Wide Beam Canal Barge, MONTY – Something A Little Bit Different!
May 22nd, 2023
And now for something something a little bit different – Wide Beam Canal Barge, MONTY!
The wonderful MONTY is a lovingly-kept, much-updated and modernised wide-beam barge, having originally been laid down at Tough Brothers of Teddington in 1990. She was built for an exacting yachtsman, who had previously had Tough’s build him a 150’ motor yacht named BRAVE GOOSE, with many of the same team involved with both boats, and she was endearingly painted and operated under the name MAISIE OF HAMPTON WICK. She lived at the end of her Owner’s leafy Thames-side garden and ferried guests and friends up and around the stretch of river, quite possibly enjoying the waterside hostelries and fine views of this idiosyncratic boating haven.
Following an early 2022 survey, the barge was bought out of original Ownership and put into an extensive refit at Dennett’s of Chertsey, where she was variously reconfigured with another permanent double cabin, a new infra-red Lava heating system, new batteries, electronics, TV’s and her aft cockpit seating was covered with a very well-engineered canopy system. So you can be at the helm, or seated on the smart facing benches – come rain or shine – a very rare feature on these barges, but eminently useful.
You can admire MONTY via her walkthrough video here:
At 10’6” in the beam, her interior is cosy and homely, with a corridor running fore and aft on her starboard side, and large picture windows afford great views onto the river from her cabins, galley and saloon.
Up forward in her bows, the previous well deck is enclosed with canvas and has been re-trimmed to a comfortable lounge, with a varnished table proudly displaying a scale model of her smart traditional lines, and lead-glazed doors leading aft onto the saloon. This is very much the hub of MONTY; with a large sofa facing the Morso burner, magnificent overhead glazed lantern light, highly-varnished timber linings, plush blond carpet and loose chairs for entertaining, or enjoying a good book.
Her forward guest cabin retains a contemporary yet period feel, with new mahogany joinery blending with original linings, lantern lighting and hand-painted panels on the galley serving hatch (this area was previously open to the saloon with a folding berth).
Further aft is the galley – with modern appliances, period chequerboard flooring and good work-top space, as well as the obligatory wine rack.
The Master double cabin is kept aft, with deeply-buttoned claret fabric lining, two hanging lockers and smart TV cabinet on the forward bulkhead above the foot of the double berth. The half-tiled heads/shower is tucked discretely away around to the port side aft, kitted with electric wc, waste tank controls, a full-size tiled shower and chequerboard tile floor.
There is plenty of storage throughout, with a useful cupboard at the companionway, and engine room is excellent through the hinged cockpit flooring. Her prime mover is a 2008 Yanmar 4-cylinder 54HP engine, serviced in 2022, and is paired with a Newage PRM hydraulic gearbox.
She is now sadly on the market again, and is lying up in Chelsea on the Thames and is presented in turn-key order. MONTY gleams from her lacquered fireside fender to her polished run barrel, and is a truly modernised classic, with enough traditional touches such as hand-painted tableaux, watering cans, and carriage lamps to keep the most avid narrow-boater happy.