Narrowboats and Barges main image

Narrowboats and barges make up a large part of Crispin Marine’s private and pleasure work. Pete Crispin is well respected in the London area for his knowledge of the different craft types, their construction, the potential problems, their cause and repair. We understand the used market and the premiums that some moorings attract as well as the needs of the constant cruiser.

Over the years, there have been hundreds of narrowboat and barge builders all over Europe. Some specialist builders made only one or two boats while other builders produced them almost on a production line basis. Early vessels are over 100 years old and different owners have often each made their own changes. Some vessels are made of iron, some of steel, some are riveted and some are welded… some are a mix of all four and can be particularly challenging.


Pete Crispin started restoring and maintaining vintage canal and river boats as a teenager and learned from many of the now long-retired surveyors and experts in this field before setting up his surveying practice some years later. These vessels are a specialist area and it’s important to choose a surveyor who is experienced with the design, build methods and the problems that can arise.

A survey makes sure you know what you are buying and helps you avoid a boat that needs expensive re-plating or stern gear work without you being aware. Crispin Marine will put your mind at rest with a pre-purchase survey before you buy, a damage inspection when an accident occurs or as a supervisor of repairs when you need works done by a yard. We can adapt any survey to suit you but the most common types are detailed here.

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