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Home location painted on boat


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I'm intrigued by the home location painted on many boats. As a secret cartophile and geographer, I always find I'm looking at where boats originate.

 

Now obviously, some boats really are based at the place painted on the side, but presumably many used to be based there but I also suspect some have never been anywhere near their "home". There used to be a narrowboat moored on the Hamble alongside the M27 at Bursledon and I did wonder if it's now cruising around somewhere with Bursledon Wharf painted on the side.

 

But I'm interested to know what others think of these place-names painted on narrowboats. Does there need to be some connection with the place. My boat has Shebdon Wharf on the side and I think it's because the previous owner was from Shropshire. I'm tempted to keep it because I was born not too far away at Cosford.

 

But what about the names of places that are not even on the canal network? I recall seeing boats with improbable home locations but wonder what the view is of sign-writing these off-network locations on to the boat? 

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Some people have their, rather than the boat's, home location on the side. I've seen one or two with place names from abroad (I think New Zealand in one instance). I've also seen boats, obviously owned by keen canal restorers, with locations on canals which are closed but which are being restored.

   Ours hedges its bets, as it gives "Upwell" as its home port. We do live there, and the boat spent some years moored at the end of our garden, but now lives in Cropredy.

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We have our home location painted on our boat as it helps balance the sign written panel. Had we not had it we would have had scroll or similar in the same place. You do see some odd places on boats. Many place nems are not relevant because the boat has been sold or the owners have changed their mooring location.

 

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When I eventually have mine signwritten, it will be have Pen Trwn as its home (which patently isn't correct for a 50' narrow boat!). Why? It ties in with the name. Subtly celebrating a niche bit of history for those in the know 🙂

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My boat has Sheffield on the side as that is where the first owner was from. The boat was built in Chesterfield.

I do get people thinking I must be from Yorkshire rather than Dorset.

The boat lives in Warwickshire, so should I paint that on the side?

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Sometimes the location refers to where the boat was built. I’ve written Norton Canes on many boats from that yard and fellow writer Andy Russell has added Lord Vernons Wharf to many Braidbar craft. One couple asked me to add Black Delph as the bottom line, the boat was built nearby. One owner was a Hitchhiker fan, the boat called Fenchurch and No 42 in the engine room panel. Often the place name refers to the mooring location or owners home town or county. It certainly is a useful feature to balance up lettering in an arc higher up the panel. “ If it looks right, it is right “ was the first piece of advice from my signwriting training many years ago.

  • Greenie 1
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My second boat said Skipton on the side. Many people asked things like, "how long does it take to get to Skipton from here". My response was usually "no idea" because we didn't moor at Skipton. I got some funny looks.

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For me put whatever you want on a modern boat, it has no significance.

 

When ours was repainted, we wanted to put a location on there, as it would be sparce with just the boat name.  I did consider Napton, but that is a bit short, and Napton-on-the-Hill is a bit long, so settled for Grand Union.  So basically cosmetics made the decision.

  • Greenie 1
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I moved all over for the first 10.years with Braunston under the name as the previous owners had a mooring there and it was painted there.

I often got asked if that was where I moored, or "you've come a long way"....

After my repaint of the sides 2years ago, changed it to Stowe Hill, just because...

 

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Its gets folk very confused if your boat's name is also the name of a place!

 

I have been asked a few times how BELFAST got across the Irish Sea. The boat was built by Harland and Wolff, but not at their shipyard where the Titanic was built (and where BELFAST's illustrious namesake now moored near Tower Bridge was built), but at H&W's North Woolwich yard.

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Vesta went from Halesowen to Worcester to Cosgrove an back to Halesowen

 

Dad also added & company to include wife and children plus the lettering "Canal Steerers"

I think this pleased the working boaters back in the early 60's 

 

 

Vesta at Hardy and Padmores awaiting restoration. (2).JPG

vesta.jpg

rowan.jpg

vesta3.JPG

  • Greenie 1
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When we first bought our boat it was called Frogmoore III, which meant nothing to us.

Below the name it had "Rickmansworth."
Our first cruise was to Leighton Buzzard and back.

We got fed up with "Oh are you from Rickmansworth" or "Do you know my great aunt grotty (or some other name) who lives there?"

Also just after we purchase her we were in one of the Calcutt Locks and a lady in the boat beside us said "Have you bought that boat?" on my answer yes, I got the reply

"We looked at that boat, didn't think much to it." 

Boat soon got repainted and renamed with no location, apart from the name. :D

boat 003.jpg

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Edited by Ray T
  • Haha 2
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12 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

I know of Penicuick but there is no canal.

 

Its the same with the "Registered at **********" brigade, places where no boat could have been registered.

Well, most Hudsons were probably registered over the phone or online to BW from the Hudson office in Tamworth...so Registered in Tamworth was probably technically correct.

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