Canal Boat - - The Boat Test -

ORTOMARINE’S PAR­ENT COM­PANY, Or­tomader, has been go­ing since 2001. It spe­cialises in elec­tri­cal con­trol sys­tems and pro­vides kit to a wide range of in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing wa­ter, oil and gas, and food pro­duc­tion. The firm is based in Worces­ter, a stone’s throw from Diglis Lock on the River Sev­ern.

While the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion into nar­row­boats came about largely be­cause Dave How­dle joined the com­pany, the di­rec­tors, his brother Rob How­dle and Caro­line Badger, are fully on board. Or­tomader has meant that Rob has spent a lot of time trav­el­ling around the world and he’s be­gin­ning to feel that there’s more to life than an­other busi­ness trip to Kaza­khstan.

So far the firm has built four boats for hire fleets, then two pri­vate boats, in­clud­ing this one. Over the win­ter, they’ve been build­ing four more hire boats, des­tined for the fleet based at the Falkirk Wheel.

The nar­row­boat side of the busi­ness has a hand­ful of staff, man­aged by Dave, and op­er­ates out of Dun­hamp­stead Wharf on the Worces­ter & Birm­ing­ham Canal.

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