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Silence is Golden

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

I have to accept that the chug chug of a slow turning diesel engine is a splendid sound. However, the noisy droan of a hireboat diesel is not. Too many holidays spent standing above a noisy engine led to a decision to make a quiet boat.

This came to a head in 2018 when we had hired a boat on the Leeds and Liverpool for a three week trip around the pennines. Shortly before our holiday, the Leeds and Liverpool was closed due to water shortages so we had to find an alternative at short notice. The boat we hired was awful (I can say this with impunity because the company has since gone out of business).

Apart from the very noisy engine, it billowed smoke. A note in the logbook from an earlier hirer advised to enter shared locks on the left, so the exhaust didn't set off the smoke alarm of the other boat in the lock.

If that wasn't enough, the toilet tank vented into the bedroom drawers and all our clothes smelt of poo.

I determined, standing on the back of that boat, that if ever I built a boat it would be quiet. Hybrid boats were becoming more common, but the idea of being quiet half the time did not appeal; if you're going to do something, do it properly. After all, while the chug chug of a slow turning diesel may be pleasant, it is the silence of a horse drawn barge that we should aim for.

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