People come to boating in some unusual ways and non-more unorthodox than husband and wife team Kevin and Susan Kenny who, after spending over 25 years in the automotive industry, packed it all in to build narrowboats. Boat owners already they didn't need a lot of persuading what direction to take when there highly successful vehicle repair and servicing business, got to such a size that they spent more time dealing with the day to day stresses of managing the business than actually running it.
Some might say this is a nice position to be in but for Kevin and Susan it just highlighted the stress they were both dealing with, so around 3 years ago they decided to slowly wind down the garage business. They did this whilst building and developing their Narrow Boat building future using their existing premises to build a range of 'off the peg' narrowboats.
Over the ensuing months they, and their build partner Robert Pinto spent many hours on their prototype boat conducting 'research' - nice work if you can get it! The thinking behind this was to come up with a design that would be both innovative and cost effective both to build and to own. Much of this work was carried out at Lydiate on the Leeds Liverpool, home of the Mersey Motor Boat Club. The result was not only a very well-priced and well spec’d boat but also a unique way of doing business.
From the outset they decided to do away with build slots and only sell what they had and for there only to be 10 boats built per year. With these points in mind they embarked on building 57ft cruiser styled boats fitted with what they feel to be the best quality fittings and finish they can provide for circa £85,000. No deposits are taken and there are virtually no options as Kevin feels they have thought of just about everything. When they are completed they are sold via Apollo Duck and the Sales Pontoon and given the speed the first few have sold it would seem that they might be onto something.
So what do you get for your £85,000? Well, it's hoped that with all of the development work having been carried out on Kevin's prototype boat “Bagpuss” you will get an attractive and well laid out boat, judging by the ones seen in the workshop. All of the boats use Aintree Boat hulls and have been fitted out with oak finishes and trim. These work well with the pastel coloured V groove ceiling and bottom boards. The result is a bright interior which is helped by concealed LED lighting and lights within all the cupboards that activate as you open and close the doors. All of the interiors are hand built as are the worktops and trim detailing in the galley area and which are all solid oak.