Aqua Narrowboats launched bespoke narrowboat Gadget in November 2019, a stunning 60ft semi cruiser stern narrowboat built to the customer’s specification. Built in Aqua Narrowboat’s brand new boat building factory in Foston, Derbyshire, and later craned into Lee Valley Marina on the River Lea.
Key features include:
Beta 43hp with Electrolux pack generating mains power
Two pack epoxy paintwork
Semi cruiser stern
600 watts of solar panels
Shore power connection bow and stern
Granite worktops in galley & bathroom
Corner diesel stove
Stainless steel radiators
King size cross bed
Integrated appliances Inc. washer/dryer
Wine lockers in floor
Six seater extending Pullman dinette
Electric lifting dinette table
Remote control under gunnel lights
Remotely controlled heating system
Customer built cupboard for coffee roasting machine
Managing Director – Justin Hudson-Oldroyd, describes Gadget as “a sleek and contemporary narrowboat.”
To summarise, Aqua Narrowboats latest completed bespoke narrowboat Gadget; comprising of top of the range features and built at Aqua Narrowboats brand new boat building factory, launched in November 2019. Gadget will be on display at Crick Boat Show 23rd – 25th May 2020.
Exciting times are ahead for Derbyshire based boat builder Aqua Narrowboats who have gained planning permission to build a 7500sqft purpose built factory in Foston, Derbyshire. The facility, which will include a 40 tonne crane and boat testing tank, will enable the business to increase production to allow them to build two new boats at a time, which will include both narrowboats and widebeam boats.
The company, who have been based at Mercia Marina for 9 years, have seen steady growth since establishing in 2004.
As part of the development a dedicated reception and showroom will be built. This will provide much needed space for their boat build customers as well as customers of their newly launched Aqua Furnishings business. This side of the business supplies and retails seating, blinds and soft furnishings for new and existing boat owners, and has also seen steady growth since launching in early 2017.
The increase in production and growth means that Aqua Narrowboats will be recruiting additional skilled craft people to keep up with demand. They will also be taking on new Apprentices to increase young talent and skills that the boat building industry is currently lacking.
As part of the expansion the company will also be relocating their luxury hire boats to Barton Turns Marina, on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Staffordshire. This move will allow hirers quicker access onto the main canal network at Fradley Junction, gaining them an additional days cruising on a holiday.
Justin Hudson-Oldroyd, Managing Director said
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us, and the whole team are keen to move in so that we can continue to be progressive and innovate the inland boating building industry.
We have enjoyed our time at Mercia Marina but we out grew the premises a number of years ago and have been unable to expand at the site.
Our new development which we move into in September 2018, will provide us with much needed space allowing us to increase production and productivity.
The factory will also provide a showroom and reception allowing us to create a better experience for both our Boat Build and Aqua Furnishings customers, something that we have aspired to for a number of years.
We are also thrilled to be moving the luxury hire fleet to Barton Turns Marina, another prestigious Marina with the same feel as Mercia. We will still be providing the same high level of service we have always done but the marinas position, closer to the heart of the canal network, will enable our customers much quicker access to Fradley Junction whilst still retaining our position on the Leicester Ring.”
BACKGROUND OF BUSINESS:
Aqua Narrowboats was established in 2004 with one hire boat fitted out by Justin and Jane Hudson-Oldroyd. The boat operated from Kings Bromley Marina and proved very popular. Another self-built boat was added in 2006 and the business continued to expand.
In 2008 a 10 year lease was obtained for the workshop at the newly built Mercia Marina and the hire boats were moved down from Kings Bromley. A Carpenter and Marine Engineer were taken on to expand the business into bespoke boat building and marine repairs. Throughout the recession the business has seen steady growth and now employs a total of 13 staff.
DEVELOPMENT & MOVE
Plans for the development can be found on the South Derbyshire Planning Portal – direct link to documents can be found here.
There are currently no plans to start building steel boat shells – these will continue to be outsourced from reputable shell builders.
Marine Engineering Work will cease at the end of 2017, other than work already booked in.
The Factory will be occupied from late September 2018 and the premises at Mercia Marina vacated in October 2018. The hire boats will be moved across to Barton Turns in January 2018 ready for the start of the season in March.
The new development will be freehold and owned entirely by Aqua Narrowboats.
Aqua Narrowboats welcome everyone to their Autumn Open Day, Sunday 8th October 2017, 12 noon- 4pm, at their workshop, Mercia Marina, Willington, Derbyshire, DE65 6DW. Complementary tea & cake awaits, whilst you are invited to explore the workshop where all the carpentry craftsmanship takes place, and step on board the boat building companies latest bespoke canal boats. If it’s a holiday you’re interested in, there will also be one of the 5 star luxury narrowboats for hire on display. All the team will be on hand to answer any questions and show you around. No need to book, just turn up. Make a day of it with local canal walks or visit the board walk shops and tea room.
Aqua Narrowboats welcome everyone to join them at the Crick Boat Show, Saturday 27th – Monday 29th May 2017, 10am – 6pm, at stand F38, Crick Marina, Crick, Northants, NN6 7SQ. You are invited to explore recently built bespoke boat All You Need Is Love, a stunning 60ft semi-cruiser stern. All You Need Is Love is a wonderful blend of contemporary and traditional: solid oak flooring, stainless steel radiators, double-glazed portholes and granite work surfaces. Steelwork blasted and two-pack epoxy spray-painted for a superb gloss finish. Booking is essential for viewings – please call 01283 701041 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment with Aqua Narrowboats.
Aqua Narrowboats will also be launching their brand new Aqua Furnishings store at stand 43 within the Waterways World Marquee. No need to book to visit this stand. Aqua Furnishings store specialises in furniture and soft interiors such as luxurious upholstered swivel chairs and high quality bespoke roman blinds designed specifically for narrowboats, boats, caravans and cabins. All of these spaces have a number of things in common: space is compact and walls are never straight! We have years of experience in designing for these unique spaces and have found smart solutions to compact spaces, that look great. We are happy to share these treasures in our new Aqua Furnishing Store.
How to find us at Crick Marina: Aqua Narrowboats, Stand F38 & Stand 43 within the Waterways World Marquee, Crick Marina, West Haddon Rd, Crick, Northants, NN6 7SQ.
Aqua Narrowboats welcome everyone to their Spring Open Day, Sunday 19th March 2017, 12 noon- 4pm, at their workshop, Mercia Marina, Willington, Derbyshire, DE65 6DW. Complementary tea & cake awaits, whilst you are invited to explore the workshop where all the carpentry craftsmanship takes place, and step on board the boat building companies latest bespoke canal boats. If it’s a holiday you’re interested in, there will also be one of the 5 star luxury narrowboats for hire on display. All the team will be on hand to answer any questions and show you around. No need to book, just turn up. Make a day of it with local canal walks or visit the board walk shops and tea room.