Testing the depths outside of Derby Rowing Club

Great news!

In readiness for the launch of our River Boat we have undertaken some checks on river depth. Thanks are due again to Midland Canoe Club who provided volunteers and canoes on Sunday morning.

Their base is upstream of Darley Abbey weir so we met them after they’d traversed the weir and assembled four canoes together. Good pioneering expertise!

With poles available at each corner they were able to check a width of 15 feet down the middle of the river and confirmed that the river is deep enough at present to take a narrowboat throughout its length. It obviously has a shallow nearer to the upstream weir, but we won’t be going that far with the boat. There’s also plenty of depth to allow us to turn the 45 foot long boat at either end.

Therefore, we’ve ticked off another requirement for the project. Key items remaining now are to get permissions for the landing stage at Exeter Bridge. The EA (Environment Agency) needs to provide a permit and we need council planning permission. Mike Wingfield has specified the electric motor configuration with typical Rolls-Royce precision and we have a preliminary agreement with a boatyard to build a new boat to our design. We just need to finalise the specification and collect the promised grant funding; we could well see a boat on the river this summer!

If you would be interested in joining a group of volunteers to operate the boat during summer months please get in touch with chairman@derbycanal.org.uk. There will of course be training, and we’d like to share the load across as many volunteers as we can.