We are really excited that when we became the directors at Union Wharf Marina, we were also given us the opportunity to create a Boutique Day Boat. There are four day boats as part of the Market Harborough fleet, and one of these in particular seemed ripe for renovation. Although very popular last year with daytrippers, Water Vole needed a new engine among other things, and we took her out of service at the end of 2019.
Day trips from Market Harborough have always been popular as the halfway point is the bottom of the famous Foxton Locks. Whilst you can’t go up or down the locks in a day boat, there are perfect mooring spots in the basin at the bottom which means you can moor up right outside a pub garden and go for some refreshment. Often people will take a picnic to eat en route and then explore Foxton on foot before turning round and returning to Market Harborough for an evening meal at The Waterfront. It’s an idyllic day.
Now we are in the throes of designing the new layout of Water Vole; we know that we want her to have a similar feel to the Boutique Narrowboats, Lesley Ann and Chalkhill Blue, so that hirers will experience the same sense of luxury on a day trip as they can on a weekend mini break. This will probably mean reducing the number of people who can take out this particular day boat (usually 12) to ensure that there is plenty of space on board.
Aaran is also trying to “electrify” the engine system which will mean this day boat can rely on plugging in at the marina for her power, rather than diesel.This is no easy task as you can’t go into Halfords and buy a conversion kit. We will keep you posted!
Meanwhile, here are the final pictures of Water Vole in 2019. We can promise you she will look very different later this year.