Canal Boat - - The Boat Test -

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.

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