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Narrow Boat Sika - Northwich Trader No. 952

The Northwich Trader built by R. W. Davis & Son at Saul on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal in England, is a faithful replica of the original Northwich motor by Yarwoods of Northwich in the 1930's using their original designs. I first saw a Northwich Trader at the Braunston Boat Show in May 1999. I was immediately impressed by the concept and looks of the boat on display.

R. W. Davis & Son build the narrow boat in only two lengths, 62' and 70' with the boatmans cabin finished, vintage engine fitted (normally a Kelvin) and ballasted so that the boat can be cruised away on the waterways.

On my return from Braunston I started revising my designs to see what effect the change from 57' 6" to 62' long would have considering that the Northwich Trader uses more than the increase in length for a longer boatmans cabin and engine room compared to my original layout. Also, the increased length would further restrict which British canals and rivers could be navigated. After several weeks of head scratching and liaison with R. W. Davis & Son, I finally came to the conclusion that my requirements could be implemented in a Northwich Trader and the increased overall length did not significantly alter the list of British waterways that I might wish to cruise in the future.

A very useful 4 days at the IWA National Rally at the end of August 1999 finally resolved all outstanding problems to the extent that I placed my order with R. W. Davis & Son to take Northwich Trader No. 952 (fitted with my own engine, a Ruston & Hornsby 2YC) for delivery at the end of March 2000.

Specification - Brief details of Northwich Trader No. 952 - N.B. Sika.

Engine - Ruston & Hornsby 2YC engine fitted to N.B. Sika. Includes sound of engine running. Covers restoration after recovery from a crane, through marine conversion to fitting of reverse/reduction box compiled from five scrap units.

Delivery - Photographs of N.B. Sika arriving in Belgium on a low loader lorry and being unloaded (and dropped!).

Mooring - Photographs showing the home mooring in an old transhipment arm off the Charleroi-Brussels canal.

Fitout - Photographic record and comment on the internal fit out divided into many different sections.


Page last updated 25 August 2009

Michael Clarke - 2009