the boat |the piano boat

Priorities in canal boat design have changed significantly over time: before the decline of the canals as a means of transporting goods, the primary concern was to maximise storage for cargo such as coal, resulting in extremely minimal accommodation space where sometimes whole families would live. Nowadays, demand for canals boats as holiday accommodation, permanent homes and hotel boats has dramatically lengthened the cabin space and altered the traditional layout of a narrowboat (so-called as they only have a width of 6'10").

Where the priority for most is living space, we have approached the layout of the boat from a different perspective with the aim of maximising the performance area in the saloon, and found a very happy medium between having an unusually spacious room at the bow (almost 22 feet long) and maintaining comfort in the accommodation.

Attention to detail: new radiators

In the workshop, Dec 2019

Concert Saloon, visualisation

Rachmaninov (the name given to the boat itself) is a 'widebeam' canal boat, 12 feet wide by 67 feet long and currently in the workshop of Tristar Boats. The boat is being carefully built to Masayuki Tayama and Rhiana Henderson's (your hosts on board) design of the highest specifications, and will exist to offer exclusive luxury to those who cruise with The Piano Boat.

The Piano Boat will be the first purpose-built concert hall on the canals, where you can experience the thrill of world-class music-making in your own exclusive environment. The unmistakable highlight of the boat is the spectacular grand piano in the Concert Saloon where music will be shared and performances enjoyed.

She will be introduced to the waterways in May 2020, and will feature a combination of traditional nautical and concert hall elements as well as a contemporary aspect in the environmentally-friendly Hybrid engine and airy skylight overhead (through which the piano will be craned!). She will be fitted with a multi-fuel stove, air-conditioning, 'thermal break' double glazing, and a state-of-the-art surround-sound system.

The galley features two hand-made, fused glass windows, designed to complement one another and created by glass artist Kathryn Webley (website).

In order to help protect and preserve the beautiful canal system and wider world around us, Rachmaninov is fitted with a Hybrid engine and a rooftop of solar panels. The engine will allow for silent cruising with minimal disturbance to wildlife, and a truly relaxing and immersive experience on the waterways.

When on board, guests will be able to relax in the uniquely spacious Saloon where there is a multi-fuel stove for the colder months of the year, and outside in the comfortable seating area on the bow deck which is fitted with a fixed handrail for your safety.

Sample of the handmade window panel design in progress

©Kathryn Webley

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Rachmaninov - Morceaux de Fantasie Op. 3, No. 3 - MelodieMasayuki Tayama

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