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Friday, May 11, 2018

Innovations at Boat Share Show

The last sunny weekend in April saw the National Boat Share Show return to Braunston Marina.  Visitors were able to get on board 17 different shared ownership boats and talk to existing owners of shares.
All four of the companies which manage boats for their owners' syndicates were at the Show - BCBM, Carefree Cruising, J D Boat Services and Ownashare - so anyone looking for a share had a full range of management styles to select from.  Over 25 shares were bought by new owners either at the Show or immediately following it.  They will join the 2,500 families who already share narrowboats and get the most boating for their holiday pounds.

Most syndicates advise new share owners to get some formal training and two of the leading trainers of shared ownership boaters were at the Show - T R Boat Handling and Willow WrenTraining.  "Training can make all the difference to owners competence, confidence and enjoyment of their boating holidays," comments Andrew Cooley of, organiser of the Show.  "Even people who have been on hire boat holidays for many years will benefit from training."

Making its debut at the Show was a new system for creating 3D virtual tours of narrowboats offered by Vaccine Media.  This new system offers not just a virtual walk through of the boat but also a photographic floor plan and a "doll's house view" that generated lots of "Wow!" comments from visitors who looked at it.  The first boat to be photographed this way was the newly launched Sky Lark, commissioned and managed by Carefree Cruising.  The results can be seen here.

News also broke at the Show of a new boat from BCBM - Liberté - to be launched next year.  This will be the first boat built by BCBM to use the popular list booking system, originally introduced by Ownerships and used by at least 100 of the 240 shared ownership narrowboats on the waterways.

The Autumn Boat Share Show will be at OverwaterMarina on Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th September in conjunction with the RNLI Festival.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Getting ready for the Boat Share Show

Most of the boats taking part in the Boat Share Show this coming weekend (Sat 21st & Sun 22nd) at Braunston Marina are now well on their way.

There will be at least 16 boats on view plus information on others from syndicates using display space in the marquee and from the boat management companies - BCBM, Carefree Cruising, J D Boat Services and Ownashare

Rowington is a 58ft semi-trad boat originally commissioned
by Ownerships and launched in 2000.  She has a
conventional forward saloon and dinette but with
a rear galley.  Shares are available from £1,950.
Shares on offer range in price from just £500 for a 1/24th share in the 58ft semi-trad Spellbound (BCBM) - celebrating her 21st birthday this year - to a 1/12th peak time share in Happy Days (Carefree Cruising), launched at the Boat Share Show in 2016.
Kallista is a 58ft boat commissioned by Carefree Cruisingand launched in 2012.  She has the 'reverse layout,
with the main bedroom near the bow and saloon at the stern.
Shares are on offer from £1,750

Most of the boats in the Show have semi-trad sterns but Minuet (Ownashare, 2011) has a cruiser stern and, at 54ft, is a little shorter than most of the others on view, which are between 58ft and 62ft.

Forget Me Knot is managed for her owners by Ownashare.
She is 58ft long with a semi-trad stern and forward saloon.
A share is available at £3,750.
There is also a full range of layouts to see and compare, from the 'conventional' Forward saloon/dinette/galley/bathroom/bedroom/ensuite to what is commonly referred to as 'reverse layout' of Forward bedroom/bathroom/galley/dinette and stern saloon.  There are also some stern galley boats to see. 

All of the syndicates with boats in the Show do not allow smoking inside their boats.  Most allow pets to go on holiday with their owners but there is one pet free boat in the Show - Jenny Wren (Carefree Cruising, 2008).

Heron is the only boat in the Show to offer a
fixed week share scheme.  She is managed for her
owners by
J D Boat Services.  She is a 59ft long
semi-trad boat with a forward saloon and two bedrooms.
Shares are available at £6,499.
There is also a full range of holiday booking schemes on offer, including the 'fixed week' scheme (Heron, J D Boat Services), the red (premium time) and yellow share scheme offered by Carefree Cruising, the list system available on all the Ownashare-managed boats and some boats managed by BCBM and the draw system also offered on other BCBM-managed boats.  A fuller explanation of these systems is available here (under 'How are the holiday weeks chosen) - and, of course, from the management companies at the Show.

You are welcome to go on to any of the boats in the Show and you will get a welcome from either existing share owners or a member of staff of the relevant management company.  Please remember, though, that these are private boats owned by a group of enthusiastic boaters - so please arrange to leave dogs and rucksacks on shore if possible.

There's a full list of shares available in boats on view at the Show here.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

I need help!

I have problem for the Boat Share Show on the weekend of 21st & 22nd April at Braunston Marina.  The field that the Marina usually lets us use for car parking is simply too wet to drive on.

I'm trying to locate some alternative car parking nearby, but I will need some help during the Show to direct visitors to what's available.

Please can you help?

Monday, April 2, 2018

Cruiser stern boat to view at Boat Share Show

Only about 1 in 10 shared ownership narrowboats have cruiser sterns, most being semi-trads, so shares in cruiser stern boats come on to the market less often.

The only cruiser stern boat so far booked in to attend the National Boat Share Show at Braunston Marina on 21st & 22nd April is Minuet, managed for her owners by Ownashare Cruising.

Launched in 2011, Minuet is a 54ft boat offering comfortable 4-berth accommodation and powered by a Nanni diesel engine.  She is currently based at Dunchurch Pools Marina.

If you want to get on board Minuet and talk to owners and the management company, then be sure to come to the Show on Saturday 21st - she will only be at the Show for the one day, as the owners on board are keen to start their holiday cruise.

Monday, March 26, 2018


The boats trapped on the Wardle lock side of the breach in the Middlewich Canal have been released.

Canal & River Trust pumped water up from the Trent & Mersey to refill this section of the pound and were able to get the boats out through the lock and on to the T&M. 

One of those released was Jenny Wren, managed for her owners by Carefree Cruising.  She was back at her base at Kings Lock on Friday afternoon.

Carefree Cruising commented, "C&RT were brilliant in getting the boats out so quickly." 

The 58ft, semi-trad stern Jenny Wren is one of the boats booked in to be on view at the National Boat Share Show at Braunston Marina on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April.  Admission and car parking for the Show are free.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Update on the Middlewich Canal breach

Portadam' in place ready to take water.
(Photo Ruth Chalmers, Carefree Cruising)

There's a new video report on what C&RT have been doing at the Middlewich Canal breach here but there is no more information about getting the stranded boats re-floated and out onto the T&M.

The plan was to pump water from the T&M, starting on Thursday, with the hope that the boats could be re-floated today. 

The picture shows pipes laid out alongside Wardle lock in preparation for pumping water up to refill the section immediately above the lock.  (Phote: Ruth Chalmers, Carefree Cruising)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

£500 could be the first step into shared ownership

Spellbound has a 1/24th share available
for just £500. (BCBM photo)
The 58ft narrowboat Spellbound has a 1/24th share on offer for just £500 and will be available to view and get on board at the National Boat Share Show at Braunston Marina on 21st & 22nd April. A full list of shares available on boats at the Show is here

The Show opens at 10am on both days.  Admission and car parking are free.

Spellbound is also the oldest boat in the Show having been originally commissioned by Ownerships in 1997.  She is currently managed for her owners by BCBM, who will have a number of other boats on view at Braunston. 

View from Spellbound's galley
towards the bow. (BCBM photo)
With a semi-trad stern, Spellbound offers 6 berths with a conventional configuration having the main saloon near the bow, a central galley and the fixed double bedroom at the stern.  The bed can be pulled out to kingsize.  The saloon has a solid fuel stove and the central heating is powered by an Alde 2928 Comfort boiler. 

Spellbound had a new Nanni 4200he engine fitted in 2008. Monthly contribution to costs for a 1/24th share is about £70.