|Shells & Sailaways
Shells & Sailaways 2018-04-11T06:09:27+00:00


When you purchase a narrowboat or widebeam shell/sailaway from The Fit Out Pontoon you’re not just buying a product, you’re buying a fully tailored service. As the only boat builder in the country to provide a complimentary design service we take great care in ensuring you’ve planned your canal boat project to the Nth degree, because we know your canal boat will only be as good as it’s design!

The Fit Out Pontoon know all too well that the decisions associated with buying a canal boat shell or sailaway can only be made with a detailed plan of the fully fitted boat and it’s internal layout. For example window, vent and hatch positions should absolutely compliment the internal layout, the sockets and switches need to be planned and positioned accordingly. Pipework and wiring runs need to be accomodated and thought through… Hopefully you get the idea! Below we’ll take you through our process in a little more detail.

Narrowboat & Widebeam Shells & Sailaways

Narrowboat & Widebeam Shells & Sailaways

  • A truely unique service designed to support you through the entire process
  • Benefit from our expertise and experience and avoid preventable mistakes
  • Protect your investment with our complimentary design service
  • With fully fitted plans you can start your build with confidence & reassurance
  • Supplying a complete range of narrowboats and 10ft, 11ft & 12ft widebeams
  • Shell, sailaway, sailway lined, sailaway additions or part fit options
  • Options for residential VAT exempt vessels over a certain size*
  • We openly share our dedicated suppliers to help you along with the fitout
  • British Marine Inland Boatbuilding Members



CALL 07553 960 177


In recent years there has been a huge growth in the shell only and sailaway market, partly down to people looking for a cost effective way to get on the boating ladder and secondly due to a surge in demand from those looking to put their own take on a canal boat interiors. Many shell and sailaway buyers are first time boat buyers, with little or, no knowledge of boats/boating. If you fall into either of these brackets you’ll quickly see when looking around and talking with boat builders the buying process for narrowboat or widebeam shells and sailaways is quite daunting, Boat Builders rely on your direction, you’ll need to understand all the options, evaluate which ones you’ll need, and as required where they’re to be positioned/installed. The secret to buying a canal boat shell or sailaway is planning, it’s how to avoid costly mistakes and steep, painful learning curves. The only way to make the decisions involved with a shell or sailaway is to plan the boat to a fully fitted stage and work backwards.

This is why The Fit Out Pontoon decided to revolutionise the buying process of narrowboat & widebeam shells/sailaways, combining a great product with a unique, tailored service devoted to planning customer boats up to a fully fitted stage. Originating as an independent canal boat design consultancy we’ve been directing boat builds day in, day out. We know all the options, which of these will best suit your needs, how they are installed and any associated considerations. Combine this with our industry leading design and illustration skills and we’re sure you’ll agree we’re positioned perfectly to plan, manage and build your canal boat shell or sailaway.

Below we’ve added a design example which illustrates perfectly the level of detail achieved for all our shell only and sailaway orders. You’ll probably agree this level of detail doesn’t just help make the decisions for the shell / sailaway it acts as an invalueable project management tool, a focal point from which everyone involved from manufacture through to fit-out can work and communicate from.

Narrowboat & Widebeam Sailaway Drawings



  • 10mm/6mm/5mm/4mm Construction
  • Base & Hull Structure 50x50x6mm angle
  • Base & Hull Structure at 600mm centres
  • Roof Structure 25x2x3mm box section
  • Roof Structure at 420mm centres
  • Integral water tank
  • Gas locker fully vented
  • Attachment for gas bottles
  • Built in fuel tank, size dependant on hull shape
  • Engine room fully ventilated
  • Diesel take off pipes for central heating
  • 1/4” Fuel tank drain
  • Baffled skin tank
  • Welded Engine bed
  • Welded in battery tray & wiring rails
  • Full set of bollards stern & bow
  • Waterproof sliding hatch
  • Steel half glazed bow doors
  • 1x Steel side hatch
  • 1x Steel stern doors
  • Scroll work to bow
  • Integral hand rails inc. scroll work
  • Bow & stern rubbing straights 2x50x12mm
  • Self-draining decks bow and stern.
  • 9x Windows apertures cut as required
  • Fully primed and 2 coats of blacking


Specification Sailaway Sailaway Lined Sailaway Additions
Fully fitted Beta Marine engine (sized to boat)
110AH Starter battery fitted
5x Windows & 4x Portholes (chrome or brass)
5x Mushroom vents
6 x Weld in type fender eyes
4 x 2.5kg Anodes welded on
Ballasted on a bitumen painted & felted base
Treated plywood floor throughout
Fully battened and spray foamed
Lined in light Oak
Hull sides lined in 9 mm oak-faced ply
Bow & stern lined in 12mm oak-faced ply
Cabin sides lined in 9mm oak-faced ply framed with solid wood
Deck head lined in 6mm
2x full, 1x half bulkheads 18mm block board
12v wiring tails dropped behind panelling in conduit
All 12v wiring is colour coded
Wiring Terminated in the lighting track
230v ring main wiring fitted
Socket tails and switch tails fitted
12v LED lighting & switches installed
6x 230v sockets installed
2x USB 230v sockets installed
Victron 3kw/120A Multi-Plus inverter charger
4 x 135ah domestic batteries
4kw diesel-fired central heating
3x radiators, 1x towel rail
55l twin coil calorifier connected to the engine
230v 1kw immersion heater



Narrowboat Length Shell Prices Sailaway Prices Sailaway Lined Prices Sailaway Additions Prices
45ft x 6ft 10" £15,000 inc vat £28,000 inc vat £41,500 inc vat £56,500 inc vat
50ft x 6ft 10" £16,500 inc vat £29,500 inc vat £43,000 inc vat £58,000 inc vat
57ft x 6ft 10" £17,500 inc vat £31,000 inc vat £46,500 inc vat £61,500 inc vat
60ft x 6ft 10" £18,500 inc vat £33,500 inc vat £48,500 inc vat £63,500 inc vat
65ft x 6ft 10" £19,500 inc vat £34,500 inc vat £50,500 inc vat £65,500 inc vat
70ft x 6ft 10" £20,000 inc vat £35,500 inc vat £51,500 inc vat £66,500 inc vat


10ft Widebeam Length 10ft Shell Prices 10ft Sailaway Prices 10ft Sailaway Lined Prices 10ft Sailaway Additions Prices
45ft x 10ft £22,500 inc vat £36,500 inc vat £45,000 inc vat £55,000 inc vat
50ft x 10ft £23,500 inc vat £38,750 inc vat £50,500 inc vat £65,500 inc vat
57ft x 10ft £25,000 inc vat £43,000 inc vat £54,000 inc vat £69,000 inc vat
60ft x 10ft £26,500 inc vat £47,000 inc vat £56,000 inc vat £71,000 inc vat
65ft x 10ft £28,000 inc vat £50,000 inc vat £66,000 inc vat £81,000 inc vat
70ft x 10ft £29,500 inc vat £53,000 inc vat £76,000 inc vat £90,000 inc vat


11ft Widebeam Length 11ft Shell Prices 11ft Sailaway Prices 11ft Sailaway Lined Prices 11ft Sailaway Additions Prices
45ft x 11ft £24,500 inc vat £38,500 inc vat £49,000 inc vat £64,000 inc vat
50ft x 11ft £25,500 inc vat £40,750 inc vat £54,500 inc vat £69,500 inc vat
57ft x 11ft £27,500 inc vat £45,000 inc vat £59,000 inc vat £74,000 inc vat
60ft x 11ft £28,500 inc vat £49,000 inc vat £60,000 inc vat £75,000 inc vat
65ft x 11ft £30,000 inc vat £52,000 inc vat £70,000 inc vat £85,000 inc vat
70ft x 11ft £31,500 inc vat £55,000 inc vat £80,000 inc vat £95,000 inc vat


12ft Widebeam Length 12ft Shell Prices 12ft Sailaway Prices 12ft Sailaway Lined Prices 12ft Sailaway Additions Prices
45ft x 12ft £25,500 inc vat £39,500 inc vat £51,000 inc vat £66,000 inc vat
50ft x 12ft £26,500 inc vat £41,750 inc vat £56,500 inc vat £71,500 inc vat
57ft x 12ft £29,802 inc vat £47,802 inc vat £61,800 inc vat £76,800 inc vat
60ft x 12ft £26,085 ex vat* £43,165 ex vat* £53,165 ex vat* £65,665 ex vat*
65ft x 12ft £27,335 ex vat* £45,665 ex vat* £61,500 ex vat* £74,000 ex vat*
70ft x 12ft £28,585 ex vat* £48,165 ex vat* £69,835 ex vat* £82,335 ex vat*

* Prices shown with residential VAT reduction, vessels of this size qualify for zero vat rating if used as a permanent residence

Please note: Craneage and delivery costs are extra.

All prices on this website are subject to change without notice. While we make every effort to provide you the most accurate, up-to-date information, occasionally, one or more items on our website may be mis-priced. We reserve the right to refuse to honor any incorrect prices.


Extra Item Price (inc vat)
Semi Traditional Stern (Narrowboat) £1,500 inc vat
Taff Rail Seats (Narrowboat Trad & Semi-Trad) £100 inc vat (pair)
Recessed Side Panels (Narrowboat Trad & Semi-Trad) £1000 inc vat (pair)
Bow Thruster Locker (Narrowboat) £850 inc vat
Tug Style Bow (Narrowboat) £1,200 inc vat
Enclosed Stern With Seats (Widebeam) £2,500 inc vat
Bow Thruster Locker (Widebeam) £1,000 inc vat
Square Cruiser Stern £1,000 inc vat
Stern Lockers (Cruiser Stern) £300 inc vat (pair)
Bow Lockers £300 inc vat (pair)
Full Length Rubbing Strake/Strip £700 inc vat (pair)
V Type Fender Eyes £30 inc vat (each)
Tubular Roof Handrails £500 inc vat (pair)
10mm Box Roof Grab Rail £400 inc vat (pair)
Roof Light (Steelwork Only) £450 inc vat (each)
Extra Item Price (inc vat)
Bow Window Cut-Outs £100inc vat (pair)
Side Hatch (Steelwork Only) £700 inc vat (each)
Side Doors (Steelwork Only) £400 inc vat (each)
Glazed Sky Light £1,400 inc vat (each)
Electric Roof Light £2,000 inc vat (each)
Bow Windows £650 inc vat (pair)
Double Glazed Window Upgrade £1,850 inc vat (std. set)
Tug Style Bow (Narrowboat) £1,200 inc vat
Additional Single Glazed Window 36" £190 inc vat (each)
Additional Single Glazed Porthole 18" £160 inc vat (each)
Wooden Cratch £850 inc vat
Pump-Out Toilet & Tank £1,950 inc vat
Fuel & Water Gauges £650 inc vat
Bow Thruster 55kgf £3,000 inc vat
Engine Upgrade From £1,850 inc vat



Canal boat shells are more commonly purchased by boat fitters without in-house steel manufacturing capabilities. As inferred by the name it’s just a steel shell you’re buying. This gives the benefit of huge flexibility and control over the entire fitout and provides the most potential for the cost savings or margins if looking to resell post fitout. On the flip side buying a narrowboat or widebeam shell requires the most amount of planning, work and capability. You’ll require a combination of skills/contacts/sub-contractors to take on the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fitting out and painting stages. In terms of purchasing you’ll need to buy pretty much everything so a detailed knowledge of the systems, products and onboard equipment is essential. Meeting the requirements of the RCD and BSS will need to be planned from start to finish and evidence of your compliance throughout will be beneficial when it comes to obtaining a RCD certificate of conformity (essential if the vessel is to be sold within 5 years).


For customers taking on a DIY fitout canal boat sailaways are much more appealing than a basic shell. They’re sold as a water tight units including many features; windows, ballast, sub floor, engine / drive gear, anodes and fender eyes, all fully battened and spray foamed. Many customers feel these additional items are better suited to the experts to fit and install and the difference in price can more often than not be justified. The fact the engine and drive gear is professionally installed, propshaft aligned and supplied with a complete warranty alone is very appealing. The project size is dramatically reduced and therefore the time involved and its considerably easier to find contractors to help with the remaining aspects of the build.


Even though this type of sailaway has an enhanced stage of completion they’re probably the least popular choice of sailaway. Sailaway lined canal boats come fully lined out with 2 full bulkheads and 1 half bulkhead and the 12v and 230v wiring tails positioned as specified. Most customer looking for a sailaway which has been lined out internally prefer the boat supplied with the 12v and 230v systems fully installed along with the plumbing and heating system and so order a sailaway additions (also know as a sailaway plus). However if you are confident or have someone at hand that can install the electrics and plumbing the sailaway lined option may well be appeal.


Most certainly the preferred route for DIY boat fitters. All the major components and systems are fully installed, tested and supplied with a manufacturers warranty. The boat internally is fully lined out with bulkheads fitted to specified locations. The boat is supplied to a completed stage comparative to buying a house. The project becomes much more familiar to first time buyers/DIY fitters as it’s focused around fitting a bathroom and kitchen and manufacturing/building any furniture and storage required for the bedroom and saloon.


NEWS Canal Boat Magazine (Feb 18) Feature The Fit Out Pontoon CLICK HERE TO READ

NEWS Towpath Talk (Feb 18) Feature The Fit Out Pontoon CLICK HERE TO READ