Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Friday, 3 February 2012

Those in favour of Tug decks, say Aye, those agin...

I received an Anonymous comment about tug decks on a previous post, see below.
"Still undecided about this type of front deck it looks like a waste of space but each to their own."
and thought I would post my response here.

Hi Anon

The  boat built by our boat fitter, Barnowl Narrowboats, immediately after our first boat Caxton, was a trad boat with a a Gardner engine and a tug deck.  Like you I couldn't understand the attraction or the purpose of such a boat but less than three years later we find ourselves  commissioning a similar boat!


Once we were out there on the cut, every time we saw a tug style boat it drew the eye, there is something about its lines and how it sits in the water and one of the first of these tugs we clapped eyes on was Nb Kyle owned by Brian Jarrett.  
Nb Kyle

We were moored at Bugsworth basin when Nb. Kyle arrived and the following day yet another tug arrived, Kevin Blick with his tug, Nb Star.    But apart from our obvious attraction to the lines of a tug we remained convinced that this type of boat was impracticable, especially for liveaboard continuous cruisers.
As time passes, Joe starts to like the idea of an internal engine room, I grow to appreciate the value and practicality of a traditional back cabin and WE start to think about boat number two.   

I want a tug, Joe thinks tugs are a waste of space; impasse reached.

The change of heart came when Joe agreed that he wanted the looks and lines of a tug but couldn't overcome his reservations about how we could make it work.    Lesley, that would be me, saw  a glimpse of light ..
We walked from stem to stern in Caxton and identified what things were essential to our roaming life on the cut and where they could be housed on a tug style boat... amazingly we identified homes for everything bar the home for dirty linen. (since rectified).  The reservations melted away and we started to draw up detailed plans on the back of discarded fag packets..a 58 footer or a 70 footer?
We worked out how we could afford to build another boat and pressed the GO button...
Yarwood went into build
Under that 'waste-of-space-tug-deck' is;
  • A 7.2 kva cocooned diesel generator
  • Central heating unit
  • Water tank
  • Dedicated diesel tank for genny and central heating
  • Bow thruster
  • Coal/wood store
And also under the tug deck but accessible from the saloon are:
  • Washing machine 
  • Tumble dryer
  • PC work station

We have yet to experience  living with a tug deck but we believe that we have made what is desirable to us, tug lines, as practical as possible for our needs.
Time will tell of course.


  1. been thinking about this and with the problem of bikes on the towpath these days, plenty of room on the deck for a bbq etc. so i am almost sold on the tug but all though its not a waste of space it just don"t look right to me. Different strokes and all that. Happy cruising

  2. Lesley,

    That is a really useful and informative post, thanks. I have to admit I had the same thoughts of practicality for a liveaboard but it seems you have used the space well. I also feel the boatman's cabin is a really useful snug/guest bedroom/temp store, separate space for couples for those times when distance is needed and all in all a nice place. Just need to find the boat that we can afford !

  3. Lesley, you forgot to mention the washing machine and dryer under the tug deck! Hope your shakedown cruise is progressing well and you haven't discovered to many things to be rectified. See you soon.
    Pip and Rog. xxx

  4. Waste of space I think not. Mine has waste tank, fresh water tank, washing machine, bow thruster, and plenty of dry clean storage space for big and small items


  5. Hi Anon
    Well that's fine, you like what you like and we like what we like - that's what makes the world go round isn't it?

  6. Hi Nev
    I am glad the post was useful. Our initial tug 'contact' with Brian on NB Kyle was informative as he is a CCer and liveaboard and has been so for years. We found a way of getting a tug to fit our requirements so don't dismiss tugs as non-runners in your search...
    Best of luck

  7. Hi Pip and Rog
    On your advice I have amended the post and listed the WM/Dryer and PC station. Thanks for pointing that out..
    See you next month

  8. Hi Meteor
    I think we are making the case for TUGS, yes??

  9. Just wait until you start boating with her and working locks etc. You will wonder how you ever managed with that tent on the front getting in the way. Although we don't live aboard we sleep in the BMC in a cross bed, bigger than a tradition one, but just behind the engine room and nice and warm.

  10. Just catching up here ... I, too, love the look of tug-style boats. I, too, wondered about the practicality of the design for living aboard/cruising ... until I looked round Warrior (formerly of Sarah and Jim) and saw where the bed was (under the tug deck).

    I look forward to reading Adam's review - no doubt you do too!

    1. Hi Halfie
      A lot of tugs use the space under the deck for a bed and we considered it....and then rejected that option. It obviously works for some but we felt that space in the hold/under the deck could be better used. See what you think when the article comes out but don't dismiss tugs when you come to buy your boat there is a lot to be said for loving the look of your boat!!


Your comments are welcome, I love to read them and I try to respond to each but regretfully I will no longer accept comments from Anonymous.