The Boat

Mandarin is an extremely well appointed 65ft semi-traditional narrowboat built by Alvechurch Boat Centre in 1993 to an exceedingly high specification and lovingly maintained. The hull is of 15/6mm steel and the superstructure of 4mm steel. The engine, newly fitted in 2020, is a Beta Marine four-cylinder 43hp diesel with closed circuit cooling system and hospital silencer, transmitted through a PRM150 gearbox. As well as doors from the spacious bow and stern decks, there is a useful entrance in the port side amidships.

The interior is light and airy, finished in ash T&G panelling. The windows are of stylish rounded 'top hopper' design with lined curtains. The boat is insulated and centrally heated throughout by an efficient, programmable Webasto 5kW marine heater newly fitted in 2016. Hot water is heated via a calorifier by both the engine and heater. Where a landline mains supply is available, an immersion heater may also be used. The solid fuel stove in the forward cabin makes a delightfully cosy environment on chilly evenings and there is a fireguard to protect younger crew members.

The boat is conveniently wired for 240V electricity derived either from an on-board Sterling 1.6kW invertor or from a landline where available. Some mains outlets have integral double USB charging. 12 volt sockets are also provided throughout.

Mandarin can comfortably sleep up to six. The double bed has a sumptuous, high quality foam mattress and the two fixed single berths are of comfortable foam.

The lounge / dining area has a flexible arrangement: two Leila deluxe chairbeds can convert to comfortable single beds or be pushed together to form a settee or double bed. The dining chairs are stored within the folding dining table that can be used in the forward cabin or even set up on the towpath! Comfortable folding occasional chairs complete the seating.

The spacious bathroom has a step in shower / hipbath with integral seat and thermostatic shower.  There is a hand basin and Microphor flush toilet with remote holding tank. A heated towel rail and powerful thermostatic radiator ensure that showering is always a delight.

The galley area has a 1½-bowl sink and drainer, tiled worktop, a 12V electric refrigerator (new for 2018) and a four-ring gas hob and cooker (newly replaced for 2013). Drinking water is filtered. There is a full complement of crockery.

There are ample storage cupboards throughout the boat and the comfortable, high quality floor coverings were completely renewed in 2019.

We have a policy of continuing maintenance and improvement which aims to uphold the high standard of Mandarin. Hull blacking is carried out every other year and the superstructure is repainted on a six year cycle. Mandarin was fully repainted in Winter 2014/5.

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