Aaran is a genius. When it became clear that Lesley Ann’s top was simply not up to its job description, he came up trumps with a truly brilliant idea.

To design a proto-type using cold store panels.

Lots of people were unimpressed. These are massive construction panels made of steel and insulation foam used in the erection of huge warehouses. They are heavy and unwieldy and – more importantly – untraditional. The construction industry told us it wouldn’t be possible and boaters just shook their heads.

But look at the upsides! These panels are:

  • made of steel (like the majority of traditional narrowboats, I would point out)
  • relatively cheap when compared with the cost of a traditional steel top
  • already insulated to a very high degree, meaning the boat can be used all year round without condensation worries
  • can be cut and formed without the need for specialist welding equipment
  • have an interior finish ready for painting

There is still a good deal of work to do on the top. We need to cut in some windows, the hatch and fit the wooden trim. But here are a few pictures of work so far …

The boaters we know aren’t shaking their heads anymore 🙂