George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces 2018 Narrowboat Conversion

I’m going to be a tiny bit annoying today, yes even more annoying than normal! I’m going to post about George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces … again, exactly a week after I last did. I assure you it’s for good reason and not a total mind block on anything else to blog about. Honest.

Last night saw the episode we’d been waiting for, 17 year old Billy transforming a 45ft narrowboat into the perfect floating family holiday home. I have to say he did amazingly, with some pretty grand plans, and for £7,800 and weeks of hard work they ended up with a stunningly quirky boat.

Whilst you couldn’t deny the initial boat was a little dilapidated I instantly commented that I liked the lines of the boat, and all the steel work seemed to be in good repair. It wasn’t mentioned but I believe that Billy may have had a limited boat knowledge, this is not a criticism at all, in fact I think this allowed him to have a totally fresh approach to layout and design ideas.

Annoyingly I can’t find any images of the boat before or after anywhere!

The layout was quite clever, creating sleeping pods, I think with a knowledge of boats you’re clouded by the view of separating areas into your traditional rooms. The pods were constructed with glass blocks which allowed a kaleidoscope of light into each sleep pod, it was stunning. I also adored the bi-fold front doors, especially when you think of the summer of 2018. Perhaps I’m more dubious of them when you remember the winter of 2017! I do wonder how they will hold up to a weathering.

There were some questionable moves, with a large amount of gravel being removed to allow the floors to be lowered, the ballast of choice for the previous owner, we had visions of a wibbly wobbly ride. We do hope that the ballast was returned in some form and the show just edited it out!

Following the episode James and I were saying that the beauty of purchasing a tired older boat is the freedom from judgement you seem to have. Billy decided to cut away the back half of the boat and construct a raised cabin area and we sat there and thought, wow that’s brave, but it turned out beautiful and allowed so much light and increased the amount of usable space. I think if we decided to take the cutters to Fantine one day we’d get more than a few comments! But transforming and breathing life back into an older boat seems to bring a different point of view.

It was nice to see a fresh approach, and the use of different materials and layouts was so inspiring. We really hope that Matilda Jayne brings the family lots of lovely memories and wonderful holidays in the future, and what a cracking chap young Billy is.

Best of luck boating guys!

James & Kirsty

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