is that a widebeam I see before me?

is that a widebeam I see before me?

at the brand new marina in Stratford upon Avon

‘To build or not to build’. That was the question facing Land & Water's marina team after purchasing the 22-acre site adjoining the River Avon in Stratford upon Avon back in 2016.

Despite planning consent being granted 45 years previously there was still some local opposition to a new Marina being constructed just 400m from the Bard's final resting place at Stratford’s landmark Holy Trinity Church.

To the formidable Stratford Society who viewed the sweeping field and floodplain as ‘such stuff as dreams are made of' it was always going to be a difficult ‘buy in’ to the project. Fortunately, Land and Water's reputation in developing environmentally, and ecologically sensitive sites gave the local planning department the confidence to approve the development; the first sod was cut and in spring 2021 work began on digging out the marina.

Shakespeare Marina

shakespeare marina

Two years on the marina has become a tranquil green oasis nestling into the local Warwickshire countryside. Facilities include diesel, pump out, elsan, coal, wood, bottled gas. There are also sparkly new showers, disabled facilities, a laundry and a welcoming marina office. The state-of-the-art rise and fall pontoons have been designed for a once in a hundred years flood so moorers can be reassured that their boat's safe from rising river levels.

The marina accommodates all shapes and sizes of boats and is particularly popular with wide beams as it offers the most northerly secure moorings for bigger boats on the Avon. The marina will shortly be welcoming the arrival of a Nationwide boat brokerage company selling new and second hand boats as the demand for narrowboats continues to rise and what better place to showcase the lifestyle than here at Shakespeare Marina.

Shakespeare Marina office

what light through tender pontoon breaks?

The unique selling point of this Marina is its location – just a hop skip and a jump away from the centre of historic Stratford upon Avon. Many of our moorers are choosing to use their boats as weekend holiday homes rather than heading out to explore the waterways and who can blame them? With a sun-drenched drinks terrace boaters are planning parties and BBQs to run the length of the summer. To the marina operators Geomac it has always been about people not boats and they wanted to create an environment that boaters would flock to and enjoy tinkering around on their boats.

It may be close to the action but the marina has become a tranquil oasis in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside. Moorers have been delighted watching otters, kingfishers, deer, foxes and rabbits, but with Stratford famous for its ubiquitous swans, the marina is visited daily by families of swans acquainting themselves with those friendly faces offering food.

shakespeare marina - beautiful location

Shakespeare Marina - night-time

It is expected that when full the 250-berth marina will contribute millions into the local economy and the local residents who have been clamouring to take a look at the progress appear to be extra keen for cafes, restaurants and other facilities to be built on site.

"All we can say to these people is that hopefully these will be included in Phase 2 of the development with our plans to develop this into a real destination location," says Ruth Noon the new Marina Manager. "In the meantime, we’ll be hosting a number of events on site including a monthly pop-up supper club, bespoke weddings, car rallies and marquee parties on the wider site. We’re open to all sorts of suggestions and ideas and local companies have approached us to host launches, training sessions, meetings and exclusive evening gatherings here in the marina office and who can blame them with the most enviable views in Stratford."

woman doing yoga on side of boat

close up of swan

"We hope that we’ll be providing a new and exciting venue for the people of Stratford, and making the marina even more attractive to visiting boaters who will no doubt be spending their hard-earned ducats in the historic town itself."

Ruth Noon joined the Marina in November. With a lifelong love of narrow-boating combined with senior level experience at the Canal and River Trust, she is delighted to join the team as Shakespeare Marina Manager. Having previously established and run the hugely popular Stratford River Festival, Ruth is excited to develop the marina's potential. Her immediate priority is to encourage new moorers and offer great customer service.

wide beam at Shakespeare Marina

shakespeare marina -sunset

Shakespeare Marina logoShakespeare Marina is in walking distance of the picturesque town of Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire. Perfectly placed for boating enthusiasts , the marina will have easy access to four cruising rings centred on the charming River Avon. The marina offers 250 new canal boat berths within an elegant landscape that mirrors its rural and historic surroundings.

Tel: 07714 095 005.   Email.   Website.

recession, what recession?

recession, what recession?

some thoughts from aqueduct marina

We are only too aware of the country's economic problems. Prices continue to rise, and belts are being tightened all round. It seems the UK only avoided being technically ‘in a recession’ by the skin of its teeth (zero growth). Despite the glimmer of optimism, money is in short supply for most people - or is it? In our sector of the leisure marine industry, boat prices are holding up well, as is demand. Enquiries for engineering and other maintenance work are where they should be for this time of year, which begs the question, where is the recession? Have we not yet reached the cliff’s edge? If the Bank of England is to be believed, we have. Will the wider economy turn the corner before our sector suffers a downturn? Or is our industry seemingly immune - I doubt it.

We at Aqueduct have certainly seen costs across the board increase over the past 12 months, so I’m not going to suggest that a recession is some kind of conspiracy theory. The evidence is there for all to see. What seems to be the case is that the boating community are a resilient lot. Almost no matter what the economy throws at them, they continue to enjoy their boats, look after them, and in some cases, buy and sell them. If our caravan site bookings are any indication, holiday bookings would also seem to be holding up well, which may prove the fact that while it is true that some sections of the population are struggling, some very badly, others are prioritising leisure pursuits quite highly.

I don’t wish to be complaisant about this; I simply question the view that a downturn need not encompass all sections of the economy. But what it is doing is putting a huge amount of pressure on the likes of CRT, whose CEO, Richard Parry, has recently voiced dire warnings as to the future of the waterways in their present form unless the Government, at the very least, provide some indication as to the Trust’s budget from 2027 onwards.

two new certified marina managers receive their awards

Phil Langley, from Aqueduct Marina, and Angus Maughan, from Overwater Marina, were presented their Certified Marina Manager qualification from Tony Dye, Global Marina Institute’s Chair of Europe and the Middle East. GMI is a partnership between British Marine and the Marina Industries Association, the industry body covering Australia, with the aim of delivering global marina training and certification.

Upon the successful completion of their course, which required the submission of comprehensive portfolios of their experience, credentials and references, Phil and Angus have boosted the number of inland marina staff who currently hold the CMM qualification. The majority of those who have successfully applied and been awarded have historically been employed at coastal marinas. Phil and Angus can now fly the flag for inland marinas while demonstrating their professional competence.

The two recipients are based a few miles apart at their respective marinas, a short distance from Nantwich in Cheshire. After receiving their awards, Phil said, “ he is delighted to be accredited as a CMM following his attending the advanced Marina Managers course early in 2022”.

Aqueduct Marina’s MD Robert Parton added, “The CMM/CMP network is a very strong international network of marina professionals and managers. It is excellent to have two more inland waterways representatives joining. Well done to Angus and Phil”.

Aqueduct Marina

Tony Dye, GMI Chair Europe and Middle East, presented Angus Maughan and Phil Langley with their certificates, having gained their CMM qualification.

SBS BoatLife 2023 hailed a success by Aqueduct Marina

The SBS BoatLife 2023 exhibition at the NEC was hailed as a success by the Aqueduct Marina team, who described the event as “positive”. The Cheshire-based marina received a number of strong enquiries for moorings, together with interest from brokerage buyers, those considering selling their boat and owners interested in boat repairs. Much of this interest was generated by Aqueduct’s offer of a free week's mooring or a slipway use.

Aqueduct Marina - show display

Aqueduct display and meeting area at SBS BoatLife 2023

Robert Parton, Aqueduct’s MD, said, “I believe we had a decent few days because the show had grown from last year, the weather was better, so the trains ran and most importantly, the inland sector had a much greater presence, with a decent number of boats to view. All this created just enough footfall. I also think it is excellent for the inland sector to be in an exhibition such as this which combines both inland and coastal leisure boating."

Robert echoed the views of many other exhibitors in saying, “The timing in February is excellent, with customers just starting to think about the summer ahead, and because the main season hasn’t started yet, marine business and their staff are able to get to the show.”

The team are looking forward to a busy season and next year's show which, it is hoped, will continue to go from strength to strength.

Aqueduct Marina Logo"In a world that is getting faster, where time is more precious, Aqueduct Marina stands for something. Imagine more - more time to enjoy, relax, laugh - more time for you."
A modern, award winning marina on the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union near Nantwich.

Call: 01270 525 040  Visit: Website Link

ct1 the snag list eliminator

ct1 the snag list eliminator

marine electricals team up with ct1 sealants and adhesives

“Quick, go get me something to stop this water getting in!” Not something you want to hear usually.

Definitely not something you want to hear if you’re on a boat, that’s for sure. But accidents and incidents occur all the time, and its best to be prepared for those times well in advance. Pop into any DIY shop and you will see countless options of sealants and adhesives to choose from. Some cheaper than others, and some very expensive indeed. So which one are you going to pick to solve your water ingress problem?

Well here at Marine Electricals, we’ve made that an easy decision by teaming up with CT1 sealants and adhesives. You may well have heard of CT1 and some of you have probably used it before, so you are aware of exactly how good this product actually is. If you’ve not heard of, seen or used their products before, we’d like to think this article might just convince you to give them a go, and if the product isn’t selling itself after you’ve finished reading, we’re pretty convinced the price we sell it for will be the convincer.

The question to ask yourself is this... Why would I want to buy several different products from my local DIY store for all the different jobs I have to do around the house, or on the boat or in the workshop? Well the easy answer to that is you don’t and you shouldn’t! Ct1 is a multi use sealant and adhesive and it’s available at rock bottom prices here at Marine Electricals check out the link here.

Now for those technically minded reading this article here is a link with the full product specification.

For the others like myself who just want the basic information here we go...

CT1 is the only product in the market with TRIBRID® Technology, making it 360% stronger than a traditional Hybrid Polymer.

With TRIBRID® Technology, it is scientifically proven to have excellent colour retention – white stays white and clear stays clear.​

CT1 will successfully bond:

  • All metals (including lead)
  • Glass
  • Mirrors
  • All woods
  • MDF
  • Polystyrene
  • Fiberglass
  • Tiles
  • Concrete
  • Most stones (without staining)
  • Most synthetic materials
  • Plastics (excluding PP, PE and PTFE)

Unique adhesion on virtually any material in most applications without the need for additional fixings. CT1 is the ultimate solution for sealing and bonding.

Here are some reasons why CT1 is The Number 1 Sealant & Adhesive in the UK:

  • Excellent colour retention
  • Environmentally compliant
  • Approved by NAAF – Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association
  • EC1 Plus Certified A+ Indoor Air Comfort GOLD®
  • ISEGA Certified – Conforms to Food Preparation Standards
  • Excellent resistance to chemicals
  • Moderate resistance to fungal and bacteria growth
  • UV resistant
  • Excellent resistance to vibration
  • Works in wet or dry conditions, even under water
  • Perfect for marine and boating maintenance, accident, and emergency repairs
  • Can be used in all salt-water environments
  • Instant repair and bonding with fibre glass and carbon fibre materials
  • Odourless
  • Does not shrink
  • Contains no solvents
  • No isocyanates
  • Unique flexibility
  • Can be painted – please see product information

So there you go, if you cant find a reason from all of these applications you can use CT1 for, surely our rock bottom prices here at Marine Electricals makes it worthwhile trying? We don’t think you’ll ever go back to anything else once you’ve used it. And don’t forget check out our website  for CT1 and any other Marine products you might need. If you can't see it on the website, give us a ring and we will endeavour to get you what you need.​

Our aim here at Marine Electricals is to take that same personal service which our local customers enjoy so much on our trade counter, and expand the whole experience a little further afield. That is where our website comes into play. We hope that you will find the exact product(s) you are looking for on the site and the price is suitably competitive for you to complete your purchase. However if you do not see the exact product you are looking for, or maybe need a little advice, please do feel free to contact us by phone or email, where our expert team will me more than happy to help you out.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PRODUCT CALL 01752 484 290 or visit our website


galvanic corrosion

galvanic corrosion...? galvanic isolation...?

let's make it simple!

All metals have a “natural” electrical charge . Different metals have different electrical charges. The bronze propeller has a different electrical charge (voltage) to the stainless steel propeller shaft. The rudder has a different natural voltage to the metal hull. If we were to place the bronze prop and the stainless shaft into the water without connecting them physically together there is no problem. Both the metals remain in their original state. If however the propeller is physically connected to the shaft and we place them in water things begin to happen! The metal with the highest natural voltage will try to discharge its voltage to the other metal. When electrical current flows between the two metals (via the water) corrosion will take place. The metal with the lowest natural voltage will be fine but the metal with the higher natural voltage will corrode....bad news! We overcome this problem by attaching an additional metal to the propeller shaft. This chosen metal has an even higher natural voltage than the bronze prop or the steel shaft. This metal is known as the “anode”. We now have 3 metals connected together in the water. Current will always flow from the highest voltage to the lower voltages and the “anode” (highest voltage) will corrode and reduce in size, over time disappearing completely.

The good news is the other two metals remain intact. By “adding” the anode we have protected the valuable shaft, propeller and all other metals below the waterline . When the anode finally corrodes away the next “highest” voltage metal (the bronze prop) will begin to corrode. It is essential that anodes are inspected regularly to ensure they are capable of protecting all the other underwater metal fittings. When the anodes have gone so has your protection! So far so good! Providing our anodes are good, well connected and of the correct size and type we can minimize corrosion of our underwater connected metals.

anodes - magnesium anodes for welding on to a narrowboat


By adding an anode(or multiple anodes) we can protect all the other metals. The anode will eventually corrode away.

When this happens the other metals will corrode.

Obviously we need to regularly check the condition of the anodes.

When the anodes have gone so has our protection!

So far so good. Providing our anodes are good, well connected and correct size and type we can minimise corrosion of our underwater connected metals No need to worry then? Not quite! Let’s look what happens when we plug into marina shore power electricity.

We moor our boats alongside other boats, metal pontoons and metal stanchions. Boats have lots of metals all in the water. Metal hulls, metal propellers, drive shafts, outdrives, skin fittings, trimtabs, rudders etc. We have protected the metals on our boat by fitting sacrificial anodes which in turn are connected to all our underwater fittings. We are not physically connected to our neighbours boat we are separated by the water. Our neighbours boat cannot affect us... Or can they?

It’s cold outside. The batteries are going flat. We need a brew! We need electricity! Here comes the mains! When you plug into mains shore power the cable you use has three internal cables: A live, a neutral & an earth wire. The earth wire goes to the shore power pedestal where it is physically connected to the ground. This is a safety wire and protects you in the case of an electrical problem. Your neighbouring boats also use the same earth connection. This effectively connects all the boats together via the earth cables in the shore power leads. In your boat the shore power earth lead goes to your electrical consumer unit & then to all metal components such as the engine block, fuel tanks, shafts / propellers etc & then finally connects to your anodes. Unfortunately as all the boats (and metal pontoons) are now interconnected via the earth cables any voltage leaks or "galvanically" generated voltages have an easy path between the boats. This often results in rapid loss of sacrificial anodes & increased corrosion of all underwater metals. If the boat next to you does not have anodes he won't worry: He is using yours!

corrosion - no shore connection

diagram - shore power connected

A galvanic isolator does not replace your sacrificial anodes which are essential to protect your underwater metals. It is used in conjunction with the anodes to control additional corrosion paths experienced when connected to shore power. A galvanic isolator does offer protection from both stray currents & galvanic currents which attack your boat via the shore power earth cable. These currents can transmit from other boats, metal pontoons & leaks on the 240 volt systems in the marina. Serious leaks can devastate your props / shafts/ anodes etc in a matter of weeks. Surveyors & boat inspectors will usually recommend fitting a galvanic isolator in the marina environment (They see the effects of unprotected boats all too often).

How do I fit a galvanic isolator?

Isolators are easily fitted between the shore power inlet of the boat and the consumer / distribution panel onboard.
If fitting internally the isolator is fitted in the earth circuit by cutting the green/yellow earth cable and inserting the isolator between the two points.
Isolators are also available for external connection either on the pontoon or on the boat. These easy fit isolators simply plug into the shore power cable and can be installed in under 30 seconds!

Further information or free information pack: or Tel 01977 513 607

safeshore marine logo

Over 24,000 UK boats are now protected by Safeshore galvanic isolators! 20 years of professional service.
Tried, trusted, reliable quality with lifetime warranty.
Safeshore supply isolators for every vessel...  D.I.Y. internal fitting or easy fit plug-in units, offering maximum protection, total reliability and superb customer service.
Guaranteed protection from both galvanic and highly destructive stray current corrosion.
Call: 01977 513 607; Write: email  Visit: website

are you sitting and sleeping comfortably?

are you sitting and sleeping comfortably?

Finding furniture to fit narrowboats can be difficult, but OK Joinery makes easy work of it, providing sit-sleep solutions that combine comfort and style.

OK Joinery Ltd is a family-run business based in Kidderminster, where its saloon, dinette furniture and sofabeds are handmade to order. The firm was established over 9 years ago and first entered the inland waterways sector at the 2019 Crick Boat Show. "Exhibiting at the event was a great success," says director Tibor Kunya. "Our customers really appreciate that we go the extra mile for them. Any suggestions we make are to ensure they get the best possible dinette that fits the space and meets their needs."


ok joinery - single seater dinette

2 single seater dinettes

In order to cater for its new customer base, the company began designing dinettes specifically with narrowboaters in mind and created a dedicated page on the website. Talking to boat-owners at the Crick boat show, it became apparent that storage was at the very top of their list of priorities, so many of the dinette models incorporate easy-access storage solutions. The versatile range of dinettes are offered in a variety of sizes that convert into single, double or king-sized beds, so there is something for virtually any size of boat saloon. Tibor and his team also work with boat-builders to select the right model and finish for new craft, providing the perfect sit-sleep solution for multifunction cabins and saloons.


Among OK Joinery`s biggest sellers is the Duplex Dinette, a multifunctional furniture system with storage in the base.The firm`s most popular narrowboat dinette with cushions that fit neatly under the gunwales. This boat furniture was launched at the Crick Boat Show.

There are a number of other designs featuring different systems that are suitable alternatives. OK Joinery offers Single dinette, Pullman dinette, and L-Shaped dinettes too. Tibor encourages customers to get in touch to discuss individual requirements.


OK Joinery offers a choice of neary 40 plain coloured fabrics for the cushions. The high quality heavy domestic use fabrics are Antimicrobial, Waterproof and Flame retardant.


2 sofas for relaxing

same 2 sofas for dining

There are 100s of colour options for dinette wood work, that when combined with different materials, can create a variety of
looks, from fresh and contemporary to warm and rustic boat interiors. All the products are available to buy online or from the
factory showroom in Kidderminster, which is open to customers by appointment only.

The company offers narrowboat dinette fitting services and can deliver ready assembled or flat-packed anywhere in the UK.

bed on narrowboat

dining area on narrowboat - ok joinery

Tibor, OK JoineryIf you are fitting out a new canal boat or maintaining an existing narrowboat you need to be able to find suppliers who specialise in narrowboat furniture.

With OK Joinery, you can be sure to find something that will suit your lifestyle as well as offering practicality, style and comfort. The quality and unique details of the interior fixtures and fittings will ensure that your boat becomes “a cut above” the rest.

 01562 540204 / 07895 438833

commercial tiller pins

commercial tiller pins

make a lasting impression

With a promotional tiller pin, you can offer your customers a unique, personal and memorable gift.

Imagine your company name and logo emblazened into a Tiller Pin, you then have the perfect gift, give away or stock item for retail sale.

What a great way to keep your brand in front of your customers!

Your tiller pins offer your customers a useful, attractive and great keepsake, with your brand standing out loud.

Made from a weather and UV proof material ensuring long life.

The Tiller Pin materials available are Alluminium, Brass and Stainless Steel. By far the most popular material is the Traditional look Solid Brass.

commercial tiller pins

Unique long term promotion for...

Imagine your holiday makers actually taking home a part of the boat they enjoyed their cruise aboard!  What a great souvenier of their holiday.  Keeps your name in front of your customer and encourages repeat business.  Which holidaymaker wouldn't be surprised by this gift from you to take home at the end of their holiday?

The perfect finish to a new boat.  A Tiller Pin that will always keep your brand in front of any cruiser.

Do you offer a service or product to boaters? Use either as a great giveaway - thus keeping your name in front of your customer. Or perfect for any boat service as a giveaway or as an extra retail item.

Your marina or boatyard brand becomes a Tiller Pin.  A useful, unique and memorable gift to your customers or add-on item for retail.

A fabulous stock item added into your product range.  A keepsake for your customers.

contact bespoke tiller pins

hydrogen afloat

hydrogen afloat

goodbye generator

I’ve lived aboard for 14 years and my list of what makes this life so special is extensive - the peace, the wildlife and the inclusive community of fellow boaters all rate pretty highly. I’ll bet they are sitting somewhere near the top of your list too. But, let’s be honest, there are some aspects of living aboard which wouldn’t even qualify.

Most of us know that feeling when, late on a winter evening, the water pump starts to make a deeper, slower tone as you brush your teeth. Your heart sinks as you wonder whether the batteries will lose voltage before morning and the fridge will start to defrost or whether you’ll need a torch to get dressed tomorrow. In these moments the choice is either to cross your fingers and anxiously hope for the best or put off sleep while you lug out the generator and charge the batteries for an hour or so. Those of us living afloat have always had to be conscious of our electricity usage. It’s fine if you have an electric hook-up facility as part of your mooring rental, but those of us who are continuously cruising or renting an off-grid mooring are limited to the power they can generate themselves.

I got myself some solar panels when I first moved aboard and they worked great during the summer - free power from the sun to keep my batteries topped up between biweekly boat moves. But in winter it was a different story. Basically, unless you have a solar installation the size of a small field and live on a very frugal power budget, you have to idle the engine or run the generator to create domestic power a few times every week. As well as the hassle, I was also unhappy at the amount of local diesel pollution I was creating and was conscious of annoying the neighbours (afloat and land-livers) with the noise. The only consolation was knowing that my boating neighbours were wrestling with the same problem, so we could give each other some slack if the generator occasionally came out at an unsocial hour.

hydrogen afloat

As an Engineer I am always keen to create solutions, to do my bit, however small, to make things better. For more than 30 years I have worked in the UK rail industry. My projects include adopting new technology, reducing environmental impact, and improving efficiency. In the midst of exploring hydrogen and its possible applications for trains, I set about applying the skills I use in my day job to the problem of domestic power in my home life.

Hydrogen and fuel cells have long been used in industrial, scientific and specialist applications, and I was sure there was a way to harness their potential to provide power on my boat. I set about connecting the dots and created the prototype ‘HyArk’, named for the fact that it’s a vessel and that hydrogen molecules flow into the fuel cell two by two!

Very quickly I noticed a huge difference. As the sun got lower and more distant towards the latter part of the year I found myself switching on the HyArk instead of lugging my generator out onto the towpath or starting my engines up. Because it was virtually silent (a tiny puff of hydrogen is emitted into the sky every now and then) I could sleep peacefully through the night knowing that in the morning my fridge would still be cold, my water would flow, and I would have light to ensure I was wearing a harmonious pair of socks for work. It was extraordinary - no noise, no pollution (the fuel cell emits only water) and in addition less wear and tear on my engine plus battery life was extended too.

Having lived with this prototype for two years I worked with designers to create a model which is both good-looking and practical. It was an exciting time, sourcing expert craftspeople and networking with other innovators in the hydrogen field. We added a remote on/off switch for the cabin and configured an ‘auto’ mode which means that the HyArk works seamlessly with solar panels, backing off when the sun is shining and switching itself on when the voltage starts dropping. As hydrogen must be well-ventilated and therefore on the roof, much attention was focused on the design of the casing. The outer unit is made from a ​tough resin infused polyester material, designed to be both robust and light weight. Made by a small team of boat builders in Falmouth who are used to crafting yachts from this material, it’s ergonomically designed to ensure low branches and ropes can glide smoothly over it.

Hydrogen Afloat - HyArk

There are a small number of very low bridges in the canal and rivers network, so it was vital that the unit can be easily removed and carried along the towpath, along with anything else up there such as chimney stacks and bikes. And for security the unit has high quality German locks and hinges, along with a vigorous fire-proofing system. The HyArk can even be vinyl wrapped to match the colours of your boat.

In some ways the HyArk has come a little too early, before there is a canal-side infrastructure ready to supply hydrogen at a price comparable to or lower than LPG. Currently retail hydrogen is only available from BOC Linde’s Gas and Gear shops and as such, is relatively expensive. However, there are other suppliers getting ready to enter the market with green hydrogen and it’s like the proverbial chicken and egg - demand creates supply but also supply creates demand. We need a few early adopters, like myself, to innovate and create the demand and this will in turn increase supply of hydrogen, making it much more accessible for everyone. Once an infrastructure is in place the potential to use hydrogen for boat propulsion will be a reality and we will be able to say goodbye to diesel for good.

More than 250 years ago the canals were early adopters of cutting-edge technologies of that time. As one of the first ‘leisure’ applications of hydrogen technology perhaps in some small way we are now continuing that tradition? If you want to learn more about our product or discuss joining us in the green hydrogen revolution, please visit our website at

hydrogen afloatWe are a small company harnessing the ecological benefits of hydrogen fuel cell technology to create domestic power without pollution and noise. As liveaboard boaters, we know the importance of reliable onboard power all year round. We integrate hydrogen fuel cells and their gas storage into a system that can easily be installed onto a narrowboat, wide-beam or inland waterway cruiser.

07702 725158



Recoheat makes a unique pumped-air heat recovery unit for solid fuel stoves, and this year’s Crick show was their first customer-facing event. The device fits into the flue of a stove and pumps air through a steel coil to super-heat it. The resultant jet of hot air passing over the top of the stove draws the heat from the stove out into the room in a pressurised flow. The heat from this flow is then passed into the wider area by the equalisation of the air pressure, so travels much further and more evenly than by any other means.

“We came to Crick because one of our first customers was convinced the product was ideally suited to the live-aboard market. He lives on a 70’ x 14’ broadbeam on the Ouse and after 20 years on boats of various sizes, this was the first device he found that actually heated the whole boat, and also completely got rid of condensation through its creation of a flow of warm air. He invited us to visit and explained how difficult condensation was to overcome, and since then has been enormously supportive in presenting us to his fellow boaters.”

The company is now based in Suffolk, but the device is the invention of Kevin Haworth, a plumber from Burnley. He launched the product in 2014, but with no backing or support from the academic and business communities he approached, he couldn’t meet the CE marking requirements and was forced to close. Luckily, that wasn’t before he’d sold a Recoheat system to Will Burrows, who used it for three years before returning to buy another. When he found the website down, Wil got in touch with Kevin and took over.

“I had my unit heating a 30’ x 14’ cabin with three rooms and a corridor, from a 5kw stove. It was extremely effective, and when I went to buy another unit for a new workshop and found the website gone, I got in touch with Kevin. The product was too good to lose: there aren’t many things you come across that really do work much better than anything else around.”

recoheat system and the recoheat team

Some of the effectiveness of the device was easily understood. Stoves use convection to move the radiant heat from the metal box into the rest of the house, so the fire first heats the walls of the stove, which radiate into the air, which warms and rises, drawing fresh air into the stove. When the fire starts to die down, the convection flow stops very quickly so that the stove stops moving heat into the room almost immediately. The pumped air on the other hand, starts pushing air from the combustion as soon as the fire is lit, and continues to pump it for hours as the stove cools through the flue: for anything from three to eight hours depending on the size of the logs and stove. However, there were a lot of other performance peculiarities that the company only discovered from their customers.

In their first winter season, they sold a few units, mostly to sweeps, installers and engineers – people who had the confidence and curiosity to test a completely new system. “For us, every sale was marketing: we knew the device worked, but explaining why was hard, and people would only believe other customers, of course. It was their support that got us started again, and it’s what drives us now. It’s also what teaches us about how the system actually performs, which in turn has helped us understand the physics involved, which is really fascinating.”

Notable customer feedback comes from installations as diverse as barn conversions, yurts, terraced houses, stone cottages, farm houses and even chateaux, mountain cabins and two bedroom bungalows. The common theme of the feedback is that the heat dispersal is bizarrely wide, moving out of the main room into corridors and other rooms, including upstairs even on large properties. In the barn conversion, the system ​heats the bedrooms from the ground floor, and several customers have reported that their large rooms are warm right to the walls, and even more remarkably, that their feet are warmed when the device is operating.

recoheat for widebeams and cottages

“There was a lot of feedback we couldn’t explain – particularly in terms of the heat profile. Typically you observe that the room temperature is much more even – you don’t have a hot area around the stove whilst the rest of the room is cold. But heat rises, so how could the unit heat to the floor?”

It was through Recoheat working with an engineering consultancy that the mysteries started to be unravelled. “At first they told us that our observations and explanations were fanciful, but when they discovered they weren’t by measuring the inputs and outputs, they not only understood it but were able to model it in their simulation software.”

The key to the heat transfer in the unit itself, as well as in the room, is turbulent air. Essentially, air heats molecule by molecule, so when it’s all flowing gently along in one direction, the heat transfer is quite slow, which is why an air gap is good insulation. But if you can induce a turbulent boundary layer, you disturb the airflow until the molecules are all bouncing around very fast, coming into contact with lots of other molecules and passing heat between them very quickly.

The high-powered pump and the coil shape creates that in the airflow, which means the air heats very fast. The air that comes out of the unit has been accelerated as the heat makes it expand under pressure, so that the outlet jet is three times faster than the inlet. This hot, high pressure jet is still turbulent when it passes over the top of the stove, so the hot air rising from the stove is drawn into it much more efficiently. So then the heat from the coil and from the stove are pushed into the room, but are crucially at a higher pressure than the colder air in the room. The pressures have to equalise, and it is the equalisation that disperses the heat so widely without any additional work from the device. This also means that it is the coldest, and lowest pressure areas that heat first, and that the distance from the stove isn’t important in something like a boat: if the air passes freely between areas, it will have to equalise in the same way water has to level.

Will now works on the project with one of his sons, with help from some of his four other children when needed. “We sold ten times as many units last winter as in our first winter, and twenty times as many last summer as in our first summer, so we’re hoping to maintain that level of growth. Launching in lockdown, and navigating some of the most difficult economic conditions for decades is tricky, but we know we have a product for the times: we’re allowing people to replace their central heating and sky-high oil, gas and electricity bills with their stoves, whether in whole or part. Our general feedback is that a 5kw stove with a Recoheat will heat a two bedroom house or its equivalent. The core of the house will be warm and the bedrooms will be cooler, but not cold, and that’s a massive thing. We really want people to benefit from this, because everybody needs the help.”

Recoheat have a website  and maintain a Facebook page and YouTube channel, which has driven most of their business to date, and is certainly responsible for bringing them customers as far afield as the States, Canada and even Australia, as well as all across the UK. They’ve been on TrustPilot collecting independent reviews for just a few months, but already have an impressive profile.

You get a good picture of the relationships they have with customers, doubters and supporters from their interactions on the different platforms, and they’re conversations they obviously give a lot of importance to. It looks very likely that those conversations will grow over the next months and years.

Listen to what Mark has to say about the efficiency of Recoheat on his widebeam here

WIN! A Recoheat system in our Autumn FREE prize draw! CLICK HERE TO ENTER...

Will Burrows of Recoheat

CanalsOnline Magazine met Will Burrows of Recoheat at this year's Crick Boat Show and were amazed at the efficiency of this product. Recoheat is a family run business with lots of glowing customer testimonials.  Well worth investigating!
01638 445180

boat furniture – it’s more than ok

boat furniture

it's more than ok

Tibor Kunya is the owner of Ok Joinery Ltd,  a company based in Kidderminster who design and manufacture furniture for houses, offices, sports complexes and, more interestingly for us, narrowboats, wide beams and Dutch Barges.

Originally from Hungary, Tibor is the owner of OK Joinery. He is both a Master Joiner and a qualified Marine Engineer. He began his working life expecting to be carrying out agency work, but he very soon found himself working full time for Sealine International, a boat building company of high repute. ( A leading UK boat builders, bought up by a German company in 2013.) Working with designers on the interiors of boats, very often with complex hull shapes, Tibor realised that he had found his vocation. He loved working on boats and trying to make everything fit perfectly and work correctly. And he absolutely loved being creative.

After a while, Tibor decided to go free-lance, and established OK Joinery Ltd with his partner Miroslaw Ochnik. Being based in the Midlands, Tibor turned his attention toward the inland waterways and began to concentrate on inland waterway craft. He explained, "The boats themselves are in some ways more straightforward to work on, as the hull shapes have less tapers, curves and tricky radiuses. Motor boat furniture has to be shaped, but narrowboats have straight sides. The only area that is more complicated and where there’s a bit of an angle is under the gunwale really.”

According to Tibor, many narrowboats have similar internal dimensions, which makes for more straightforward templates when designing fittings for them. However, this also means that careful planning is required. There are always problems which can be unique to a particular boat. But as Tibor says, "Making things fit in tiny spaces isn't new to us."

Practical creativity is very much part of Tibor’s working life. Recently it’s seen him design a narrow boat dinette/bedroom/living space with about fifteen permutations, and finding out how this could function has clearly given him a lot of pleasure. “A car mechanic just fixes things that have already been made. With joinery you’re creating something, and I love working with wood,” he said.

The dinette project came through conversations with boat building clients, and gradually the idea of a space that could be both lived in and used for sleeping took shape. “We were looking at something that could change from having seats into a single or even a double bed, and started by sitting down and sketching,” he said.

A prototype was built using sections of MDF, and the design was refined and developed, so that the end product has around seven permutations. Tibor claims that it’s unique and thinks it could also have applications in recreational vehicles, campers and caravans. To gauge reaction and get feedback, Duplex Dinette was built into a show boat at the Crick boat show in 2018. The company were back again in 2019 on the basis that Crick was a good place to get feedback and meet potential clients. Tibor was heartened by the number of boaters who liked what he’d done.

ok joinery - narrowboat furniture

“This business has to be based on trust. What we’re doing is not like buying a chocolate bar. People need to go away and think about things,” he said. The design is essentially fit for straight galley with passageway in the middle and also fit for “L” Shaped kitchen with basic size parameters of around 6ft x 6ft, although there is some wriggle room on the exact dimensions, so the product can be adapted for different sized narrowboat interiors. The deluxe version of Duplex Dinette can be used now in fifteen different modes. Tibor envisages it as being something that can be bought and fitted virtually as a flat pack, although he will also install it as a retrofit, and is keen to find work with narrow boat builders so that variations of his design become original equipment.

ok joinery - narrowboat furniture

All of which begs the question. Does he own a narrowboat himself? Tibor said because of the pressures of work and a busy family life, that he does not, and adds that his children are sufficiently young that their idea of fun is simply to play outdoors. “I don't own a boat, I’m a family man with two kids and I’m just too busy. I am sure I'll design one boat for myself when I am retired! ” He talks wistfully about this situation changing when his children are older, but seems more than happy that for now, messing about with boats involves designing their interiors rather than piloting them on the canal network.

things to consider when buying a dinette for a narrowboat

Owning a narrowboat and experiencing life on it has become very popular. Recent events have also prompted thoughts for many people of changing home. Also the aspiration of living at a slower pace, restful and relaxed. Voyaging along a beautiful canal, visiting amazing places. What else is needed ?

The answer is the boat itself. The options for everyone vary and depend on personal budget. Buying brand new, second hand or a start up project that you fit yourself.

Here we are considering one option for furnishing your boat. In particular your lounge area, knowing that your desire is to choose the best furniture for the purpose. Some people think it's easy, just buy a sofa and the seating area is sorted. However, they then realize it's too big to get through the door and that it also takes up a large space in the boat.

Narrowboat lounge seating that is simpler than a sofa, is a Dinette. Dinette furniture can include the options of a sofa, seating with table, a bed and storage in the base units. A typical multifunctional bespoke opportunity to cater for your needs.

OK Joinery Limited manufacture many different types of dinette. You can choose from a Single dinette , Pullman Dinette , L-shape dinette and our new multifunctional Duplex Dinette. Bespoke Dinette options also exist.

All furniture is delivered to your boat as ready assembled units that are easy to install. All work handmade in Worcestershire. Please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your needs.

Tibor, OK JoineryIf you are fitting out a new canal boat or maintaining an existing narrowboat you need to be able to find suppliers who specialise in narrowboat furniture.

With OK Joinery, you can be sure to find something that will suit your lifestyle as well as offering practicality, style and comfort. The quality and unique details of the interior fixtures and fittings will ensure that your boat becomes “a cut above” the rest.

01562 540204 / 07895 438833

scenic lake cruises in switzerland

scenic lake cruises in switzerland

an introduction by Anna Timbrook

With more than 1,500 lakes throughout the country, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to scenic lake cruises in Switzerland. Whether you want to admire fabulous untouched nature or discover a big city’s landmarks and attractions from the water, you’ll find a couple of appropriate lake cruises right here!

Also, with the Swiss Travel Pass, you can do all these cruises for free! From the massive Lake Geneva to the mesmerizing Lake Thun, here are all the best and most scenic lake cruises in Switzerland!

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva is the largest lake in Switzerland, so naturally, it offers the most options when it comes to scenic cruises. Some of the cruises even allow you to embark in Switzerland and disembark in France, giving you the opportunity to discover two countries on a single lake cruise. Most cruise boats that operate on this lake are Belle Époque paddle steamers and being on such a boat just elevates the entire cruise experience.

Cities along Lake Geneva include Lausanne, Montreux, Nyon, Geneva, and many smaller towns. Some of the prettiest scenery along Lake Geneva is between Lausanne and Montreux. Passengers can observe the vast Lavaux Vineyards on the northern lakeshore, all
the while admiring the majestic Alps in the backdrop. The boats also stop at smaller villages along the shore, allowing passengers to experience all the best spots Lake Geneva offers.

Lake Thun

Lake Thun, Switzerland

The mesmerizing town of Interlaken is nestled between two lakes – Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Both offer some of the most scenic lake cruises in Switzerland, with fabulous nature everywhere you look. Lake Thun is the bigger of the two lakes, as well as the largest lake in the entire Bernese Oberland region. Some of the largest towns on the lakeshore are Interlaken, Thun, Spiez, and Hilterfingen, each with its own fascinating attractions awaiting to be discovered.

It’s possible to cruise from Interlaken to Thun, and vice versa. The two-hour cruise is likely the best way to explore the lake and all of its beautiful attractions since you get to see the most landmarks during this cruise.

Castles, vineyards, tall mountain peaks, and forests are just some of the most popular sights of Lake Thun cruises. The vast lake is also popular for culinary cruises, with numerous passengers embarking upon the Fondue and Fajita boats to discover the mesmerizing scenery with a side of a delicious meal.

Lake Lucerne

Lake Lucerne

Situated in Central Switzerland, Lake Lucerne is one of the most panoramic lakes in this part of the country. Many different boat cruises are available on this 38-kilometer lake, ranging from quick, one-hour excursions to five-hour round trips that cross the entire lake.

Quick panoramic cruises are most popular with passengers who are just passing through Lucerne. They offer a glimpse of the lake’s dramatic rocky slopes and charming coves with majestic Mt. Pilatus in the background. Passengers who wish to discover more of Lake
Lucerne’s astonishing nature should choose one of the longer boat excursions, which traverse the vast lake's different corners.

Lake Zurich

Lake Zurich

Cruises on Lake Zurich are a great way of discovering the city’s most famous attractions from a different perspective. They’re also perfect for discovering the natural attractions of Central Switzerland, particularly for passengers who choose one of the longer cruises on this fabulous lake.

A round trip cruise from Zurich to Rapperswil is one of the most popular ways of discovering the lake. The boats traverse nearly the entire length of Lake Zurich, for a truly unforgettable experience. Admire the lakeside promenades, see the charming City of Roses (Rapperswil), and experience the spectacular Uetliberg mountain from the water – these are just a few highlights of the scenic round trip cruise.

Lake Zurich is also a popular destination for many other kinds of boat excursions. Whether you’re trying to travel from one lakeside city to another, or you just want to enjoy some fondue while admiring the rolling landscapes, Lake Zurich will not disappoint.

Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz

Situated east of the city of Interlaken, Lake Brienz is one of the prettiest and most famous lakes in the Bernese Oberland region. It’s often overshadowed by the larger Lake Thun, but this smaller lake has just as many wonderful sights to offer to passengers who decide to cruise its waters.

Interlaken is the best-known town situated on the lake, but a cruise on Lake Brienz allows you to discover the many scenic villages that lie on its shores. See the small streams that flow into the lake, discover the impressive Giessbach waterfall, and witness the stunning landscape of the region. The most popular cruises on Lake Brienz traverse from Interlaken to Brienz, for quick but incredibly scenic trips on the turquoise waters.

Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano is situated in southern Switzerland, right on the border with Italy. The mesmerizing lake is shared between the two countries, and many of the cruises on the lake allow you to discover the breath taking nature of both Italy and Switzerland.

The lake is surrounded by beautiful green mountains, for spectacular panoramic vistas no matter where you look. The biggest city on the lake is Lugano, and it’s the most popular starting point for lake cruises. Embark upon a boat and head to one of the many picturesque villages along the lakeshore to discover their narrow cobblestone streets, old houses, and fascinating landmarks.

It’s possible to return to Lugano by train, and you can also just catch a different boat back into town.

Lake Neuchatel

Lake Neuchatel

Lake Neuchatel is situated in the French-speaking Swiss region of Romandy. It is mainly situated in the Neuchatel Canton, but parts of the lake also stretch into the Bern, Fribourg, and Vaud cantons. This is the largest lake that lies entirely in Switzerland, so you can imagine just how popular cruises on Lake Neuchatel are.

This lake is also one of the lakes that are traversed on the famous Three Lakes Cruise. The other two are Lake Biel and Lake Murten. Both are connected to Lake Neuchatel by water but have a much smaller water surface. The Three Lakes Cruise is one of the most popular scenic cruises in this part of the country, and a great way to discover the spectacular landscapes of Romandy.

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Anna was born to travel the world having studied languages all her life. Although she has travelled the world, she now calls Switzerland home and spends her time writing about her experiences on Expert World Travel.

You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.