One boat and 3 pontoons in, 2 boats out…
Monday 11 January will be an exciting day for the Chichester Ship Canal Trust with the delivery of Kingfisher, a new bespoke designed trip boat. Kingfisher will be delivered on the back of a large lorry from near Coventry where it was built by Colecraft, the specialist canal boat builders. It will make a spectacular site coming through Chichester’s streets to the Canal Basin.
The new boat will replace Egremont, which has provided most of the popular Canal trips for many years. It is now over 40 years old and deserves an honourable “retirement”, although it may continue as a support boat for the Canal’s volunteer maintenance work party.
At 40 feet long and 10.6 feet wide, Kingfisher is 5 feet longer and 3 feet wider than Egremont. With 2 crew, it will be able to carry 22 passengers, 10 more than its predecessor. It will also have access and facilities for disabled customers. It has cost £110,000, paid from generous grants and donations totalling £58,000 with the balance being paid from the profits of the Canal’s Trading Company.
The excitement of delivery day will be enhanced with the Canal Trust taking the opportunity of having the large crane at the Canal Basin to have 2 other boats lifted out of the Canal for routine maintenance by the large crane. Richmond, which is larger than Kingfisher and is used for the Christmas trips and private charters, and Boxer, one of the three canal maintenance tugs.
To complete the day, three new pontoons are also being lifted into the basin which are required to enable the boat mooring facilities and the passenger and wheelchair access ramps to be improved. The costs of these improvements has been paid for by a grant from Chichester City Council and Trust funds.
The day will start at about 9.00am with Kingfisher expected soon after, traffic permitting. Everyone is welcome to come and watch the skill of the Southern Crane’s operator who will be doing all the boat lifts. Although the car park will be closed to vehicles, there will be ample viewing room from a safe distance and the Canal Basin Shop will be open for light refreshments.
Further information from Ian Milton, Membership Secretary, Chichester Ship Canal Trust on 01428 651553 and firstname.lastname@example.org.