For a couple of weeks i have been organising this new project …The mallard a 23 ft grp Narrowboat that fits on a trailer and can be launched at any slipway with a trailer.
so story starts with an advert on facebook , mallard moulds for sale £5000 The moulds and the pull comes with trailers to move them around,and a gantry to pull the boat from the mould
Intrigued i rang the number , the seller had ideas of an eco boat electric but that was a few years ago and although he had been doing some background work his dream had yet to be realised and the moulds had stood for a few years.
I hesitated for a while ………………………….. as i’ve got several unfinished boat projects already, and the prospect of another left me rather cautious, if you have ever had a boat its that realisation that you’ve bitten off more than you could ever chew.
So the research began ,from the web i found a few links on some chat rooms , pictures and info on makers ,i arranged i meeting with jeff the seller and he showed me the moulds and he information that he had, the boats had previously been made by crystal marine boat builders in devises and hired out to the public by white horse boats , they made about 40 boats in varying lengths by stretching the moulds upto 42 ft long.
The Waterways magazine produced an article in the september 1989 edition reviewing the boat £10344 for the standard mallard.
So i have the history of the boat and the moulds, does it have legs , will it be just another bad business idea .
I have been in business for a few years and with all the best will in the world businesses run on money, no money no business. the thing is most business ideas would work but they either run out of money before realising there potential or are run by people that shouldn’t be in business.
I made some enquiries about having the moulding and grp lay up done by specialist as it pays to begin with a quality pull, i could do it as they did originally but that’s very labour intensive and has its problems, spraying chop strand machines are far better , machines can bought from china for around £6000 pounds and english machine is £10000-15000 . having the skills to keep the machine working knowing whats right and whats wrong is invaluable. manufacturing a quality product is the key to this , i could bodge it with cheap parts from china , keeping the price as low as possible , or use parts made in the uk which may price me out of the market.
I live on a boat so i understand when you turn on the tap , it should work, if the engine doesn’t start you are dead in the water .
lots to think about and questions unanswered
end of the first days log.
My plans for the boat are rolling.
I’ve partnered up with several businesses in the local area to build the first boat .the website shop will be filled and all electrical parts are sourced , the grp manufacture is underway and recon engines and fitting have been ordered. i have been approached by other manufactures who wish to stretch the hulls to make bigger boats.
this week i will be pricing sailaways and replying to all the offers and lots of interested parties that have contacted me.
Last sunday clearwater boats announced the revival of the beaver i will post the add so you can read and consider it, the basic price was £38,000 on the water.
Today i am looking for engines , a standard engine that will be fitted , i have contacted canal line and beta marine they are sending some spec on their best 16 hp engines so i can apply the correct stern gear which i have been costing.
On the boat i have there has been some alterations to the original mould , to slim down the swim and angle the edges to the bottom. this was done to the last two boats made,by adding formers in to the mouling tool.
The new workshop
The old forge is a little too small for this venture, so i have taken a larger workshop nearby