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First look at our new narrowboat Merlin

We’re excited to show our latest boat Merlin in the very early stages of her development. The steel shell was fabricated by Jim and his team at Alexander Boat Builders in Stourport-on-Severn. They did such a great job on last year’s narrowboat, Hawk, that we had no hesitation in asking them to help us with Merlin.

She arrived by low loader a few weeks ago and is now safely in our shed where our talented team of craftspeople are hard at work. The initial jobs were to paint her exterior in Beacon Park Boat’s classic colours of green and cream and add the spray foam insulation to make sure she’s cosy during the spring and autumn months. Then we put the wiring in, and battened and boarded the inside.

Merlin's vital statistics are 6'10" wide, 60'0" long, maximum headroom 6'3", 2 bedrooms, 2 shower rooms and an additional bed in the lounge so she can sleep 6 people. Of course there’s central heating, fully-opening double glazed windows and roof hatches, porcelain sanitaryware, full size appliances neatly arranged in the kitchen, luxury mattresses and all the usual high specifications that you expect from Beacon Park Boats. But you’ll have to wait a while to see these features as she’s still very much a shell. We’ve added some photographs to Merlin’s webpage to give an idea of what she’ll look like, along with a detailed plan of her layout.

When designing Merlin, back last autumn, we decided to combine the elegant forward section found on Osprey with the style of bedroom we used on Hawk, the narrowboat we built for this season which has proved very popular. So on Merlin you can expect to see a large canopied front deck which can be enclosed to create a conservatory feel and a lounge featuring a wood-burning effect gas fire. The two fixed beds measure 4ft x 6ft 4” and the middle bed pulls out, cleverly creating space on either side of the bed and allowing space for your feet to hang over the end of the bed if you’re tall!

Here’s an idea of what other tasks we’ll be embarking upon over the coming months to get her ready for her first customers on 19th March 2016. Remarkably, holidays on Merlin are already starting to sell. We’ll post more photos of Merlin as the work progresses, so keep an eye on this blog.