Welcome to Bluewater Boats Ltd

Wide Beams

If you want more space than a narrowboat can provide, then you should consider a wide beam barge.

Wide beams are becoming an increasingly popular live-a-board option amongst many families and couples. 

Our wide beams share the same profile as our narrow boats up to 10ft wide, but with a beam of up to 14ft, the internal space dramatically develops offering a luxury living space of a penthouse apartment as standard.  With larger private cabins, full sized bathrooms and galley and a lounge/saloon space that many house owners would be envious of.

Our wide beams are available in a cruiser, semi trad and trad sterns replicating the style of our narrowboat sterns (please see ‘Narrowboats’ for explanation on sterns).  Also offered on our wide beam sterns is a square rounded stern, when choosing this design it allows for further deck area space to be utilised, providing an admirable area for table and chairs for entertaining in the evenings, and further engine room space.

Given that wide beams share so many similarities with narrow boats the vast majority of boat builders only offer wide beams with a flat bottom.  Although this gives slightly better stability, the penalty on such a wide barge is sluggishness and unresponsive handling,  We, however, offer a flat bottom with a chine, a chine will dramatically improve manoeuvrability and speed through the water.  A chine will also help mooring in shallower water more accessible. 

Over the last few years we have been developing our wide beam boats with minor adjustments to the cabin, free board and the draft.  We feel we have achieved this with no compromising, with tank space available under the floor saving room inside the cabin, enough free board to allow great vision for cruising and also allowing sufficient room for a 6.2 kva generator within the engine room.  With all the above adjustments completed we have managed to acquire 6ft 8” headroom internally and 5ft high front doors.

Although wide beams are restricted to the wider waterways this is however, compensated by the opportunity to cruise the continental waterways and Ireland. 

On our wide beams we offer hydraulic steering with a wheel at the stern as an alternative to a tiller.  Tiller steering on a wide beam can be extremely difficult to handle.  With wheel steering you can unleash the wheel and the wheel will stay in position, making the boat a lot more manageable if you are unaccompanied, whereas letting go of the tiller can be quite dangerous and you will be restricted to vision on the side you are steering.  A further drawback to tiller steering on a wide beam is you may also not be able to reach the engine control so if you are heading into difficulty and are unable to stop quickly you could cause damage to your or someone else’s boat.