Nine feet wide boats built for UK canals

Published: Thursday, 04 November 2021

THE first of what is hoping to be a series of electric boats has been launched.

It was built in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight that would perhaps account for its being advertised as a narrowboat, though 9ft 3ins wide!

IseOfWightBuild bespoke electric  boats

Named Good Ohmen, the CEO of its builders Floating Ohm, Naomi Hunter, explained:

"We build bespoke electric canal boats. Good Ohmen is 62ft long and 9ft 3 wide. We like to call it a canal ship—our bow features design from a standard ship.

"We've got an elliptical bow and stern and under the water we've got an extremely long swim, with a teardrop point towards the rudder, which is what gives us our unique hull design.

"We've managed to create something I think is extremely beautiful, but it is also functional and works. The aim is to be the canal version of Tesla!"

Building narrowboats

Naomi tells that she bought and lived on a 'barge' while she was at university in Bristol and fell in love with canals, coming up with the idea of building narrowboats, believing the design will help shape future leisure boating on the UK's canals and even a demand from industry as canals being used to transport goods again in view of the HGV driver shortage.

The 'electric' boat is fitted with solar panels but is heated by diesel in view of the lack of charging points.

[It would seem that Naomi did not venture far from Bristol thus believing the broad Gloucester & Sharpness Canal was the norm, as her design width is obviously impossible for the 'canals of the UK'—Editor.]