Sunday, 6 September 2009

Concept boat 'Whitefield' for sale

One of the most unusual boats to be seen on the canals of late is up for sale. NB Whitefield, seen on TV and the magazines, has striking style with a paint scheme that is best described as 'bright'.

The discussion on the forums has been intense and generally extremely negative, although with a visible minority suggesting that they would go for it, with a few changes. The owners probably didn't endear themselves to the waterways community with some seemingly aloof comments about boat shows, boat yards and other narrow boats; all these comments are in the test report.

It was a brave attempt to break into new ground, but these kinds of concept boats have not done well in the past. It is fair to say that there is a higher proportion of olde worlde traditionalists of a very conservative nature on the Cut than almost anywhere else. It is admirable to be different, but it could turn out to be difficult to sell something quite so unique into such a conservative market; the owner is relying on their being one other boater with such avant garde taste and a serious amount of cash. This other boater also needs to be in the market for a secind hand boat some time soon. That seems to be a lot of planets needing to be lined up at the same time.

I wish them well, but I suspect - like many - that this boat will simply not sell. They may have more luck taking it to the Canal du Midi or the Loire and selling it there. After all, it has its roots in the Mediterranean cabin cruiser world. Or maybe a Russian oligarch is looking for a narrowboat.

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