A crowd gathered to watch a large new boat be craned into the basin of Chichester canal this morning.
Kingfisher will replace Egremont - now over 40 years old and given an honourable retirement - in providing popular canal trips for families and groups.
The 40ft long, 10.6ft wide canal boat will be able to carry 22 people along with two crew, ten more than its predecessor, and will have access and facilities for disabled customers.
The new boat, which will complement the small fleet of trip boats, was built by specialist canal boat builders Colecraft in Coventry, where it arrived from on Monday.
Its delivery is part of Chichester Ship Canal Trust’s major renovation plans for the basin at Chichester, and three new pontoons were also lifted in on the day.
Mike Bushall, the Trust’s chairman, said: “Today is the first stage with the new boat being launched. We still have more to do with two boats coming out for the annual inspection, and new pontoons arriving, to allow the basin layout to be changed. It’s been in the planning for some time.
“It’s been designed specifically for very easy movement around the boat, very spacious, with disabled facilities.
Judy Saxon, chairman of the Chichester Canal Trading Company, added: “We’re hoping to get it for commercial trips in February, but there’s quite a bit to do before then.”
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