Humber Keel Barge Conversion

Humber Keel Goodluck

Please let me introduce you to Vessel Good luck, She is a Humber Keel barge that was built at the Knottingley Yard in Yorkshire in 1953. You can see a 25minute film of her sailing down the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal which is part of a documentary filmed by Charles Chislett in 1959.


Click here to watch the video

Humber keel Good Luck Barge Conversion

Good Luck !


It was Good luck that first got us into working on barges over 19 years ago. We first saw her moored up opposite Doncaster prison chained alongside 3 other barges all in a very sorrowful state.  It was there and then that we decided to make her our home.


We then decided to undertake our first Barge conversion. She was then purchased and transported down to Kent so that we could start the transformation of converting her into a houseboat.

A Brief History of Good Luck

Good Luck was built at a time when the canals were used to transport the most major goods in the UK. As a Cargo Power Barge, she played a role in maintaining the economic stability of the country. 

Victor Waddington Ltd was the proprietor of E V Waddington Ltd who had commissioned the building of Good Luck from Harker and in her lifetime she has only had two owners. Good Luck has worked on the Yorkshire canals as a Cargo Power Barge for most of her life and has had one or two dramatic excursions over the years.


In c.1967, Good Luck was loaded with 100 tons of coal and left rather late in the day bound for Hull Gas House. Whilst waiting for the flood tides to rise after grounding at Whitton she encountered The Humber Navigator  (the NAV), which due to the low level of the water was pulling the bottom of the river making her sit up.


As the NAV neared Good Luck, her then skipper Len Goldspink signalled to the NAV to change course. Alas, the skipper was “running blind” and did not see Len’s alert and subsequently ran up Good Luck’s deck and the coamings into Len, severing his leg. Good Luck was towed by the NAV to a manned float at Whitton where an ambulance was called and a small boat came out of Brough and took him to land. Len survived the ordeal and Good Luck was repaired at Waddington’s after which John Dean became skipper for two years. 

This information was coppied from the national historic ships website.

Working Humber Keels Barges From a Forgotten Time
Converting A Humber Keel Barge Into A Houseboat

Once she had been transported down to kent from Mexborough on the back of a lorry we then had her slipped and floated into drydock, this is where the conversion work first really began.

over the next couple of months, she was stripped back to the bare metal inside and out and repainted. we then fitted her with a new steel barreled roof and wheelhouse

welding plates to the hull of a humber k
Porthole on a humber keel barge
Humber Keel Barge Good luck
Bespoke oak shaker kitchen on a humber k

I will be adding more information and photos as i get time so please check back again later .