Wednesday 9 December 2009

Moor and Peace on Test

The January edition of Canal Boat is out, with a traditionally snowy picture on the cover. Inside is my review of a ten-berth OwnerShips boat, built as a bespoke boat for a large family. Not long after the pictures were taken, we all had to resort to our waterproofs as a torrential shower came over.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Tickety Boo on Test

The December issue of Canal Boat is out, and includes my review of Tickety Boo, a narrowbeam Dutch barge by Wharf House in Braunston. I was surprised how much I liked this boat, and and the piece says, I can't remember being on a boat which attracted so many positive comments from other boaters and from the towpath. It certainly makes an impression.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Breaking the Ice on Test

The November issue of Canal Boat is out, and includes my boat test of Breaking the Ice, and lovely little tug by Daddy's Boat Co. This was done on a nice sunny day on the Staffs and Worcs canal, and our short trip included a lock and a tunnel.

Saturday 8 August 2009

The Silver Kroner on test

The September issue of Canal Boat is out, and contains my test of The Silver Kroner, a remarkable boat from Navigation Narrowboats with a huge glass sliding roof.

Friday 29 May 2009

Canal Boats On Test

Canal Boat has produced an A5 book of boat tests, which was on sale at Crick and seemed to be doing quite well. It contains 24 tests published over the past few years, and seven of them are mine.

Monday 25 May 2009

Crick Boat Show

We've had two fantastic sunny days at the Crick Boat Show. It seemed quite busy with visitors, but there were fewer new boats on show than in previous years, and the land based area was also a bit smaller. Several of the boats I've tested over the past year were on show, including Caxton from Barnowl and Fizzical Attraction by Crown Narrowboats. It was also good to see this year's offerings from some of the other builders I've got to know, including Fernwood, Cauldon, and Reading. I also spoke to a few other builders about doing tests on their boats over the coming months.

Saturday 14 March 2009

Fizzical Attraction on test

Among the huge pile of post on the doormat when we got home last night was this month's Canal Boat, including my test of the Crown boat, Fizzical Attraction. On the day we did the test, Macclesfield was alone in virtually the whole country in having an overcast, showery day. So although we took the boat for a short cruise, the weather wasn't good enough for exterior photos. David, the photographer, had to go back and get the running shots a few weeks later (fortunately he lives a lot closer to Macclesfield than I do). That explains why I don't appear in any of the photos.

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Caxton on test

The March Canal Boat is out, and includes my review of Caxton. On this occasion, I knew more or less what to expect from the boat, having followed the build via Lesley's blog. As you can see from the photos, it was a very cold day when we did the test, although the warm welcome from Lesley and Joe made up for it!

Friday 9 January 2009

Fenchurch on test

The February Canal Boat is out, and includes my test of the Norton Canes boat, Fenchurch. It's a great boat with a classic Gardner engine, and traditional controls. I have to confess that the finished article turned out a bit long, and my efforts to shorten it failed somewhat. So I'm pleased that the editor has given the test eight pages, rather than the usual seven.