If you’re in the market for a new canal boat and, like us totally appreciate the importance of a well refined design, you’ll hopefully be enthused to have found us – the only independent canal boat design consultancy.

Our Narrowboat & Widebeam Design Service is hugely beneficial for buyers of brand new fully fitted canal boats, and equally for those looking to buy sailaways for a self-fit out. The ‘All In One’ Design Service is just this, beginning with a half day consultation where we encourage our clients to bring all their ideas and questions to run through. This is followed by the design development and refinement process which completes with the production and supply of a full set of technical drawings.

With Our Canal Boat Design Service Benefit From:

  • A service created and developed to ignite your enthusiasm and excitement
  • Benefit from our expertise and experience and avoid preventable mistakes
  • Protect your investment by ensuring you’ve created the perfect solution
  • Minimise any potential for builders to misinterpret your design
  • Email pdf drawings to builders for accurate build quotes – no hidden costs!
  • Maximise the efficiency of the communication, buying and building process
  • Creates a solid sign off between client and builder
  • Create a list of requirements and equipment away from a sales environment
  • Develop in depth product knowledge and increase confidence



CALL 0115 727 0165


If you’re aspiring to own a canal boat specifically built and designed around your needs, a thorough professional design process is essential. It’s crazy really in the housing market you wouldn’t dream of quoting let alone building a house without a detailed set of plans, yet as a rule in the canal boat industry this side of things is all too often overlooked! If you haven’t already thought about it, a canal boat can only ever be as good as it’s design.

Our ‘All-In-One’ Design Service literally brings your boat to life. Together we’ll follow the design process from concept to fruition to ensure the internal layout of your canal boat is perfectly planned down to the inch. With our impeccable drawing skills you’ll be able to visualise your canal boat with absolute clarity. Produced and printed to 1:25 scale our manufacturing drawings provide the perfect tool for everyone involved to plan, work and communicate from.

Once compete our design service doesn’t just illustrate the layout, it’s far more than just a drawing, post completion the service productively contributes to every stage of the boat buying / building process. Rather than just listing these categories an explanation of each will help you understand the true value:

  1. Enquiry / Quotation Stage
    Many boat builders provide quotations based on very little information. If you are looking for a fully customised boat this ‘throw a figure’ approach all too often leads to disappointment and increased costs further down the line. With one of our full working drawings (received on completion of our ‘All-In-One’ Design Service) there cannot be any misinterpretation regarding the boat, it’s specification, the layout, the materials, the equipment, or the services. This approach safeguards your working relationship from the very beginning… And they can often be one or two year relationships, so they’re worth protecting!
  2. Signing The Contract
    Once you’ve approached potential builders with our production drawings for quotations, the next step will be to accept a quotation and commissioned the build. At this stage you should be looking to sign a contract and within this contract, you’d be well advised to refer to our drawing number, revision and date created. Our production drawings are far more detailed and specific than any typed specification. By doing this you’re actively safeguarding your investment and giving yourself a firm fail-safe should anything (quite literally) not go to plan.
  3. Ordering
    When it comes to production its essential that the project is not held up by avoidable delays such as items not being ordered at the most efficient time. Our drawings include all the main equipment and specification so builders can easily make short lists of exactly what needs ordering and when, helping them maximise production efficiency and thus increasing the chances of a timely delivery.
  4. Steelwork / Fabrication
    When it comes to the fabrication process our drawings include all the relevant detailss. Our drawings are certainly not there to tell the boat builder how to do his job, they help fill in the blanks. The drawings outline the boat style and shape, the length of bow and stern, window and vent aperture details, door/side door positions and sizes. Most builders will thank you for being so organised, and why wouldn’t they? Who wouldn’t want a production plan?
  5. Post Fabrication Check
    The first job post fabrication is to double-check all the dimensional details… The last thing you want to do is to start fitting if there’s something which prevents the design from being realised. With our drawings the post fabrication check can be achieved in just a few hours. If something is found to be incorrect this is the time to make the decision: rectify or adapt.
  6. Sprayfoam & Battening
    Using our drawings builders can, if they take the opportunity, strategically batten out a boat; Experience shows this improves the efficiency and accuracy of the lining out process. The battening process is the foundation for boarding out, it’s all you’ve got to fix to, so why wouldn’t you strategically position the battens to the required fixing points?
  7. Creating A Life Sized Plan
    With the sprayfoam applied and the sub floor down, but before the actual fitting out begins, we always transfer the 1:25 scale plan on to the boat. With a large square, several varying lengths of steel rulers, a tape measure and several coloured marker pens you can efficiently transfer every detail relating to the layout, electrics and plumbing on to the flooring, sides and ceiling. This life-sized plan acts as a great safeguard, protecting all the trades (fitters, plumbers, electrician and gas fitter) from missing any details.
  8. First Fix
    With the life-sized plan mapped out its easy for the electrician and plumber to go around the boat putting all the first fix cable runs/ pipes in place.
  9. Fitting Out
    Fitters often refer to our drawing as their ‘Bible’; each individual item/aspect of the fit out is numbered and these numbers refer to a detailed item-by-item description. Our aim is to provide the fitters with all the fundamental information they need to fit out the boat without any chance of misinterpretation.
  10. External Painting
    Our ‘All-In-One’ Design Service includes a full colour paint scheme showing the plan, port and starboard views. When we can, we will also conveniently add exact paint reference/ colour codes to help with the ordering. Painters thank our customers for investing in our service as it means they can just get straight on with the painting with minimal conversation and maximum confidence from you, the client that the provided scheme is exactly what’s required.
  11. Signing Off Post Production
    Finally, with our detailed plans your chosen builders have all they need to successfully manage your build; however should there be any mistakes or omissions you will have complete peace of mind from the fact that your drawing is refferred to in the contract, quotation and order, putting you in the perfect position for negotiating a resolution.

Commissioning us will safeguard your investment and play a positive and pivotal role in your canal boat build. Don’t just take our word for it, open this TRUSTPILOT link and read what our customers have to say now they’ve been through our design process.


Our ‘All In One’ Narrowboat & Widebeam Design Service is much more than just a design service, we begin the process with a one-to-one design consultation where you’ll gain invaluable information, contacts, product knowledge and advice from a team of designers who combined have over 20 years live aboard experience.

The early part of the consultation is focused around gaining as much information from you as possible. The idea is to fully understand why you’re buying a boat, whether it’s for leisure or residential purposes and how you’ll be using it. With all this information to hand, together we will develop a comprehensive list of on-board requirements, equipment and appliances – an essential initial stage of the design process. This is also a great opportunity for you to run through any canal boat related questions and we encourage you to bring along a pre-prepared list.

We also urge you to come to the consultation with sketches, proposed layouts, photographs or any other inspiration you have to hand. During the second part of the consultation we’ll take a detailed look through your material to gain a better understanding of the style of boat you’re looking for. Quite often we’ll have the chance to start developing some basic layouts, proving or disproving ideas and concepts we’ve talked about during the meeting which is an ideal place to finish the consultation.


Following on from the design consultation we’ll have gathered ample information to start putting some basic design proposals together for your consideration. Generally, we evolve the designs and communicate them with you via email and/or telephone. For those a little more computer savvy, we do find considerable benefits from Skype calls as we can take full advantage of the facility to share our computer screen and work with you over a live video call.

Having developed and refined our design process to maximise efficiency, we initially concentrate on the overall layout, once we’ve agreed this we’ll begin to look at the window, hatch and vent positions, followed by the plumbing and electrical details and finally we’ll look at the lighting circuits.


Once we’ve finalised the design we’ll put together a final design drawing. Our completed narrowboat and widebeam design drawings have evolved over many years and are well-respected within the boat building industry. Through just one drawing we easily communicate the hull and aperture details for the initial fabrication, list a detailed onboard specification, clearly illustrate the interior layout, materials and finishes (including itemised descriptions) and show all the plumbing and electrical detail.

In-house we have a large format high-resolution printer that prints up to A1 size. We supply two sets of drawings, one for yourself and the other for any builders/fitters you’re working with. These are packaged within a parcel tubes to help protect them for the duration of the build process.

For customers purchasing sailaways, we even supply two totally separate sets of drawings illustrating different details. A set for the boat builder which only communicates the details they’re interested in (this will vary depending on whether it’s a sailaway basic, sailaway lined or with additions) and the other drawing set will communicate the fully fitted details.

Please Note: All design services advertised by The Fit Out Pontoon are done so on behalf of our sister company The Creative Pontoon Ltd.

We’d love to hear from you.

Drop us a line on 0115 727 0165, or CLICK/TAP HERE to send an enquiry…


'All In One' Narrowboat & Widebeam Design Service

Not what you're looking for? Try some other items within this chapter...

crick boat show 2024

(Saturday 25 to Monday 27 May 2024)


Britain's biggest inland waterways show.

Advance tickets can be ordered by phone and online until 12midday on Friday 17 May 2024. If you are planning to purchase advance tickets, we recommend that you do so well before this deadline to allow time for postal delivery.
Children 16 and under – free entry Saturday, Sunday, Monday

Trade & Preview Day – Friday 24 May 2024
Get ahead and visit The Fit Out Pontoon before everyone else on Preview Day!
Preview Day tickets are strictly limited to a maximum of 1,000 pre-booked visitors and give entry to the Show from 10am – 6pm on Friday 24 May.