‘Duke’ sets sails after 30 years on Crinan Canal
After living at Crinan for almost 30 years, a well known character has moved on.
The German-built former customs boat Duke of Normandy II has been sold, after a number of years on the market, for an asking price of £60,000,.
The boat, then called ‘Ems’ was built in Oldenburg for the German customs in 1934 to a high standard. She was commandeered by the German Navy at the outbreak of war and fired on by American troops at Granville on the Cherbourg peninsula in March 1945 – and still bears the bullet holes.
Nick and Rachel Walker had owned the vessel since 1992 after buying her from British Waterways and many a family holiday has been enjoyed sailing her in the years since. New owner Rick Young said: ‘It hasn’t quite sunk in that I’ve bought her yet. It’s fantastic, a wonderful thing. I am not a mariner, but I have a crew of people who are.’
The Duke of Normandy II is heading for Northwich in Cheshire, where she will be examined in dry dock.
Rick plans to restore and refit the vessel for private use.
Nick, who is in the process of retiring, said: ‘I feel sad but also happy to see her going to a good home.’
New owner Rick Young, ready to sail from Ardrishaig Harbour en route to Cheshire.
Left: The Duke of Normandy II at home on the water.