Saturday, October 13, 2012

Been out on your Long Boat lately?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who regularly gets asked the above question.  Maybe it’s the horns sticking out of my hat, or all the raping and pillaging I do, but people seem to think that Herbie is a Viking ship. 

Actually, at 50ft, Herbie is shorter than the average narrowboat. An extra 7 or 8 feet would come in handy.  However, I digress. 

This week I saw what must surely be the shortest real narrowboat.  You might have seen it too if you have been cruising between Braunston and Wigram’s turn. Of course you can get very short boats of this sort and that, but this to my mind is a proper narrowboat.

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A proper narrowboat cabin with typical gunwales, tiller steering, a stove chimney, black on the bottom and painted at the top. It’s the real McCoy. It doesn’t look above twelve feet long.  maybe fourteen at a push. Not a Long Boat then.  Actually, looking at it now I reckon it’s a Sea Otter, which would mean it’s aluminium so it would be a good light trail boat.

Just across the canal is another boat of interest.  Wooden hull covered in mud, it has obviously been sunk at some point.  You can see where the water line was.



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What intrigues me is that it is very close to the spot where the boat shown below lay sunken all last year.

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At first I wondered if they were the same boat, but on close inspection obviously not.  Can anyone enlighten us?


Simon said...

An occasional colleague, also with a boat is sometimes referred to as being 'out tugging'. Serves him right for have a tug deck, if you ask me.

I think the shorter Sea Otters are 19'? Frank's boat Maid Marion ( is 20', I think - has a semi-trad stern, too?

Adam said...

Marionette was featured in the very first issue of Canal Boat, and again in the fifteenth birthdat issue (last year, was it?) It is a Sea Otter, and I believe is 18 feet long.

Neil Corbett said...

Hmmm, shows how useless i am at estimating length then. Thanks chaps.

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

It use to live on its trailer near the entrance to Braunston Marina, the entrance that leads to the Stop House and belongs/belonged to Mike and Marion who live/lived in the house on the road at the entrance. Mike runs

Carol Palin said...

Marionette still belongs to Marion who runs the fantastic B&B at Braunston's Old Workshop
and her husband Mike who is a director of Eureaweb Ltd, Waterways - an essential boating guide -

The sunken boat has been there since at least Oct 10
and in May this year -

Regards, Carol NB Rock n Roll