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New boat 'Kingfisher' is craned into the basin of Chichester canal

PUBLISHED: 16:15 12 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:15 12 January 2016

Canal basin at Chichester. West Sussex. England

Canal basin at Chichester. West Sussex. England

Archant

Egremont the vessel made popular by giving canal trips to families and tourist groups in Chichester has been given an honourable retirement after 40 years of service and is being replaced by the new boat, Kingfisher.

Kingfisher weighing in at 40ft long, 10.6ft wide will be able to carry 22 people and two crew members, that’s ten more than its elderly predecessor. The new boat was built by specialist canal boat builders Colecraft in Coventry and will complement the small fleet of trip boats on the Chichester Canal.

Three new pontoons were also lifted into the basin along with Kingfisher, they are all part of the Chichester Canal Trust’s major renovation plans for the future.

Mike Bushall, the Trust’s chairman, said: “Today is the first stage with the new boat being launched. We still have more to do with two boats coming out for the annual inspection, and new pontoons arriving, to allow the basin layout to be changed. It’s been in the planning for some time.

“It’s been designed specifically for very easy movement around the boat, very spacious, with disabled facilities.

The Chichester Trading Company hopes to have everything complete to commence trips in February.

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