Visiting Swan Boats in Liverpool
One of my favourite visits so far was our trip to see Ian, Mark and Gary at Swan Boats in Liverpool. We'd never planned to go see them until Gary messaged me on Twitter saying that Ian (Kinny) was keen for us to go across and vlog about his third solo narrowboat project.
After a few messages, and the promise of cake, we drove over the Pennines to see the adorable Kinny and the lads. It was the best laugh I've had in ages!
Finding his workshop was the first task of the day. Our sat-nav took us a few streets away to the opposite side of the business park. After a phone call for directions we drove towards his workshop and saw what looked like a twenty-year old lad waiting for us. Ian (or Kinny to his mates) doesn't look his true age (double the guessed age), but he's the nicest bloke you could ever meet.
His energy, passion, friendliness and knowledge of the business shone out, and we felt really welcome as he walked us over to his current project, boat number three. Once we were filming he took off to get himself a bacon buttie. I don't think he stopped talking all the way there and back!
As coincidence would have it, we'd looked at Kinny's second boat which had sold from the New & Used Boat Company at Mercia Marina just a few weeks earlier. Shaun really liked that boat, so it was interesting to see if his third project was as good.
We vlogged a tour of the boat and I was impressed at the quality. It wasn't luxurious by any means, but we were looking at a below £100k narrowboat. So for the money it was really nice. The craftsmanship, materials and build were all good, and the paintwork was hand finished. It had the look of a more expensive boat. In fact, we'd seen boats over a £130k that weren't this nice.
One of the features that I really liked, albeit a really cheap and simple one, was the TV in the saloon being mounted on an adjustable bracket so you can swing the TV round towards the dinette while you're eating. The rest of the boat, which had a reverse layout (Galley at the stern) was pretty much a standard fit-out but finished to a high standard.
This third boat was already sold, as was his next one (The shell was in build across the road at Aintree Boats). That tells me that Kinny is going to do well with his business. I think the experience of Ian, Gary and Mark, who have all worked in narrowboat building for a few years, really shows.
You can watch the vlog by Clicking Here
See you next time!