Crick boats broaden their ap­peal

Canal Boat - - News -

THE CRICK BOAT Show has for many years been the event to go to if you’re think­ing of buy­ing a nar­row­boat, with many of both the be­spoke and vol­ume builders ex­hibit­ing craft. But in re­cent years they’ve been joined by in­creas­ing num­bers of broader beam craft – and this year, there were no fewer than 15 wide­beams on dis­play.

This trend was re­flected in the or­gan­is­ers’ de­ci­sion to re­place the cov­eted ‘Favourite Boat in Show’ award – cho­sen by vis­i­tors to the show vot­ing for the craft which catch their eye – with two separate catagories, nar­row­beam and wide­beam. The first win­ner of the cat­e­gory for boats wider than 7ft was El­ton Moss Boat­builders’ Kings­ley, a 65ft x 12ft live­aboard built to Cat­e­gory C stan­dard for coastal wa­ters; run­ner-up was the ‘slim­line wide­beam’ Pioneer of just 9ft beam by Nar­row­boats Ltd, de­signed to pro­vide more space than a nar­row­boat but still with a de­cent in­land cruis­ing range.

Nar­row­boats still out­num­bered broad­beams com­fort­ably, and the win­ner in the un­der 7ft cat­e­gory was Bourne Boat Builders’ Three­pence Ha’penny, a 60ft re­verse lay­out semi-trad with an oak fit-out and hy­brid drive, de­signed with ex­tended cruis­ing in mind. Braid­bar’s Mei Long, a 62ft semi-trad with tra­di­tional lay­out, was run­ner-up. See page 28 for our Boat Test on Three­pence Ha’penny, and our Crick Boats on Show fea­ture on page 39 for a full re­port on the rest of the boats on dis­play.

Two days of fine weather on the Satur­day and Sun­day (and a not-too-wet Mon­day) brought the vis­i­tors out in healthy num­bers – with the or­gan­is­ers sug­gest­ing that it might be a record turnout. The ex­hibitors that Canal Boat spoke to re­ported that the lev­els of se­ri­ous in­ter­est in buy­ing boats were high, too; once again the wide­beams fea­tured strongly, with Colling­wood re­port­ing to­tal sales over the week­end (in­clud­ing craft dis­played by them­selves and in part­ner­ship with New & Used Boat Com­pany and Nar­row­boats Ltd) of no fewer than nine. Mean­while, be­spoke nar­row­boat builders in­clud­ing Braid­bar, who wouldn’t ex­pect to sell craft

at the show, were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing se­ri­ous in­ter­est that they be­lieved would lead to sales later in the year. And BCBM Boat Share re­ported sev­eral sales of boat shares dur­ing the week­end.

Crick isn’t just about new boats for sale, though: new for this year was an ‘af­ford­able boat­ing’ fea­ture, with sec­ond-hand cruis­ers which promised to get you afloat for an out­lay of £3,400 and £30 per week for moor­ings, in­sur­ance and ev­ery­thing else.

And there was a good va­ri­ety of boat­ing gear on of­fer too: three new en­gines all re­flected the in­tro­duc­tion of the Euro­pean RCD II emis­sions rules, with the new Bar­ras Shire 90 and the Canaline 70T both achiev­ing this by tur­bocharg­ing; while the Shire 70 takes ad­van­tage of elec­tronic in­jec­tion con­trol. Mean­while Ve­tus of­fered en­gines pack­aged with what they be­lieve is the first ever stain­less steel calori­fier. They say that this not only makes it stronger, but re­duces the chance of chem­i­cal is­sues in­volv­ing the tra­di­tional cop­per and the alu­minium in a heat ex­changer. And new from the Nether­lands was a com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in made-to-mea­sure plas­tic win­dow sur­rounds in any shape and size.

So much for the se­ri­ous busi­ness of shop­ping for boats – but to keep the pub­lic en­ter­tained and in­ter­ested there was the usual fine line-up of his­toric craft; sem­i­nars on boat own­er­ship; a Canal & River Trust dis­play in­clud­ing mod­ern ap­pren­tices show­ing the tra­di­tional wood­work­ing and ma­sonry skills they’re learn­ing and a re-en­act­ment of a 19th cen­tury Ellesmere Port ship­yard worker de­scrib­ing a new patent slip­way which could re­duce the cost of dock­ing a boat from £170 to £3 – now there’s some­thing the mod­ern boater would ap­pre­ci­ate…

New award win­ner Kings­ley

A glo­ri­ous day for look­ing at boats

The new Bar­ras Shire turbo 90 en­gine

Never mind the new...

Lots of lovely art

A skill to watch all day long

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