Canal Boat - - The Boat Test -

This boat is pow­ered by the ubiq­ui­tous Beta 43, cho­sen be­cause Colin wanted to be con­fi­dent of hav­ing enough power on rivers as well as canals. Ac­cess to the en­gine is by lift­ing deck boards which ex­tend the whole length of the deck. There are two, the big­ger of which is large enough to be slightly un­gainly, but once they’re up, you can see that every­thing has been in­stalled very neatly and there’s plenty of room around the en­gine.

Colin has also had LED lights in­stalled in the en­gine bay so he can see what he’s do­ing if, for ex­am­ple, he’s chang­ing the oil in the rain with the pram cover up.

There’s a size­able bank of seven 110Ah bat­ter­ies for the do­mes­tic sup­ply; it’s Bourne’s typ­i­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tion and means there’s plenty of scope for moor­ing up for a day with­out hav­ing to run the en­gine. That’s par­tic­u­larly true on this boat, which has a 240W Pana­sonic so­lar panel on the roof, to top up the bat­ter­ies. Colin’s re­search found it was one of the most ef­fi­cient pan­els on the mar­ket. There’s also a bat­tery for the en­gine, and two for the 75kgf Ve­tus bow thruster.

There’s a We­basto diesel boiler for heat­ing to com­ple­ment the Re­flex stove. In ad­di­tion, a heat ex­changer on the en­gine means that the ra­di­a­tors can be warmed up while on the move. It’s a good way of mak­ing use of ex­cess heat from the en­gine and it’s al­ways been a sur­prise that more boats don’t have one – par­tic­u­larly if you’re a fan of boat­ing in colder weather.

It might not look it, but the cross bed is a full king size

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