A batch of new hire boat sites start this month's selection. Swan Lane Wharf www.swanlanewharf.co.uk provide narrowboat hire based on the Coventry Canal. Also based at Coventry are Canalbreaks.com www.canalbreaks.com, a family owned canal boat hire company offering self-drive narrowboats. Aqua Narrowboat Hire www.aquanarrowboathire.com are based on the Trent & Mersey Canal near Burton upon Trent and Foxhangers Canal Holidays www.foxhangers.co.uk is another family run business who have been providing holidays on the Kennet & Avon Canal since 1974.
Boatbuilders and fitters form the largest group in the new sites. Ricochet Narrow Boats www.ricochet-boats.co.uk produce custom narrow or wide-beam boats from the initial concept through to launching. Mercia Canal Boats www.merciacanalboats.co.uk are part of the established Mercia Group of companies based in Dudley, West Midlands. Premier Narrow Boats www.premiernarrowboats.com are narrowboat fitters offering new boats from sailaway to fully fitted. Perkins Narrowboats Ltd www.perkinsnarrowboats.co.uk is a recently established company in the East Midlands run by Mike and Ros Perkins. The company is in the narrowboat fit-out market at the luxury end of the scale. Dursley & Hurst Ltd www.boatfitters.co.uk is run by David Hurst and John Dursley, who were committed boaters involved with the inland waterways in the eighties and claim to have fifteen years experience of narrowboat building. Colecraft Engineering Ltd www.colecraft.co.uk are one of the biggest builders of quality steel inland waterways craft and have been established for 20 years in the industry. Border Boat Builders Limited www.borderboats.co.uk is a new company based in North Wales producing a range of canal boats.
You would think that Stone Boat Building Company Ltd www.stoneboatbuilding.co.uk was another company offering boatbuilding but their site concentrates on chandlery and boat yard services. Farndon Marina www.farndonmarina.co.uk is on the River Trent above Newark and Viking Marine www.vikingmarine.co.uk have a marina based at Goole. Our final marina is Aspley Wharf Marina www.aspleywharfmarina.co.uk in the centre of Huddersfield. Move Your Boat www.moveyourboat.co.uk can move your boat for what ever reason. They work all year round and take the shortest route, subject to any closures. The Boat Shop - narrow boat consultants www.boatshopuk.co.uk is a site intended to help with all your narrowboat requirements. They aim to provide all the information needed for buying or selling boats. Vetus den Ouden www.vetus.nl are suppliers of a large range of boat equipment. Dek-Tec UK www.dek-tec.co.uk are the UK importer of the Dri-Dek interlocking tile system used on boats and many other applications. RoyScot Larch www.royscotlarch.co.uk is one of the UK's leading specialists in providing finance for purchasers of residential park homes and inland waterways boats and houseboats. Our only non-commercial website this month is the Stratford upon Avon Canal Society www.stratfordcanalsociety.org.uk promoting the fullest use, maintenance and improvement of all inland waterways of Great Britain, and in particular the Stratford upon Avon Canal. We end with two trip boats: Messing About on The River www.messingaboutontheriver.co.uk with details of a trip boat and day hire boats on the Bristol Avon and away2eat.com www.away2eat.com giving information on Birmingham's first cruising public restaurant.
Site of the Month
Just Canals www.justcanals.com is one of those ambitious sites that aim to be a one stop canal site and provide a variety of information on Britain's inland waterways. There are several websites in this field but Just Canals must surely be unique in that it is run and owned by a 14 year old. There is nothing in the design or content of these web pages that would lead the visitor to the site to realise that it had such a young webmaster until coming to the "About Us" page. Sam Lashbrooke became interested in waterways during family holidays on hire boats. This led to the family becoming owners of a share boat and Sam setting up a site Canal Cruising Society www.canalcruisingsociety.co.uk for the boat owners. Sam learnt his web skills from building this site and is also lucky enough to have an older brother who runs a web-hosting company www.supanames.co.uk and who gave him a web hosting package for his birthday. Although Sam leads a busy life, he is taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and piano exams and has all his school work as well, the site has developed considerably since it first came to my notice (see WW July 2004). There is a lot of basic information on the site covering canal history, cruising, safety, types of boat etc. There is also a canal shop offering books, guides, videos and DVDs through Amazon. Another "commercial" feature is the offer to advertise or even have your own page on the site. There is a lot more to discover on this site, including news and a competition, so take a look at what the young generation can do.
If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW
readers should know about please mail me at email@example.com.