Frequently Asked Questions

Why are most of your boats built in the Czech Republic? 
Over the last 40 years, Britain has systematically destroyed its manufacturing and, as a result of this, it’s training for skilled tradesmen. By 2007, Artie was finding it very difficult to find employees with the right level of skills to produce the quality of boats that Elton Moss requires. In fact, the business was only able to continue to produce at the right quality because of Czech and Polish joiners that had moved to the UK. When Ivo Vyskocil, one of most skilled boat-fitters, decided to return to his native Czech Republic, Artie and Ivo found premises there, in an area renowned for its woodworking skills, and a new boat building factory was established which Ivo now manages.

Now, everyone employed in that factory is a fully time served tradesman, having studied their trade during an apprenticeship that lasted years. Step onto any of our boats and the first thing that strikes you is the quality and solidity of the boat build.

Can I have my boat built in the UK if I want? 
We also employ a small number of skilled boat fitters in the UK , so that we can provide a quality after sales service to our customers. This means that we are also able to produce a small number of narrowboats in the UK at our purpose built premises in Middlewich, Cheshire.

As our premises are on a narrow canal, we are unable to produce wide beam boats in the UK.

Can I see my boat being built? 
Yes, you can.

We can organise viewing trips to our factory for you, and approximately 50% of our customers travel out to see their boat in build, often making a “mini-break” out of the experience. The local airport to us is Brno and there are cheap flights directly to there from Stanstead and Luton Airports. Other airports in the UK have direct flights to Prague. Our English speaking staff will meet you at the airport, take you to and from the factory and are available at the end of the phone if you choose to go exploring and suddenly find that you need a translation service.

Our factory is located close to the town of Trebic, which is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its very well preserved Jewish quarter. Prague is one of the few European capitals that was not fought over during the second world war and as a result of this is a spectacular city to visit.

You can visit more than once, if you like. We even had a customer who moved to Trebic for the few months that his boat was being built!

As well as being able to visit the factory, we will also provide you with regular updates of your boat build by e-mail, including many photographs that you can then compile into your “boat build photo album”.

I’ve heard that boats produced in Europe use substandard steel.  Is this true? 
This is most certainly not true in our case (but we can’t speak for all European builders).  All of our steel is boatbuilding grade and is properly quality certified.  We buy from the large global steel producers.

How do you get the boats back to the UK? 
They are moved by road using a specialised transport contractor.  The delivery cost to you is subsidised by us.

Can my boat be delivered directly to the area where I intend to moor? 
In principle, yes.  As we undertake a full pre-delivery inspection,  fully commission your boat and take the time to properly hand-over your boat to you, there may be a small additional charge to cover the cost of sending our staff to your delivery location to meet your boat.

I’ve heard that if I buy a wide beam boat to live aboard, I can reclaim the VAT.  Is this true?
Provided the boat is above a certain size, and is designed as your home, it can be zero rated for VAT. This is then called a “qualifying ship”. This means that VAT is charged, but at 0% instead of 20%. As the customer, if your boat builder charges you VAT at 20%, you have no way of reclaiming this from HM Revenue & Customs.

Only wide beam boats are large enough to qualify. A narrowboat can never be a large enough boat to be zero rated for VAT. We are experts in zero rating wide beam boats for VAT, and have been doing so since 2009.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

I have seen Northwich Boat Company Boats on the canals, are they anything to do with you? 
They most certainly are! They and Elton Moss Boatbuilders are brands from the same company. Northwich Boat Company offer a selection of regular specification boats, that aren’t as bespoke as Elton Moss boats. There is however no difference in the quality or integrity of build.