Canal Boat - - Boat Test -

This is an ex­cep­tion­ally well-equipped boat – and we’re not just talk­ing about the hy­brid drive sys­tem and its huge bat­tery bank. There’s the so­lar pan­els, the satel­lite dome, the Fuel Guard sys­tem, the top qual­ity gal­ley ap­pli­ances. There’s also a lot of built-in fur­ni­ture.

And yet we know that the owners were de­ter­mined to stick to their bud­get. Tristar Boats say that if you wanted a boat like this to­day, it would cost around £150,000 — al­though they point out that prices of ma­te­ri­als and com­po­nents were con­sid­er­ably lower when Ohm from ‘ome was priced and or­dered. It means the owners paid less than that – and a lot less than the £180,000 they could eas­ily have spent; it looks like real value for money.

The se­cret is the use of smaller firms. Soar Valley Steel Boats and Tristar Boats prob­a­bly aren’t the names which spring to mind when you’re asked to name a shell builder and a boat fit­ter, but they clearly both have a lot go­ing for them.

And while it’s true that a hy­brid sys­tem is more ex­pen­sive to buy and in­stall, there are sav­ings on diesel (David reck­ons his con­sump­tion is less than half what it would have been) and you don’t need gas. But per­haps most im­por­tantly of all, this boat proves it’s pos­si­ble to have hy­brid drive with­out break­ing the bank.

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