Our Boat

"Dogma" is a 53ft (17.1m) Coles Morton narrowboat. Lovingly hand crafted by skillful artisans in Derby. When we bought her, we were told that she was built in 1982 or 1985. But, we suspect that she was made several years earlier than that, as (according to William @ TW Marine) the design of some of the gearbox's internal components was discontinued in 1980.

We like to think she's a punk boat. Genuine 1977. Still going strong, because she was made from good quality British steel. And not this modern day recycled tin can Polish/Chinese stuff, that rusts away 5 minutes after being placed into the water.

54ft and 12 tons We know she used to be a hireboat, because there are dings and dents all over the place. The hull is full of character. And underneath the current paintwork, there are the remains of approximately 8 different colour schemes. At one stage, the internal layout was completely different too. A couple of people reckon she may have been a six berther. One thing is clear. She's had a variety of many different owners and hirers over the years, and has probably travelled quite a bit of the canal network. Inside, the feeling is warm, cosy and lived in.

Our locomotion is provided by a Danish Bukh DV20 (capable of generating a massive 21 horse power). It's an engine more commonly found powering 30ft glassfibre yachts, or oil-rig escape pods. It's a "bit of a pig" to start from cold, but sounds great when running (in an endearing 'Das Boot' kind of way).

2 cylinder Bukh marine diesel engine Some people have laughed, when they've seen the tiny size of our little 2 cylinder lump. But we are more than happy with the low fuel consumption of (approximately) 1/2 litre an hour. Being able to maintain and fix it ourselves with a bag of spanners comes in handy, too.

Our maximum top speed, downstream, with the wind behind us, is roughly 5mph. Which is about as fast as we wish to go. We didn't buy a narrowboat to whiz around everywhere.

As of 2013, we hear that Mr Morton Coles is (like his boats), still going strong. We'd like to thank him very much, because his designs handle like a dream. Turning well within their own length, and cutting/swimming through the water beautifully. He certainly knew what he was doing.

Here's some photos taken by other people, that we found on Google images. Thankyou to the photographers of these...

Turning at Reading ~ Sheena with Tea
Enroute to Lechlade ~ Lovely image composition

Dogma pictures & video on Flikr
(Thanks to Sam and Jon - Green Boat Company)

** Top picture pinched from the No Problem blog.
Cheers Sue & Vic, that was a lovely cruise.

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