If you are looking for a boat builder who is highly skilled, passionate, works with you and really does care we highly recommend Ortomarine…We have total confidence in them and trust them implicitly.
Having had a few canal boat holidays we decided it would be a great adventure to buy a boat, live on it and cruise the UK canal network. That was the start of the most incredible journey.
We are from the South West and we knew that finding a canal boat builder was going to be a challenge. Fast forward several months of reading waterways world magazines and we saw the advert that changed everything… the Crick Boat Show; Lots of boat builders all in one place? A solution at last.
2018 was our first year at Crick and we looked at virtually every boat there. This was where we met Rob and Caroline and saw what we thought was the ‘best narrowboat we’d ever seen’ it was Sloop John T built by the Ortomarine team. The initial conversation we had with Rob (who walked us through the boat) was a complete education. Following lots of research and several meetings after the show we decided that Ortomarine were the team we felt most comfortable with.
Fast forward to 2020: We had an agreed build slot to start in March. Unfortunately, Covid-19 hit, and everything became different overnight. Given how stressful it is to build a new anything, building a new boat when you cannot even see it, is most definitely challenging.
Ortomarine were brilliant; we genuinely believe that their experience of working with customers overseas (see Watt Knott & Bartimaeus) enabled them to work with us remotely even in such difficult and uncertain times. The obstacles that were thrown at Caroline and the team were never ending; The hull builder had a delay and there were supply issues virtually everywhere. Caroline was amazing, she held everything and everyone together, keeping us constantly updated, advising of progress as soon as she knew anything. If something were proving particularly difficult, she would consult with us and provide options for solutions to ensure the build kept going.
Given our boat was pushing boundaries technically it was always going to be challenging on that side and Rob’s enthusiasm never waned. We had selected a Fisher Panda serial hybrid system with a belle marine electric motor, none of which was in the UK. Even the batteries presented availability issues… but we got there, with a great deal of Rob’s genius and the teams never ending passion we have the boat of our dreams.
We were lucky to have such a focused and genuinely caring team, they looked after us and built our boat as if it were their own… gathering our hopes and dreams, understanding our desires and wishes, paying attention to those ‘oh wouldn’t it be…. ‘moments, listening and noting every small detail; balancing our needs within the confines of a 61ft narrowboat.
We launched on 4th August and are incredibly happy living our dream, even in a second COVID-19 lockdown. Life is Hunky Dory…
Mel & Phil
NB Hunky Dory