Trip boat returns after refurbishment

Published: Friday, 26 June 2020

THE Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s trip boat Zachariah Keppel is back after spending several months away for repairs.

The boat was floated along the Thames from All 4 Marine yard in Chertsey to Penton Hook Marina, where it was transported by lorry to the wharf at Loxwood, and lifted by a 76 tonne crane over the towpath and into the canal.

WeyArunRefitKeppelCreated a stir

The unusual sight of a 50ft long, eight tonne narrowboat flying through the air created quite a stir, and was filmed by a BBC South team for a piece on that evening's programme. 

Zachariah Keppel was taken to the boatyard in January as it had developed rusty steelwork and the decision was made to appoint professional boat repairers to carry out the work required to allow it to be deemed passenger-worthy again.

Another 10 to 15 years of life

With the rusty internal fittings replaced and the hull buffed off internally and externally, primed and painted with black bitumastic paint, the 45 years old vessel should have another 10 to 15 years of life.

The boat was named after Zachariah Keppel, a builder from Alfold, who was the contractor responsible for building the Wey & Arun canal.  He went bankrupt and had to give up the job before it was completed.

Now that Zachariah Keppel is back home, volunteers will replace her ballast and flooring, making her ready to take passengers when government restrictions allow.