Amongst the new websites that have come to my notice this month are four companies providing various electrical devices for boats. Ampower Services www.ampower-services.co.uk operate in association with Rose Narrowboats of Stretton-Under-Fosse on the Northern Oxford Canal. They offer a comprehensive range of electrical equipment from stock and a specialist installation service. The well known manufacturer Victron Energy www.victronenergy.com has products which include sinewave inverters, sinewave inverters/chargers, battery chargers, AC/DC converters, transfer switches, battery monitors and the unique WhisperGen generator. Another supplier is Merlin Equipment www.merlinequipment.com offering Leisure and Professional Series invertoers, battery chargers, combination inverter/chargers, battery monitors, batteries, alternators, etc from a range of manufacturers. The last of this quartet is Sterling Power Products www.sterling-power.com who produce a wide variety of electrical power products including chargers, inverters, regulators, converters, etc.
Boat builders and fitters are represented by nine new websites. Simpsons Boats www.simpsonsboats.co.uk is a narrowboat builder based at Sharpness and MGM Boats www.mgmboats.co.uk a narrowboat builder with 14 years experience. J.M. Clarke Narrowboats www.jmclarkenarrowboats.co.uk provide boats from the tried and tested Rudyard range of boats or bespoke narrowboats. The Sterling Boat Company http://sterlingboatco.com are narrowboat builders that are part of the Baker Vaughan Group. Louis & Joshua Boat Builders www.narrowboatbuilders.org.uk are boat fitters using Jonathan Wilson and Tim Tyler shells and Canal Explorer www.canalexplorer.co.uk is a site that includes information on the narrowboat builder Jonathan Wilson. Andrew Moore Boats www.andrewmooreboats.com is a builder of broad and narrow beam boats but this site contains some oversized graphics files that are slow to download and it has no navigation bar or menu so pages have to be viewed in a fixed sequence. Lees Narrowboats www.leesnarrowboats.co.uk are narrowboat builders based at Warble Wharf on the Peak Forest Canal. Warble Boat Builders, who have a separate website, are now part of Lees Narrowboats. Deeside Narrowboats www.deesidenarrowboats.co.uk offer a totally bespoke fitting service with total flexibility on all aspects from engine installation to choice of furnishings. They also have a separate site called Deeside Narrowboats - Boatshare www.deesideboatshare.co.uk covering their own boatshare scheme.
The remaining new sites are a mixed bunch. Calder Valley Marine www.cvmarine.co.uk provide engineering, boat-building and servicing based at Apperley Bridge Marina and Savile Town Wharf, and the Macclesfield Canal Centre www.maccmarina.com is a marina that offers boat sales, chandlery, day hire and other services. General Ecology Europe Ltd. www.seagulliv.co.uk produce chemical free water purifiers & micro water filters including First Need, Nature-Pure & Seagull IV water purifiers. One of the best known boat paint manufacturers, Blakes Paints www.blakespaints.com, now has a presence on the worldwide web. Although much of this site covers a wider field than just inland waters it does have a page devoted to the Scarecrow Trail At Ted's Boatyard in Market Drayton. Adapta Design www.adaptadesign.co.uk have a system based on a set of separate components that can be re-arranged into alternative items of boat furniture. Components making up the double bed can be re-assembled into any one of seven other free-standing units. Prop Protector www.prop-protector.co.uk is a simple shaft driven rope & debris cutter, rotating with the shaft and instantly cutting any rope, weed or debris picked up by the propeller. The only personal site this month is the attractive looking Take Five www.thelangboat.supanet.com about a retired couple who wanted to explore the UK from a different perspective and cruise the inland waterways in their narrowboat Take Five.
Site of the Month
Waterscape www.waterscape.com is a British Waterways website that gives information not only on its own canals and rivers but also on the Thames, Medway, Wey and nearly all the other cruising waterways including the Stour in Kent. The site is designed with newcomers to the waterways in mind with options for walkers, cyclists and anglers as well as boaters. This does not mean there is nothing of interest for the more experienced enthusiast on this site as it has good coverage of news and events, including emergency and scheduled waterway stoppages. Wildlife and history are also covered.
The site makes good use of links that lead to news items which may be of interest. For example when I looked at the River Nene page the news link at the top constantly cycled between three stories covering fish refuges on the river, construction work and the Fens Waterways project. When I selected the Broads map one of the news links was "Escape from Norwich by river" to which the obvious response is "Yare".
This is also very much a commercial site carrying some advertising and providing online booking services for boats, hotels and cottages. It is also a large wide ranging site with lots of useful information for anyone interested in waterways.
If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW
readers should know about please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sterling Boat Company.