Friday, 8 January 2021

Oakums on test


The February edition of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test on Oakums, but Oakums boat builders.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Hunky Dory on test

The January edition of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test on Hunky Dory by Ortomarine.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Tenbee on test, plus Baleine’s stretch


The December Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test on Tenbee by Shone Boat Co.  There’s also a piece I wrote about Baleine’s stretch.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Stowe Hill Wharf

A quick dash today to Rugby Boats at Stowe Hill Wharf for a pre-lockdown boat test.  It was a blustery day, but sunny on and off, and when we got back a rainbow appeared.  This boat test will help get us through the winter.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020


I came up to the boat this morning after a very early but short shift at work.  I’d brought with me a surprisingly large cargo of new foam cushions for the dinette.

The old cushions were probably original to the boat, so were a bit flat to say the least.  Getting them out of the covers was easy, but I was a bit worried the new ones might be a bit more tricky to get back in, given that they were so much thicker.  Fortunately it was pretty easy — and it turned out my measurements were correct.  Sitting at the dinette now feels like a completely different experience!  Not only can you not feel the wooden slats, but the view looks different just for being a few inches higher, and air seems thinner!

To get rid of the old foam, I researched nearby tips, and found that the one at Northampton was about the only one that was both open today and didn’t need a booking.  Possibly thanks to it being a very rainy day, there were very few people there.  Tomorrow morning we have a boat test set up, and the weather is meant to be a lot better.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Momentous on test

The November Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test on Momentous by Trinity Boats.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Two in one day

I met Andy the photographer at 7.30 this morning in Towcester, and we travelled first to Swanley Bridge Marina on the Llangollen.  It was raining here, clear beyond Birmingham, and then foggy.  For the boat test, we did the internal photos first, then as the mist began to lift we took the boat out for the running shots — which Andy says worked really well, with the boat in sunshine and mist in the background.

Then we set off for Garstang and a marina on the Lancaster Canal, where it was also sunny enough.  The drive back seemed like a long way; actually it was a long way.  I’m staying on the boat tonight and will head home tomorrow.