Kennet & Avon Boat Builders Ltd.

Last weeekend I go a bit keen on polishing Albert and reached some bits that don't normally get much attention. I used some Brasso on the maker's nameplate which is mounted on the lid of the bow (gas) locker.

Albert's Maker's Plate

Albert was delivered as a sailaway by Kennet & Avon Boat Builders Ltd to Mike Hurd, her first owner, who fitted her out. Each time I examine the maker's plate the mystery of the code on the plate intrigues me. On the plate is engraved 60 T MD 2YWM 12 94. Most of the code hasn't been very difficult to work out, but the third pair of letters remains a mystery to me.

60 - 60 ft length
T - traditional stern
MD - ?
2YWM - the code of the engine, Ruston & Hornsby 2YWM Mk V
12 - the 12th boat built by the company
94 - the year 1994, Albert was delivered in February 1994

So this leaves me still wondering about MD. Answers on a post-card to ......

I also started looking on the web about Kennet & Avon Boat Builders Ltd. I have known for some time that they were based, not on the K&A navigation, but some distance south at Mere; the company was part of a steel fabrication organisation just off the A303. The boatbuilding company ceased trading in late 1994 so I think Albert must be one of their last shells.

However, this time I decided to use the web to search for how many other K&A Boatbuilders shells are around. A search of Jim Shead's site, which gives boats registered to BW and EA, revealed that 9 were still registered, all with BW. Two boats, Adelante and Halcyon Daze were recently sold, but sadly one K&A 60ft boat, Thistle, was involved in a fire at Honey Street on the K&A in early 2007 and was recently sold as a wreck.

When I had Albert surveyed at Bradford Marina back in late 2003, Sally Boats had some K&A shells in their fleet and that they liked how they were put together and their handling. I wonder if they are still in their fleet and what other K&A boats are around the system but not noted in the registers as being built by K&A.