Canal Boat - - The Boat Test -

In spite of work­ing to a bud­get, Steve was de­ter­mined to or­der a good qual­ity shell and im­me­di­ately took to the peo­ple at Cole­craft Boats. They built him a 58ft semi-trad, which is in­stantly recog­nis­able as a Cole­craft be­cause of its bow which looks quite short and flared, and with a rel­a­tively dainty-look­ing stem post.

And it’s not just a stan­dard shell, ei­ther. Steve has had T-studs at the stern rather than dol­lies be­cause he finds them eas­ier for moor­ing up. He’s also had a stor­age box built onto the roof which holds a cou­ple of so­lar pan­els. So that the box doesn’t make the boat too tall, the height of the main part of the shell has been re­duced by a few inches; this ob­vi­ously has a knock-on ef­fect on the head­room in­side, but it’s still a very ac­cept­able 6ft 4in, which is more than enough for most peo­ple.

The semi-trad stern has doors at the rear, and lock­ers down both sides. There are also rings, to pro­vide some­where for the cou­ple’s two dogs to be se­cured. Ac­cess to the en­gine hole is via deck­boards, which can be locked in place from in­side. There’s a gas locker in

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