Canal trek for Three Men in a Boat
Three men in a boat powered by a vintage outboard motor will undertake an epic trek to Bath this weekend.
The Kennet and Avon Seagull Appreciation Society, otherwise known as Iolo Lavender, Toby Page and Ted Powles are to attempt an overnight voyage down the Kennet and Avon Canal from Reading in a twelve foot open dinghy to raise money for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
The boat will be powered by a British Seagull engine – a 102cc two stroke that was made from 1932-1968 virtually unchanged and produced by the thousand for the Admiralty in the Second World War to assault boats and dinghies for the Royal Navy.
Iolo said: “We were reading about the British Seagull engine and discovered that during the Second World War the Admiralty required an outboard motor that would require virtually no maintenance, could be sunk and still run when raised back out, and would run non-stop for 24 hours.
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“Well, we know many who have tried the first two - intentionally or not - but to our knowledge no one has tried to achieve the last, to run it non-stop for 24 hours.
“We will be using a 12 foot dinghy with a Silver Century 102cc, 3hp, clutched, 55 year old British Seagull.
“Though they are reputedly reliable and bomb proof, there are many who disregard them and think of them as a heap of junk that takes more time to fix than you will ever have them running for.
“We disagree and we are out to prove them wrong.”
The plan is to start in Reading at noon on Friday March 8, and travel the entire 86 miles and 106 locks of the Kennet and Avon Canal in 24 hours, arriving in Bath at noon on Saturday, a journey that normally takes a week to cruise.
The gallant trio – and a dog - aim to raise £6,850 which is the amount it costs the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Service per day.
To donate, visit http://www.justgiving.com/iolo-lavender