About Albert

Albert outside the Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne in January 2005

Albert is a 61ft traditional narrow boat; built by Kennet & Avon Boatbuilders in 1994 and fitted out by her first owner in cottage-style. The hull has 15/6/4 plating. When cruising her draught is around 31". Albert is Steve & Maggie's second boat; their first being a 41ft Peter Nicholl's traditional narrow boat.

The engine is a Ruston & Hornsby (India) 2YWM Mk V diesel controlled by speedwheel. Albert has a short version (6' 6") of the traditional working boat back cabin. base There is also a "pigeon box" ventilator and an exhaust stack mounted on the roof above the engine room.

In 2008 Albert's cabin sides were repainted in Mason's Mid Coach Green with black panels surrounded by scumble. The coachline around the cabin was in gold. The roof was finished in Corfe Grey and Craftmaster Raddle Red (stern section). Unusually, the scumble paint was Dulux Brushwood and it was unvarnished as recommended by the manufacturer. The bows, engine room roof and cratch were decorated with traditional harlequin patterns. The decoration was carried out by Colin Dundas and the painting by Baxters Boatfitting Services.

In 2018 Albert had a repaint by Colin Dundas, largely following the theme and decoration adopted in 2008. There were changes in the paint supplier (Epifanes) and after the demise of Dulux Brushwood Colin used a combination of his own devising that also doesn't require a varnish coat. The roof is now in Multiforte - Medium Grey and Red Oxide (Stern).

Saloon looking aft

Saloon looking forward

The walls of the interior of the boat are in diagonal tongue and groove iroko with other surfaces in mahogany plywood. There are a number of items of antique furniture on board including a small oak desk. The main seating is a Parker Knoll settee and chair. The curtains are William Morris Willow Bough and Blackthorn.

Heating is via a Brunel coal-burning stove positioned towards the front of the saloon and Alde gas central heating. Hot water comes either from the calorifier, linked to the engine, land-line immersion heater (1kW), or the Alde. Cooking is by gas with a separate hob and cooker. There is a Shoreline 12 v DC fridge.  The bathroom was decorated with Laura Ashley wallpaper and cranberry curtains that contains a shower and Mansfield toilet, but in 2018 the wallpaper was replaced by more practical paint and cranberry feature tiles added to the shower area. Albert has a large integral holding tank and conveniently has pump-out and rinse connections on both gunwales.

Double-bed with canopy

The main bedroom contains a double-bed with a canopy and storage underneath. Usually this is called a four poster but here it has only one complete post and a dummy half-post. Technically a one-and-a-half poster!

Lighting is via conventional 12 v dc although most have been converted the LED to save power. There are also two fully functioning oil-lamps on board; one in the saloon and one in the traditional back cabin.

The main details of the engine are given on the relevant page and posts about it are available through the Ruston and Hornsby label.

Astern of the engine room is a traditional-styled back cabin with a Premier solid fuel range, oil lamp, brass knobs, ticket drawer, ribbon plates and lace. The traditional single side bed has been modified so it becomes a small double bed running along the boat rather than the more usual across.

Back cabin looking into the engine room

Home mooring is Kingfisher Marina at Yardley Gobion on the Grand Union Canal although occasionally Albert has had short term moorings elsewhere.

More details of Albert, including maintenance and improvements can be found by selected the About Albert label.