Certificate no 3010
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location Limehouse
Vessel type Humber Keel
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Harker Ltd, John, Knottingley
Built in 1954
Hull material Iron
Rig Unknown
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
50.69 feet (15.45 m)
Breadth: Beam
14.76 feet (4.50 m)
4.27 feet (1.30 m)
Air Draft
9.84 feet (3.00 m)
Tonnage: Gross



Humber Keels are a uniquely British boat with not too many left afloat. They were workhorses and a lot were left to rot at the end of their working life. Their design is reputed to be based on the viking longboat.

ONWARD was taken out of service in in 1995 and cut and shut from 65 feet to 50 feet. The inside was converted by a master carpenter to accommodate his family of four. The wheelhouse, steering mechanism, tiller and engine room are all original including the hand crank Lister JP3. The vessel was used as a static houseboat. The current owner has serviced the engine and restored the engine room and brought her back to cruising standard. She has been overplated from the waterline down, and repainted.

Key dates

  • 1954

    Started working

  • 1955

    Original Captain Herbert Moxon 

  • 1995

    Converted to houseboat

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

More like this

PIONEER, port side view

Registered, built 1910 by Watson, J S (Gainsborough) Ltd, Gainsborough

Balder - moored (c) Stephen Crocker

Registered, built 1938 by Dunston, Richard, Thorne


Registered, built 1898 by Barraclough, James & Co.

Danum - at Tournus, Burgundy

Archived, built 1932 by Dunston, Richard, Thorne