We have a very mixed collection of websites each making their first appearance this month. Anglo European Marine Ltd www.angloeuromarine.com is an independent marine surveying and consultancy company offering a comprehensive service and is headed by Balliol Fowden, a well known designer of narrowboats and barges with a long practical experience of boat building. Canal Boat Sales at Crick Marina www.canalboatsales.com is a site that deals exclusively with new and used boat sales at the marina.
Albatross Marine Limited www.albatross-marine.com are the sole UK retail and distribution point for Python-Drive flexible drive-shafts. They also specialise in the distribution, sale, and repair of new and reconditioned PRM Marine Gearboxes. If you are looking for any type of pump then W Robinson & Son (EC) Ltd www.pump.co.uk supply a wide range of pumps suitable for all kinds of application large and small.
Kings Lock Chandlery www.kingslock.co.uk is located at the junction of the Trent & Mersey and the Shropshire Union canals at Middlewich. They provide gas and diesel as well as having an extensive range of chandlery. For on-line shopping you may like to consider the Red Umbrella www.redumbrella.co.uk who sell canal videos and DVDs as well as clothing and other items.
The Northwich Boat Company www.thenorthwichboat.com is the boatbuilding division of Carefree Cruising Limited. They aim to keep costs low by offering a 57 foot standard layout narrowboat and lined sail-away boats with a number of options. A boat builder pursuing a different strategy is Central Craftworks Ltd www.centralcraftworks.co.uk who produce quality bespoke narrowboats and wide beam Dutch barges. Metro Float www.metrofloat.co.uk is a site that offers floating homes in wide beam boats of the "narrowboat" type. This site is associated with the New Boat Company so it is no surprise to find that design and styling are a prominent selling point..
British Waterways Marinas Limited www.bwml.co.uk covers the ten marinas across the country, from Lancaster in the north to Bath in the south, that are run by BW. In contrast Country Dreams www.narrowboat-countrydreams.co.uk is a tiny enterprise offering, on a well designed site, a single privately owned 66 foot narrowboat for hire.
We have two personal sites this month. Stephen and Lucy's Website www.luphen.org.uk is a site that covers various interests including pages devoted to canal trips and visits to canals over the past five years. Most of the trips are covered by photographs with captions. Jill and Rob Pendleton's voyage www.jillandrobpendleton.co.uk is a blog (web log) of a five and a half month continuous voyage on the narrowboat Naiad (No.75). On entering the site the latest page is displayed and there are links to previous parts of the trip. There are some good quality photographs on this site.
Shared Inland Boat User Group (SIBUG) www.sibug.org is the site of a group formed to represent all people who own shares in wholly privately owned boats using the inland waterways of the U.K. The Middle Nene Cruising Club www.middle-nene-cc.co.uk is based at Titchmarsh Mill on the River Nene where its marina and other moorings provide a home for various types of boats.
Site of the Month
This month's site is devoted to the narrowboat Glas y Dorlan www.ian.jeremiah.ukgateway.net, which is Welsh for Kingfisher. This boat belongs to Ian Jeremiah and his wife Josephine, the well known waterways writer, but it is not the reputation of the boat's owners that is the basis for recommending this site, rather it is the design and content of the web pages. All pages have a distinctive background that does not distract from the page content and a common design of navigation buttons and logos are used throughout the site.
The present Glas y Dorlan is the fifth of their boats and three of its predecessors are also featured on the site. The present boat was built by Colecraft in 1985 and there are pages showing photos of the construction and fitting-out. There are lots of sites that show this process but the majority show boats of fairly recent construction and I can't think of another site that shows a build of twenty-years ago. There are also photographs of the interior of Glas y Dorlan.
Other pages show pictures of voyages, winter boating, the covers of publications featuring the boat and a series of pictures showing the process used to do the sign-writing on the cabin side. This is not a large site and is a good example of the kind of website that most people could produce but which few 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.