along the Gloucester-Sharpness Ship canal to Gloucester, onto the River Severn again, up to Tewkesbury, then up the River Avon (a different one) to rejoin the canal system near Stratford. Or from Tewesbury, you can carry on up the River Severn to Stourport and get onto the canal system there. The rivers are often too dangerous to take a flat-bottomed narrow boat on, e.g. during the winter floods.

Narrowboats are sometimes called canal barges and (erroneously, unless you are a Viking) longboats. Some canals can accommodate wide-beam boats which aren't very narrow at all. Just to add to the confusion!
At that moment the ship suddenly stopped rocking and swaying, the engine pitch settled down to a gentle hum. 'Hey Ford.' said Zaphod, 'that sounds good. Have you worked out the controls on this boat?' 'No,' said Ford, 'I just stopped fiddling with them.' (With thanks to Douglas Adams)

Offline playmofire

  • Klicky Firemeister
  • Playmo Guru
  • ******
  • Posts: 10705
  • Gender: Male
    • Copt Hewick Volunteer Fire Brigade - probably the world's smallest fire brigade!
Re: UK narrow boat AKA river boat
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2022, 08:39:35 »
Yes, the canal system in the UK is confusing, especially when you throw in the Manchester Ship Canal which can take ocean going vessels.  The narrow boat canals were built that way with just the locks being two boats wide (or at least having a "parking" area either side for when a boat was in the lock) for cheapness, especially if the route was involved tunnels or cuttings.

A few years ago, I took Diane on a weekend away for a cruise and Sunday lunch on a steam train and even though the cruise was down the Manchester Ship Canal from Salford to Liverpool and back rather than a more exotic location and the Sunday lunch was on the East Lancashire Railway rather than, say, the Orient Express, it was a grand weekend.  The quantity and quality of wild life on and alongside the Ship Canal was surprising (six heronries, for example) as was the "industrial" scenery (the Ship Canal is crossed at one point by a swing bridge which itself carries a canal!), but we had the additional interest of watching an ocean going vessel being manoeuvred through the last lock on the canal into the River Mersey by a small tug and with about 30cm clearance either side.

The East Lancashire Railway is very scenic and there is an excellent transport museum opposite the Bury station, which is itself an Art Deco gem inside the booking hall.
“Today well-lived makes every yesterday a day of happiness to remember and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

Offline GrahamB

  • Moderator
  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 3030
  • Gender: Male
    • Playmofanatic
Re: UK narrow boat AKA river boat
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2022, 18:32:18 »
You definitely get the best British industrial heritage, 'Up North.' Mind you, "Murder on the East Lancashire Railway" was not a title which grabbed Agatha Christie's imagination, was it?
At that moment the ship suddenly stopped rocking and swaying, the engine pitch settled down to a gentle hum. 'Hey Ford.' said Zaphod, 'that sounds good. Have you worked out the controls on this boat?' 'No,' said Ford, 'I just stopped fiddling with them.' (With thanks to Douglas Adams)