Brief specification FCN Steel Seagoing Barge

Equally happy cruising inland on canals * in the UK and Europe or at sea the Peter Nicholls FCN seagoing “Dutch barge” that does it all. The Peter Nicholls FCN is an ideal choice to live aboard in style and comfort.  * The wheelhouse is simple to hinge down and the lightweight roof (2 panels 20kg each) easy to stow. None of this “Hydraulically operated wheelhouse” nonsense

Built to category B for the EC Recreational Craft Directive, the hull design is unique for a boat of this type, making the Peter Nicholls FCN steel seagoing barge is probably the only truly seagoing leisure barge available. putting us in the forefront of UK  barge builders


Top quality EN275 plate from a known British or N European source blasted and primed in excess of international standard  Sa 2.5**.  Hull bottom 12mm, chine 8mm, sides 6mm, decks 6mm, cabin and roof 5mm. Hull design and strengthening to Lloyds Rules for Small Steel Craft. Substantial cross framing at 900 mm centres.   **Peter points out: Truth to tell, the ” Sa 2.5″ standard is not ideal, though the term is often bandied about in ignorance. (The “S” a stand for Swedish, sounds good doesn’t it? ) We aim to reach the superior Sa 3 which is far better with a milky grey surface, rather than the Sa 2 1/2 which looks grey/black with surface contaminants still showing in the discolouration. Contact Peter by email for a picture comparing the two standards

Paint Plan:

Twin pack epoxy bitumen to hull exterior, twin pack epoxy paint to interior.

Epifanes Marine paint plan:  Outside, twin pack epoxy to upper works then twin pack to cabin sides, anti-slip deck paint to decks. Teak effect decking available if required.


Hardwood mast set in stainless steel tabernacle, anchor light and steaming light,
Tek decks if required at extra cost.
Port and starboard and stern navigation lights.
Bow and stern deck lights, spotlight and horn. Mooring lines.
16 amp shore mains lead. Stainless steel removable guard stanchions (70 cm high)  and wires  around all the decks


FCN 54: Beta 105  and 115 with PRM box, full instruments, skin tank cooling.

FCN65 Beta 115 or Vetus 140 hp for example.

95  kgf bow thruster.

Stern thruster available as an additional item.

1700/1900  kg pull Electric Anchor winch with hand back up. 1900 kg pull  for FCN 65

A hand winch alone just will not do. You will find it difficult and impractical to retrieve by hand a 25 kg anchor and 50 metres of 10mm  anchor chain when fully extended. There is a combined weight of 140 kg and is a time consuming and energy sapping exercise by hand, even with shorter lengths in shallower waters). An electric winch, when used correctly, is also useful when grounded.

Soundproofed 5 kW 240-volt generator.
Rolls/Victron AGM batteries to suit requirements.

3KW Victron inverter charger with matched isolation transformer.

11-gallon calorifier with 1 kW immersion heater to suit most shore power capacities.
Kabola HR 400/HR  14 kW diesel central heating boiler with hot water and heating to low-level panel radiators.
1000 fresh water with gauge.
1000litre diesel tank with gauge.
500-litre waste tank with gauge  (more than adequate if Vacuflush lavatories are rated at .47 litres a flush as opposed to up to 2.5 litres for the macerator types that are usually installed elsewhere.


Fold down wheelhouse in utile hardwood, double glazed. 4 x rear doors to bi-fold, lightweight roof. Hinged windscreen and side screens to hinge down. This wheelhouse is unique on the market and is designed to be simple to fold down easily, a must for inland cruising UK. When raised, the 4 rear doors bi-fold to make one large deck for all to socialize when underway or dining at a mooring. The side windows and windscreen hinge down and the roof  is in two parts, 20kg each
Full instrumentation set into steel housing. The interior of the wheelhouse is free of timber to make it waterproof and weatherproof.
Speed log and depth gauge, steel boat fluxgate electronic compass.

Autopilot/ chart plotter additional items if required

VHF radio

Interior fitting:

Foam spray insulation,  cherry wood and maple veneer ply linings and blockboard.
Main bulkheads 40mm studding framing clad both sides in ply. Centre core in Celotex insulation board.. maple and cherry hardwood joinery. Heuga carpet tiles (for ease of removal to access the liftable floor. Laminate to bathrooms and galley. LED lighting where possible. Dimmers can be fitted by request,

Saloon.  Dining table and seating converting to a double bed . 2 x easy chairs. TV and radio point.
Satellite dish as an extra item.  Shelves under side deck. Lowe level radiators. Multifuel stove can be fitted as extra item

Galley. Fridge and separate freezer.  4 or 5 burner gas hob and oven. Diesel and electric (combi) cooking an extra option. Miele washing machine an/or drier option at additional cost customer to supply. Granite worktop.

Owners stateroom:
King size bed, drawers under, Wardrobes and cupboards. Air conditioning extra if required. Reading  lights
Low-level radiators

Main bathroom.
Roomy shower with a thermostatic unit, cast resin tray, sliding glass door.
Marine lavatory using the vacuflush system rated at half a litre per flush as opposed to two to three litres a flush with the often used, and cheaper, macerator system. This has an important bearing on the size of holding tank require and the frequency of emptying required.

Wash basin set into granite top, cupboard beneath. Good size towel type radiator

Guests’ sleeping cabin:
Two single berths 3ft wide with storage underneath and wardrobe Heuga carpet tiles.
Aircon extra item if required. Radiator

Guest bathroom and day facilities: Shower enclosure, vacuflush lavatory. Washbasin

A word about lavatories: We fit as standard the (much) more expensive Vacuflush system rather than the usual electric macerator type. This is because the vacuflush is rated at half a litre of water usage per flush while the macerator types use 2 to 3 litres every time. The FCN holding tank, which must be used in the UK  and many Continental waterways and in coastal marinas and anchorages will thus need emptying much less frequently. This saves in running costs  and saves  time and effort getting the tank pumped out so often