The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury
The Random Thoughts of a Geek heading for Banbury

The Duck is back for sale


Update: nbLuckyDuck has been moved to Hartford Marina (website / details), details can also be found on Apollo Duck. The Duck is priced at £23500, and has a recent hull survey.

There has been some bad news from Amy, and James of nbLuckyDuck:

Unfortunately we learned last night that the person (whose offer we accepted on the Duck back in late February) has changed his mind about buying the boat for personal reasons. So the Duck is back on the market. Tonight we are moving it out of town and will either take it to a mooring near Littleport and continue to sell privately or to brokerage in Huntingdon, we’ve not yet decided.

I wrote about nbLuckyDuck last time she was up for sale here.

Since moving off the duck, they are now the proud owners of M.B.Willow, which they are fitting out to live in. Willow is the 1935 Severn and Canal Carrying Company motor, Willow, details of Willow can be found on Amy’s new site.

The Duck’s details are:

Lucky Duck is a 48ft traditional stern narrowboat first registered in 1986, with a reliable BMC 1.8 engine. It sleeps 2 + 2 on a sofa bed, makes a great live-aboard boat and is well adapted to coping with being away from shore power. Easy to handle and well laid out inside with a traditional ‘saloon forward’ layout, it would be a good starter boat for anyone looking to begin a life afloat, or enjoy some holiday cruising. All systems are in good working order.

Last backed August 2011, BSC until 2016. Hull surveyed 2013 and available for viewing.

Guide Price: £23,500 ono

If you think you may be interested, please get in touch! We’d be happy to show you round.


Starting at the bows, there is a large storage locker, with water tank below, and an outdoor space, with a vinyl cratch cover. Rolling up the the sides makes this a lovely space to sit outside in the summer. In winter there is plenty of room for fuel storage without resorting to using the roof. The two 19kg gas bottles are also out here.

Entry into the cabin is through a pair of beautiful unique curved metal framed doors with glass panels. The boat is lined with a combination of T&G and plywood, with polystyrene insulation. It was completely refitted by the previous owner, with new wood floors, in 2006. Moving back through the boat there is a comfy living room, with shelving, a sofa bed which folds out to be a double bed, a fold out table and some fixed seating with storage under. The boat is heated by the Morso Squirrel solid fuel stove, with a back boiler to a radiator in the bedroom.

In the kitchen, there is a domestic sized gas oven and four hobs, a very efficient Shoreline 12V fridge freezer, a sink and lots of storage space. All the oak cupboard doors open to reveal sliding drawers, maximising storage and access. There is a wet room with a Morco instantaneous gas water heater (no need to run the engine to get hot water!), a shower, sink, and a Portpotti toilet.

The bedroom again maximises storage space by having a double bed which folds away in seconds on gas struts when not in use. Underneath is a top access wardrobe, lots of deep shelves for storing books and clothes, as well as two chests of drawers, and a step with a lid for even more storage. Part of the space under the bed used to be a desk, and could be easily converted back. Up the step and through the door is the engine room, housing the reliable, skin tank-cooled BMC 1.8 diesel engine, which has been regularly serviced and run. I 2009, we had the engine re-aligned and new skin fittings installed by Fox’s boatyard at March. Its relatively short length for this size engine means that it is a nippy boat.


The battery bank consists of 4 100Ah Elecsol deep cycle semi-traction batteries and a dedicated started battery, which are all two years old, but have been well-looked after and continually charged by the 136W solar panel on the roof, which charges the batteries through a top of the range MPPT (maximum power point tracking) regulator. There is also an alternator and a 20A charger which can be used to charge the batteries when connected to a generator or shore power. A 2000W inverter allows you to use mains powered devices when not connected to a shoreline or generator

The boat has a 12V circuit which runs the fluorescent lights, water pumps, fridge and 12V sockets, and a 240V system which runs additional lights, and power sockets. The solar panel means that from March until September, the boat is entirely self sufficient for electricity, This is great for live-aboards, but also means peace of mind if you are leaving the boat for extended periods of time, as you know the batteries will be full when you get back.


We repainted the boat (taken back to bare metal) in 2011, and refreshed in Summer 2012, using Craftmaster Grand Union Blue on the sides and International Atlantic Grey on the roof. We don’t know who the boat is built by. Best guess is a Colecraft hull with a bespoke, one off cabin. The roof is double skinned as it seems to have been extended from a cruiser stern to a trad stern at some time in the past, and a new roof put over the whole lot. The hull was blacked in 2011 with two sprayed on coats of International Intertuf. There is some minor, historic, pitting on the hull which the survey picked up, but this has not advanced at all in the five years since the previous survey, so are not of concern. All mooring lines would be included in the sale. There is a double skinned chimney.


The boat is ballasted with shingle in the cabin bilge and with moveable paving slabs for adjustment in the bows.


The mooring is unfortunately non-transferable, and Cambridge City Council run a waiting list for the moorings we are currently on. However, there are other moorings in the Fens, with public transport and road connections to Cambridge.

The river Cam is connected to the rest of the system via the Ouse, Middle Level and Nene, and we’d be happy to help with route planning and moving the boat.

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