We liked this boat when we saw it last year at Crick, even if it wasn’t quite finished, and it’s nice to have been able to go back and see it now it’s all done. But with the story about how it was bought at the show, and how the owners have commissioned changes and extras, it’s easy to forget that this is Smithwood Narrowboats’ very first build. That’s partly because everything looks so well done. The layout works, the design is contemporary, and the joinery and fit-out is excellent.
At the show, Chris Smith was looking for around £100,000 for this boat; including all the additions (among them the not inconsiderable expense of a bow thruster, don’t forget), Bridget and Steve Poor paid £105,000. That’s a pretty good deal for a boat with a good shell and a decent fit-out using quality materials.
It’s undoubtedly true that a first build always takes a bit longer than subsequent ones: there are always lessons to be learned along the way. But this is a good start by Smithwood, and it’ll be interesting to see what Chris Smith does next.