Delta Marine Services Limited


Our company specialises in building bespoke Dutch Barges, Widebeams and High End Narrowboats, with exceptional attention to detail, quality of work and navigational operation, with client satisfaction being paramount.
We also offer all the usual boatyard facilities


We go back nine generations of canal ancestry from the horse drawn cargo boats to modern day boat building. After working for other boatyards for many years Delta Marine Services was formed in 1984 to allow us to bring a new level of luxury to wide beam boats and narrow boatbuilding, specialising in Dutch Barges.


Delta Marine Services have for many years been rated at the top of the boat building profession, we were awarded the first ever John Beardsmore award from the marine industry for excellence in wide beam boatbuilding.
We have retained our reputation of excellence

Dutch Barges

Every Barge is bespoke designed and built to our clients personal requirements. They can be built to category B, C or D of the recreational craft directive and come complete with warranty, owners manual, all necessary documentation and one full days tuition

Widebeams & Narrowboats

These vessels are mainly built for the UK, the widebeams are most peoples first choice of boat for a liveaboard as they have a great feeling of spaciousness that can be applied to creating a beautiful modern home. Whereas the narrowboat enables you to explore the full extent of the canal network

Marine Surveyors

I have been carrying out Marine Surveying for well over thirty years now on Barges, Widebeams and Narrowboats covering every aspect of inland boat surveying. This work includes pre-purchase, insurance and valuations also expert witness facilities for trading standards, court and arbitration

Dutch Barge Builders

The Dutch Barge is our most popular wide beam boat and without a doubt the Delta Marine Services speciality.

The dignified sweeping curves of the stern and bow are so pleasing to the eye and so individual to this company that any of these Dutch Barges is identifiable throughout Britain and Europe as a Delta Marine Services Luxemotor. This is entirely our own design and ornate interpretation of the original Dutch Luxemotor cargo barge.

The spacious dimensions and feeling of luxury render the Dutch Barge the vessel of choice, versatile enough to be elegantly suitable both as a fashionable dockside apartment for entertaining guests and for a comfortable retirement spent cruising the waterways of Europe. The freedom these magnificent craft provide to each owner to soak up that continental charm at their own leisurely pace whilst relaxing in the comfort of their personal luxury creation make it the natural selection for the more tasteful wide beam enthusiast.

A Delta Marine Services Dutch Barge interior layout would typically have a solid mahogany collapsible wheelhouse dividing the main accommodation with guest quarters aft and the master bedroom at the foremost end of the main cabin. The galley, saloon and main bathroom would be located between the master bedroom and the wheelhouse.

The extra space afforded by the wider beam permits a more studio-style layout than one would expect to find in an ordinary narrowboat or offshore yacht. Through years of experience, Delta Marine Services know how to utilise this to its full potential without unnecessary wastage. There is a spacious, illuminated and airy feel within the main living area aided by the broad dimensions, large windows and the solid mahogany pigeon box skylight. The collapsible wheelhouse permits even the larger of these barges to negotiate the majority of the inland waterways with all of their low bridges and other restrictive obstacles.

As a testament to our quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail Delta Marine Dutch Barges are renowned for retaining the highest resale value within the inland marine industry.

Every one of these elegant craft is constructed to individual specification and preference, we can build to any size and indeed to any design. Pictured are examples of the variations of the Luxemotors we would typically build.

The steel interior of the superstructure and hull are professionally sprayed with neoprene foam insulation before the fit out commences to minimise fuel consumption and keep it cosy. The windows are our own design and retain a traditional style with brass-anodised frames for low maintenance. Every Dutch Barge includes all the necessary soft furnishings, sacrificial anodes, navigation lights and fire fighting equipment plus anchor, chain, winch, gangplank, poles, ropes, windlasses, hosepipe, mooring pins and hammer.

There are thousands of minor details in every boat and too many to list here but every single one is considered. As a matter of policy we only ever select high quality materials and equipment from longstanding reputable manufacturers.

The latest technology is used in electronic panels, instrumentation, hydraulic steering, central heating, toilets, power and water systems making each craft not only easy to operate but comfortable in all aspects.

The collapsible wheelhouse makes it possible for even the largest size of these barges to negotiate the inland waterways with all their low bridges and other restrictive overhead obstacles. The structure is hardwood framed and glazed with toughened glass having two stable type doors for good ventilation.

The basic Dutch Barge specification is already high but can be added to or adapted to choice.

Hull Base Plate: 12.5mm Navigation Lights Engine Panel Instruments
Chines: 8mm Bollards Tank Gauges
Hull Sides: 6mm Fender Eyes Rudder Indicator
Superstructure: 5mm Anchor Hydraulic Steering
Decks: 6mm Manual Winch Heating Boiler
Internal Bulkheads: 5mm Hand Rails Calorifier
Draught: 910mm Stern Rail Radiators
Air Draught: 2750mm (Top Wheelhouse) Mast Toilet
Min. Air Draught: 2060mm Anodised Windows Shower
Main Diesel Tank: 350 Gallons Roof Vents Galley
Effluent Tank: 120 Gallons Spot Lights Stainless Sink
Wheelhouse: Hardwood Collapsible Deck Fittings Hob Unit
Engine: 90 bhp (optional upgrade) Mooring Lines Cooker
Central Heating: Eberspacher / Kabola Mooring Pins Fridge/Freezer
Electrical System: 24v and 240v Gang Plank & Poles Washing Machine


Widebeam & Narrowboat Builders

Delta Marine Services have constructed a great variety of steel wide beam boats for the continental waterways and larger British rivers. Every Delta Marine Services wide beam is unique and built to the client’s individual requirements and taste.

This allows each client to realise their own personal vision of the finished project whilst utilising the expert help, advice and experience we place at their disposal.

Quality and finish have been Delta Marine’s utmost concern since the company was formed in 1984. We do not believe in mass producing boats. The meticulous attention to fine detail and hours of craftsmanship throughout construction come together to make each of these craft elegant and very special. These barges represent the leading edge in luxury inland waterways vessels.

Each design is typically based on a traditional cargo vessel such as the Dutch Luxemotor, Dutch Tjalk, Thames sailing barge or a wide beam version of the classic British Narrowboat, although we can build to any design and to any size.

The skill in our brushed paintwork is reflected in the characteristic shine and smooth finish.  Delta Marine Services refuse to use cheaper low quality paints. As standard practice, the steel hull is coated in zinc phosphate anti-corrosion primer with finishing coats of International two-pack epoxy resin to the lower hull and synthetic coach enamel to the upper coachworks. Non-slip surfacing is applied to the gunwales and cabin roofs.

Every craft can be tailored to the client’s individual technical requirements and cruising ambitions. Each barge can be fitted with a bow thruster to complement the main drive system with a choice of engines, a selection of modern navigational devices in addition to the mandatory lights, horn and other equipment.

Delta Marine Services have been building traditional style narrowboats since the company was formed in 1984. The narrowboat today is a direct descendant of the working boats that plied the English canal system from its creation in 1765. The hull shape has undergone two hundred and fifty years of refinement to create a boat that can slice through the water with the minimum of fuel consumption.

Today we continue to develop this long tradition of efficiency, combined with quality materials and the Delta Marine standard of craftsmanship.

We can build a narrowboat to any length or style and with whatever gauge of steel the client requires. Our narrowboats are all constructed from shipbuilding 43A grade steel and typically have 10mm thick base plate, 6mm sides and 5mm superstructure.

We protect all the steel with zinc phosphate anti corrosion primer, the hull with International two-pack epoxy resin and the upper coachworks are in synthetic coach enamel high gloss. Each boat is fitted with all the necessary equipment including sacrificial anodes for its cruising waters.

The finish and decor are an opportunity for the client to create an individual and highly personal creation whilst retaining traditional designs, patterns and motifs.


Marine Surveying

Delta Marine Services marine surveying policy is to deliver a comprehensive and impartial service providing the necessary support and advice to cater for our clients particular circumstances and needs. Perceiving the chief deficiency of the modern marine surveyor to be an over-reliance on abstract theoretical knowledge, the Delta Marine survey is purposed to give that degree of insight, authority and experience that only a genuinely accomplished boatbuilder can provide.

Born on narrowboat Amy in 1950, Garry John Ward worked the inland cargo boats during the closing years of the narrowboat haulage industry, then the camping boats in the early 70’s during the infancy of the canal leisure industry. After several years working on steel and wooden vessels and conducting surveys for other boatyards, he started Delta Marine Services in 1984 taking inland boating to a new level of luxury and comfort. Thirty plus years on, Garry Ward has designed award winning Thames and Dutch Barges, narrowboats and tugboats for clients throughout the continent.

Specialising in Dutch barges and wide beam canal boats, Garry John Ward is a member of the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST) and offers a diverse range of consultancy and inspection marine surveying services for both steel and wooden hulled inland waterways craft.

We have experience working for both private clients and the Trading Standards Service.

Click on any of the items below for more information…

A detailed but non-destructive examination covering all immediately accessible relevant aspects of the craft.
A fully indexed report documenting the inspection is produced to assist the purchaser in their decision.
An estimate of the current market value of the vessel to provide guidance to the owner.
A report providing an opinion for the vessel’s insurers.
Particular attention would be given to the condition of the hull, working areas and safety equipment. A valuation may also be provided.
A facility tailored to the individual’s requirements pre, post or during construction.
This may include:

  • Site visits to the builder coinciding with key elements of the build process and the release of stage payments.
  • Specification assessment to consider the builder’s obligations and the suitability of components.
  • Acceptance trial to assure satisfaction before release of that final installment.
An inspection report on a particular incident.
This may include an investigation into the cause, extent and likely repair costs of damage to the vessel and also supervision of the necessary repair work.
An expert-witness facility acting on behalf of one or both litigants.
This may involve the provision of written and verbal evidence in court or arbitration.
An inspection to determine whether your vessel complies with currant UK and EC legislation, which applies to all new boats placed on the market after June 1998.

Delta Marine Boatyard Services


Residential, long and short term moorings are available for boats up to 21 metres
Electric metered shore power available
Gas and Diesel – Loo waste disposal – On site toilets

Marine Engineers & Repairs

We carry out full engine installations and repairs
Interior upgrades / refits to include all gas and electrical installations
We also operate a full Marine Engineering and breakdown service

Wet Dock and Facilities

We carry out a full strip back to metal and complete repaint to include all sign writing, canal art and traditional back cabin scumbling
We also offer partial repaints
DIY facilities available for hire

Get In Touch

Delta Marine Services, Nelson Wharf, Nelson Lane, Warwick, CV34 5JB

Telephone: 01926 499337

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