It occured to me to look up the reduced size/scale boat I saw passing through the IWA - Sarni - on the Jim Shead boat listing, taken from BW registrations, and there it is - 18' long, 4' beam, 8hp engine - but curiously of all, buolders are listed as being Adelaide Dock, I assume the one in Southall, now reverted back to a BW maintainance yard, was pricvately run. This gives her a little kinship with Tortoise, as the overplating done on her for Jim & Mary when they first bought her was the last job down at Adelaide Dock before they closed. I'm still intrigued though - a boat of 4' beam would be big enough to sleep in, but how stable would she be? Embarrassingly my post of a few days ago was at the top of a google search, but I did unearth this page - so generally used as a butty (boat towed by another). Interestingly the boat she was alongside - Random - isn't the one listed as on that page, but anything's possible.
Anyway, my obviously underused imagination wanders back to the idea of a pedal powered boat with accommodation - a self-propelled tent, basically. It would probably be a very long way from a scale canal boat (after all, someone once said canal boats have all the streamlining of a brick in the water) , but the scientist in me wonders how the pedal/prop drive would compare to oars on a canoe - the canoe of course would present a lot less motion resistance. It probably wouldn't take much to add an electric/solar drive as an alternative... other idle thoughts would be how it would stand up to sharing locks - or indeed the wash from speeding hire boats ;-) (or could it be made light enough to carry round)...
random further reading:
Time to put daft ideas on hold, but perhaps only until I work out my carbon footprint for this year's trip...
Norton Canes on test - The December Canal Boat contains my boat test on the latest offering from Norton Canes Boat Services.
3 days ago