After an accident left a boathouse damaged and structurally unsafe, rapid engineering work was required to ensure further issues didn’t arise.

Following a collision involving a Pennine Cruiser’s hire boat, the privately owned boathouse was at risk of entire collapse, and the services of UK waterway civil engineering and maintenance business The Rothen Group (TRG) were required to assess the damage and provide a solution.

Within 2 weeks it was established that the stone copings, along with the canal wall itself, had been damaged. The existing timberwork of the boathouse had also collapsed into the canal, which meant that if there were any further incidents, even a very gentle bump from another boat, the entire structure could have been destroyed.

Ian Rothen, founder of TRG, comments: “After assessing the damage, it was important to act quickly in order to prevent the situation from deteriorating. We consulted with the Canal & River Trust to gain a permit, and allow the works to be undertaken immediately.

“We started by propping up the roof of the boathouse so that we could remove the broken timber walls. This required the use of a floating pontoon, with an excavator, tug and hopper to retrieve debris from the canal. A new canal wall was then constructed by driving piles with back ties, and filling the void with concrete.”

To complete the works, the stone copings along the canal wall were then replaced using a lime mortar, and the timberwork of the boathouse was renovated and reinstated. All excess materials were removed from site via the floating pontoon.

Zoe Venn, Owner of Pennine Cruisers, comments: “The work was specialist in nature, so TRG’s expertise in handling marine civil engineering works was critical to the success of the project. The building was at risk of being damaged further as it was structurally unsafe and on a busy stretch of the waterway in the centre of Skipton. The Rothen Group acted decisively, completing the works to a high standard that has delighted both ourselves and the owner of the boathouse.”



Ian concludes: “The Yorkshire Dales are a beautiful part of the world, and exploring them by canals is the best way to see the sights. TRG was able to respond quickly to this unfortunate incident, owing to its capacity to utilise the UK’s waterways to quickly mobilise across the country.”

To find out more about the types of projects that The Rothen Group can assist with, please visit