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.