Narrowboat Dane

Our first restoration project, Narrowboat Dane, was relaunched on 6th August 2016 at Alvecote Marina.

Originally registered at Stoke-on-Trent (No. 965) on New Year’s Day 1947, Dane was completed in November of the previous year by the Mersey Weaver and Ship Canal Carrying Company (MW&SCCC).  Built at the Charles Stanyer yard in Burslem, she is 70 feet long and 6 feet 11inches wide and was powered by a 1947 Lister JP2 engine.

The whole MW&SCCC fleet was purchased on the 1st February 1958 by British Transport Waterways and Dane passed into the North Western Division (Southern) carrying fleet of ‘British Waterways’. She was subsequently health registered at Northwich (No 62) on 3 October 1958. However it appears that this registration was never written onto the boat since shortly afterwards Dane was relegated to canal maintenance duties and later sold as a pleasure boat.

Very little is known about her in this period, but sometime after conversion she was renamed Joshua Slocum, and later Bream. Then in the late 1970’s she was extensively repaired and rebuilt by John Wooley.

In 2012, Dane was purchased from the Chandler family by the Narrow Boat Heritage Foundation.  At the time she was moored on the Grand Union just north of Cowley near Uxbridge Middlesex.  After close inspection and being given a few much needed running repairs to both her structure and mechanicals, she was transported under her own steam to Brinklow Boat Services. Here, under the watchful eye of Rex Wain, the engine and gearbox were removed and shipped to Johnno Hewitt and Dave Parry respectively for extensive reconditioning jobs. The shell was then transported by road to Alvecote Marina and craned onto the bank. Here detailed examination showed that she was in very poor condition, with only the shell of an incorrectly-styled cabin and a rotten hull left.

Suitable new timber was sourced and delivered in late May 2013. The rebuild got under way with the ‘steaming’ of the first replacement side-plank, in late September 2013, under the expert direction of master boat builder Ade Polglase, assisted by his apprentice Andy Cox.

Dane’s restoration has required a new keelson, bottom planking, side-planks, stem post, gunnels and cabin frame – to say nothing of an authentic period cabin interior. We believe she is the most complete and authentic rebuild of a wooden narrowboat for more than thirty years.