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Historic Narrowboat Holidays With A Difference! - Beautifully Converted 1937 Former Working Boat

So you like the idea of a holiday afloat but don't fancy doing all the work?

Perhaps a 'Hotel' boat doesn't give you the exclusive use of the boat or the 'hands on' aspect you were looking for?

Perhaps you are considering buying a boat and want the chance to try a vessel out with a homely feel? Either way 'Hawkesbury' could be the solution...

BM3Co offer 'Skippered Charters':

You get a qualified Helmsman who manages the boat for you and lives independently from the main cabin accommodation. Short breaks and weekly charters are available around a multitude of cruising routes.

You get to steer if you wish and operate the locks and bridges, even gain a recognised qualification if you are up for it! (See the website for details (

What you don't get are the stresses and strains of operating one of the largest, heaviest narrowboats on the entire system - leave that to the Skipper!

The ‘Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company’, ‘BM3Co’ is the trading name of the narrowboating division of ‘Bespoke Executive Solutions Ltd’.

About the boat:

Harland & Wolff built ‘Hawkesbury’ in 1937, for the ‘Grand Union Canal Carrying Company’. For many years she carried goods such as coal and aggregate on the Grand Union Canal and the River Thames, often pulling a ‘Butty’, an unpowered craft either alongside or behind her.

Recently converted to residential, corporate and training specification, ‘Hawkesbury’ has a solid cabin extension and an under cloth conversion, as well as a huge exterior saloon which we use for corporate and Family day trips for up to ten people. This makes ‘Hawkesbury’ a very comfortable, self-catering, live aboard boat that has plenty of room for entertaining guests.

Unlike modern, lightweight narrowboats, ‘Hawkesbury’ does not have the benefit of responsive handling, she weighs over 32 tonnes and has complicated, traditional controls. This requires a Skipper, trained in commercial craft, to remain in charge of the boat.

As guests you are more than welcome to assist the Skipper in both the steering and the passage making through locks etc. The Skipper lives in the original ‘Back Cabin’ at the rear of the boat and he is completely self sufficient, away from the guest’s accommodation. The engine room separates the guest accommodation from the ‘Back Cabin’.

Facilities aboard:

Quality bath / shower room with constant hot water

Beautifully appointed interior saloon with solid fuel stove, sofa bed for guests etc

Light, airy, spacious galley / kitchen

An enormous exterior saloon under the removable 'Cloths' in the bows

Master Cabin with large fixed double bed

‘Hawkesbury’ is a perfect space for a couple, although using the sofa bed in the main saloon can accommodate two couples.

A large second saloon at the front of the vessel has plenty of seating around the large demountable table.

Historic Narrowboat HolidaysThe ‘Cloths’ roll up completely so the saloon becomes open air in good weather.

The ‘Galley’ (kitchen) is inside the guest cabin and compromises gas cooker, sink with constant hot water and a fridge.

The main saloon boasts a radio and CD player, a television with ’Free to view’ channels as well as terrestrial and also a DVD player.

We hold a selection of films for your enjoyment. An occasional table folds up from below the side hatches, allowing you to watch the boats slide by whilst enjoying your meal over a bottle of wine.

Heating throughout the guest accommodation is via a central heating system powered by a solid fuel stove in the corner of the saloon.

Kindling, logs and coal are all provided for you.

The bathroom is a blend of classic wood and modern facilities including shower, bath, hand basin and toilet. Hot water is available 24/7 and towels are available, if you do not bring your own.

The Master cabin has a very comfortable double bed and is lined out in wood. There is a good-sized wardrobe. Further access out of the boat is via steps leading to a doorway from the Master cabin. There is a large bookshelf with a selection of titles for you to read.

Why choose NB. ‘Hawkesbury’ for your next holiday or short break?

Unlike a ‘Hotel’ boat you have free reign to pretty much please yourselves; cook aboard or dine ashore. You don’t have to share facilities and of course there are no surcharges for the exclusive use of the boat: It’s all yours!

Unlike a ‘Self – steer’ boating holiday you don’t have to manage the running of the vessel, although we hope you do take an active role in the steering and operating the various locks and swing bridges along the way. Nor do you have to worry about reaching a certain destination by a certain time… Stress free!

The Skipper lives aboard and will be happy either plodding along or pushing on hard and clocking up the miles. He is ALREADY at home!

NB. ‘Hawkesbury’ has two transport services. Firstly we can arrange a pick up service from the airport or railway station, to and from the boat, at an additional fee. These upmarket, well presented vehicles can also be booked to take you out for the day visiting attractions or in the evening to the theatre or a restaurant. You arrive back at the boat when you wish. You write your own schedule, we’ll worry about the boating. – Go on - enjoy yourselves! Secondly, we run a Land Rover Service Vehicle and can bring in supplies every few days or take you to the local shopping centre. We can even sort out a laundry service.

Feeling part of the floating community that is the canal system is what we believe a holiday on the canal is all about. ‘Live – Aboard’ boaters tend to dismiss holiday boaters and the liveries of the large fleets are a give away that you are not ‘in the club’ N.B ‘Hawkesbury’ is very much a boat that many Narrowboat owners would aspire to and being very inconspicuous as a holiday boat will allow you to get the feel of life afloat.

Prices are very similar to 'self steer' vessels of the same length, including the services of your Skipper. Please contact us for more details on:

Tel: 01543 481868

Mob: 07527 727169



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