Meeting with Ortomarine – 18 August

We zipped up to the Midlands on Monday evening and met with Rob and Caroline on Tuesday morning. We had prepared a small raft of questions for them and we worked our way through the boat from stem to stern ticking things off and making decisions.

We also looked at the interior layout in terms of kitchen units, placement of windows and the million (slight exaggeration) other things that need to be finalised so that the hull can be ordered. At last!

Old Nick – as now seems to be fashionable – will be a “reverse layout”. On traditional boats, the first room inside, from the steering position, was the boatman’s cabin – a small space with a stove and cross-bed which served as living quarters for whole families. It was tiny because the rest of the boat was used for carrying cargo, which was their livelihood.

Most hire boats have bedrooms at the stern of the boat and the galley and lounge area at the bow end. But the bedroom on Old Nick will be at the bow end. The galley will be at the stern end, with the lounge and bathroom midships.

This “reverse” layout seems to be an eminently practical solution – handy for popping the kettle on and indeed turning it off because it has boiled just as you arrive at a lock, which seems to happen all too often! It also means that you don’t have to carry (and spill!) drinks all the way through the boat. Another bonus is that if someone is preparing food in the galley, they are not isolated at the opposite end of the boat to the steerer, so it’s more sociable.

This was an important meeting and the decisions made will enable the CAD drawings to be finalised so that they can be sent off to Tyler Wilson. The next stage will be the signing of contracts, which can be done remotely.

There are currently two boats in production and then – finally – it’s our turn. We can hardly believe that our dream is inching ever closer.

We came away from the meeting feeling excited and with a list of actions for us both. It is unlikely that we will need another face to face meeting before the hull arrives, but it is nice to know that we can visit at any time, with a warm welcome from the whole Ortomarine team.

4 Replies to “Meeting with Ortomarine – 18 August”

  1. Hi Paul and Kay,
    Your layout seems very sensible to me and surely should be the norm as having the galley (?) at the stem doesn’t seem so practical to me.
    Your builder’s attention to detail and innovative approach is very impressive
    I enjoy reading your news and can now sense that the excitement is positively tangible!

    All the best,

    1. Hi Lance – great to hear from you. Well – as you know – it has been a long time coming. We do hope you’ll come and visit us, once we are safely ensconced. Bring cake! X

  2. Hi Paul and Kay,
    Not wishing to rub it in, but Perseverance, the dark grey boat in the background, is our narrowboat. We are also members of the Ortomarine fan club, and Caroline and Rob are always welcoming whenever you arrive. You said there are only a million things to decide – I suspect you haven’t got into the detail yet :o)
    Perseverance will also be reverse layout, as we agree with the importance of coffee on the move. She is also one of the three serial hybrid boats being made by Ortomarine, all with slightly different systems so it will be fascinating to see how they work on the cut.
    We may meet you, either in a factory near Droitwich, or in a pub in Fareham?
    Dave & Roma

    1. Hi Dave & Roma,
      Nice to hear from you, I cannot believe there are so many Ortomarine fans in Fareham.
      Thoroughly enjoying the whole narrow boat design process and look forward to following your progress.
      A suitably, socially distanced pint in a local pub to compare notes might be fun.
      All the best
      Paul & Kay

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