"A lot of people who live on boats also drive Land Rovers"
sign writer who will be giving their boat, named Hassle, a new paint job.
Hassle is 62 feet long and was built in 1999, although it is powered by a 1948 Lister three-cylinder diesel engine that runs as sweetly as any sewing machine.
Whenever they set off on a waterborne journey, Dan and his dad expect to make new friends along the way.
“The people who live on boats on the river are one big community. We all help each other out,” says Dan. “And funnily enough a lot of them drive Land Rovers. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t matter if they get muddy or you have to wade through water. If it gets in under the doors you just let it drain back out again! You couldn’t do that with any other car.”
Other fans of Dan’s Series III include his dog, Ella, an 11-year-old springer spaniel/labrador cross that loves nothing better than curling up and sleeping in the back of the Land Rover.
But Ella is a working dog, helping Dan in his part-time role as a shepherd, just as the Series III is a working Land Rover. It has proved particularly useful in times of flood, when getting to the boat he calls home involves driving across flooded fields.
Living in a narrow boat, heated by a cast iron stove and with electricity supplied by a generator, isn’t for everybody. But for a teenager who secretly wishes he was born in a bygone era, it fits the bill nicely. With the cries of the river’s wild ducks and geese as his alarm call and his Series III parked outside, Dan wishes for nothing more. And who can blame him?