Certificate no 1647
Status Archived


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Narrow Boat
Location Birmingham
Vessel type Star Class Butty
Archive reason More information required
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Harland & Wolff Ltd, Woolwich
Built in 1935
Hull material Steel
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
6.98 feet (2.13 m)
4.00 feet (1.22 m)
Length: Overall
69.97 feet (21.34 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



ACHILLES was built by Harland & Wolff Ltd., at Woolwich, in November 1935 and was commissioned by the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. She was a 'Star' class narrowboat butty, designed to work as a pair, and was inherited by British Waterways in 1948. After 1965, ACHILLES was purchased by the Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company and used to carry cargo alongside the motor COLLINGWOOD until the 1970s. Today, ACHILLES is one of the few ‘Star’ class butties to survive in their original form. Her interior is currently an empty shell, but is sound and watertight. The original elm bottom has been replaced with steel.


Alan H Faulkner, The George & the Mary (1973) pub: Robert Wilson
Waterways World (October, 1999, pp50-54)

Key dates

  • 1935

    Built by Harland & Wolf at Woolwich, London as a Star Class Butty boat for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Co Fleet

  • 1935 - 1947

    Worked with a motorboat as a commercial cargo-carrying pair

  • 1948

    Inherited by the British Transport Commission

  • 1948 - 1965

    Continued working with a motorboat as a commercial cargo-carrying pair

  • 1965

    Bought by Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company

  • 1956 - 1970s

    Continued use in traditional cargo trade with motor Collingwood

  • 1970s

    Interior converted for camping

  • 2005

    Vessel in care of and livery of Birmingham Canal Boat Services Ltd, a successor to the Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company.  Restoration not yet started

  • 2012

    Ownership unknown

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Registered, built 1935 by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Woolwich