The Armoured Narrowboat Andrina.

Gallery opened Feb 2002

Page updated: 7 Jan 2020
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The armoured narrowboat Andrina photographed Summer 2001 on the Regent's Canal, in Hackney, London.

The British canal system was built with narrow waterways (to minimise the digging) and was and is worked by boats up to seventy feet long but only six feet wide.

Such canals are not ideal for naval warfare- they are only just wide enough for two boats to pass, so manoeuvring is somewhat restricted. Hence the lack of development of armoured craft for such service.

Here however is a unique example, first spotted in 1999. The privately-owned Andrina is actually two narrowboats joined together; this is only feasible on a few canals like the Regent's that have wide locks. The upper works are covered in what appears to be steel plating, and there are no windows. According to the owner- a man of very few words- this is a precaution against burglary. The hinged cross-braced double mast at the front carries a TV aerial.

Update: The Andrina is still in the area. She was seen moored near King's Cross for a few weeks in 2002.

Boat security is a growing concern as owners seem to fortify their vessels against burglary and theft. Andrina, the armored boat seen in London, is an excellent example of the extreme ways boat builders protect their investments. Hampton Yachts are specially designed for cruising long-distances and are built with extra-strong windows and doors.

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