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Tuesday 20 May

Today's news from the web

Monday 19 May

Sea Otter - more details

Paul Hobson, managing director of recently failed boatbuilders Sea Otter, has provided some background to the company's collapse in a newly issued press release.

He attributes the blame to the company's sole distributor, Walton Marine, cancelling their regular order - but also hints that competition from foreign-built boats may be a factor.

It is with great sadness that I have to announce that Sea Otter Workboats Ltd has gone into 'controlled liquidation' with immediate effect.

Walton Marine cancelled all future orders on the 31st March 2008, and under the instructions of our accountant, we have spent the last month trying to generate sales (at open weekends and 'special offers'). Unfortunately, this hasn't generated any sales which means we are unable to trade forward. If we were to do so then this would be seen as fraudulent trading and none of us at Sea Otter want to jeopardise our reputation and the reputation of the product by defrauding the general public.

All but one customer sale has been completed and delivered. The only boat still in build will be completed and delivered to the customer before the end of May.

Sea Otter's use of marine grade aluminium alloy is a great example of manufacturing innovation from a small family run business. No other narrowboat, especially cheaply built imported products, provides such a good investment as a Sea Otter.

Walton Marine will continue to support owners and boats still under warranty and are able to offer a full statutory warranty on all new and ex-display boats available while stocks last. Sea Otter owners have always benefited from very high resale values and we anticipate that with limited supply, values will continue to hold up very well.

We will continue to offer boat movements, servicing and facelifts, as this was a separately-run company and we have use of the facility and own the vehicle and trailer.

Paul Hobson

Richard Fairhurst  | 9.59am | 1 comment

Today's news from the web

  • Germany invests to enlarge its canals earthtimes.org

    Germany is to widen and dredge the Kiel Canal, a key access route to the Baltic Sea, so it can handle ships up to 280 metres long, Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee announced Monday...

  • Manchester Ship Canal cuts lorry movements roadtransport.com

    A company that has reopened a freight transport link on Manchester's Ship Canal to move goods off the roads says it could eventually save 15,000 lorry movements a year...

  • Crews probe canal tunnel blaze riddle birminghammail.net


  • Canal boats are stars of show expressandstar.com

    Hundreds of visitors flocked to a canal basin in Halesowen to enjoy a host of attractions including narrowboat rides, ferret racing and a fairground. ...

  • Metal thieves steal canalside art thisisleicestershire.co.uk

    Bronze artwork was uprooted from the towpath next to the Grand Union Canal in Leicester, near Frog Island, causing about £30,000 of damage. ...

  • Canal Festival Attracts Thousands thisislocallondon.co.uk

    As the Rickmansworth Canal Festival comes to a close, it is estimated that around 10,000 visitors took part in the fun. ...

  • New crew cranes opened on canal news.bbc.co.uk

    New cranes to help people with mobility problems to get from a boat onto a jetty or pontoon have been officially opened on the Caledonian Canal. ...

  • Engineer did not foresee River Severn danger portsmouth.co.uk

    An engineer overseeing the inspection of a lock where a Hampshire diver was crushed after a dam burst has admitted that a danger which could be tested by a child's toe in a bath plughole had "not occurred" to him. ...

  • BW boss goes on tour to meet customers waterscape.com

    British Waterways chief executive, Robin Evans, is set to embark on a nationwide tour to meet with boaters, anglers, walkers, and other interested local canal users, giving customers a dedicated forum to discuss their interests and express their views on the management of the waterways. ...

Thursday 15 May

How the outside world sees us

The designer's bible, Design Week, takes an unprompted look at narrowboat design with this challenging article.

The headline, 'Canalside Travesties', warns you that it's not going to be a sympathetic hearing:

"Canal boats are basically motorised metal pontoons, comically narrow floating caravans. There is very little nautical about them. That's fine, but I have an issue with the way they are now. They are all weird fakes."

Hugh Pearman, the well-respected author of the article, would like to see more "unselfconscious, functional boats" rather than what he describes as historic pastiches.

It's not an entirely fair picture: there are still some very affordable functional craft out there, like the Calcutt Clipper or even some of the narrowboats we've seen imported from China. But could there be an ounce of truth in his portrayal?

Richard Fairhurst  | 2.44pm | 1 comment

Today's news from the web

  • Jury visits Severn lock thisisgloucestershire.co.uk

    The jury in the inquest of tragic diver David Gordon Moore yesterday visited the site where he died while working on a lock almost four years ago. The 11 jurors were kitted out in life jackets as they were guided around Upper Lode Lock near Tewkesbury. ...

  • New L&L canal bridge icseftonandwestlancs.icnetwork.co.uk

    Plans for an iconic new canal bridge in Litherland have won the seal of approval. ...

  • Deer ramps installed on S&SYN thornegazette.co.uk

    Deer ramps have been installed along the Stainforth and Keadby Canal in a bid to reduce the numbers of animals drowning. ...

  • River Severn diver died after leaky dam burst portsmouth.co.uk

    A professional diver servicing a lock was crushed to death by three metres of water after a "primitive" leaky dam burst over him, an inquest heard. ...

Wednesday 14 May

Today's news from the web

  • Trent Vale project seeks community involvement waterscape.com

    The Trent Vale Landscape Partnership, led by British Waterways, has just begun a period of community involvement to identify projects that could benefit local people, visitors, and the natural and cultural heritage along the River Trent. ...

  • Jury to visit diver death scene news.bbc.co.uk

    An inquest jury is to visit the scene where a diver died after he became trapped underwater in a River Severn lock. ...

  • Isolated canal gets cleanup nwemail.co.uk

    Ulverston Inshore Rescue has launched an attack on the litter and debris in Ulverston Canal. ...

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