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Special notice regarding this advert

In running boatshare I have "got to know" most of the boats advertised and having spent many years actually working in the industry I have got to know what works and what does not, and when to know if something sounds "not right" and have, indeed, turned away the odd advert when I could have just "taken the money". In accepting this advert, I am very conscious that this is a project that will only work for someone who has the right skills and interests and who has perhaps always wanted to build a boat but has been put off by the complexity.

The boat share advertised here is something VERY different and the vendor is looking, undoubtedly, for a "certain type of owner". It presents the right person with a unique opportunity, but if your idea of messing about in boats is to just turn up, turn the key, and go boating, then perhaps this is not for you. If you like something a bit different then this is certainly that in spades!

I would expect anyone buying a share in a boat to want to see the boat, and meet the owner so that you both understand what you are getting into. In this case, those discussions might be expected to take longer than is usually the case! Clearly, anyone joining the project needs to live reasonably close to Littlehampton.

My understanding is that whilst the advert is nominally for 12th shares the vendor would be very happy to share the boat between two or three other parties.

Please note the boatshare web site simply hosts adverts and does not vet advertisers or their craft and as a potential owner you should satisfy yourself of all the facts before buying a share.



There is a share for sale on


Type of scheme Private
Number of sharers 12 (nominally)
Year of construction 2013
Home mooring (2018)

(To be based in France once completed)

Length 12.6m x 3.8m
Engine Type Diesel and Electric
Berths 4 + 2
Change over day each week Saturday
Are pets allowed NOT Allowed
Is smoking allowed INSIDE the boat NOT Allowed
Booking System
 2 x high season per 12th share,
2 x low season per 12th share.
Priority for school holidays
Possible if the group want it
General comments about the boat
The aft cabin is immediately forward of the stern platform and has one fixed single bed and a second single supported on rollers and a track allowing it to slide sideways. The beds can therefore be configured as twin or double depending on crew requirements at the time. The aft cabin has an en-suite wet room with shower, basin and macerator toilet. The wet room is completely lined in GRP and drains to the grey water tank. The toilet drains to a pair of black water tanks under the aft cabin floor, which have the facility both for pumping out by a shore facility and also a built in pump for discharge when at sea. The wet room has a louvered door. The central locker under the floor contains the 48v propulsion batteries and the 24v domestic batteries, all of which are served by central filling and venting connections.

The aft cabin has cupboards on the port side with hanging space and shelves, and a further cupboard on the starboard side forward of the fixed bed. There is also some storage space under the fixed bed. There are sliding windows at high level on both sides of the cabin and two fixed plus two opening windows in the aft bulkhead. The wet room has an electric air extractor system discharging above the stern platform. There is also a small ventilation hatch at the aft end of the cabin, opening beneath the seat on the aft deck.

From the aft cabin, the main saloon is reached through a sliding louvered door and then by ascending a short set of oak stairs, which can be lifted on hinges to provide one of several routes into the engine room. The main battery isolators are on the left as one ascends these steps, as is the heat pump which draws heat from the circulating coolant and keel cooling system to provide background heating for the boat.

On entering the saloon, the curved oak staircase to the port side leads up to the aft deck and upper helm position, and the internal helm is straight ahead on the port side of the saloon. Immediately above the aft cabin steps is a cupboard containing the shore power controls and meter. To starboard is an L-shaped upholstered seat extending forward to the central window on the starboard side. Part of this seating can be pulled out to form a bed using the cushions from the seat as a mattress. This seating also serves as storage space, accessed by lifting the seat cushions. Forward of this seat is a small step up into the dining area, which also has an L-shaped seat around an oval oak table. This table can be lowered to the level of the seating to form additional sleeping space for a 7th and possibly eighth crew person. There are two large hatches in the floor of the saloon, (normally covered by carpets), for access to the engine room, allowing removal and fitting of engine and generator.

The internal (main) helm position is fitted with a comfortable swivelling office-type chair which can face into the saloon area to form additional seating for social gatherings. The dashboards incorporate two HD computer screens, fed by the main computer, which are normally assigned to engine and propulsion instrumentation and navigation displays respectively. The main computer is a rack-mounted industrial PC running Windows 10, mounted in the base of the main helm structure. The keyboard is wirelessly connected allowing it to be used while seated in the saloon area or by a navigator working on the dining/chart table. Whilst it normally provides the chart plotter display and also processes engine and navigational data, it is not essential for movement or control of the vessel. A third HDMI monitor faces into the saloon area and can be used for navigation when facing the dining/chart table, and also hinged towards the aft end for use as a television receiver. Both satellite and terrestrial signals can be displayed.

The remainder of the dashboard area contains the engine controls and thruster joysticks, together with autopilot, fishfinder, wind data, rudder, compass, electric motor power, and other engine instruments. An overhead instrument console contains two VHF (DSC) radios, solar panel control panel, bilge pump monitor and audio systems. The latter include CD player, USB input and FM radio, and connect to speakers mounted in the ceiling of the saloon/galley areas. The audio facilities also include a radio microphone allowing crew on deck to speak to the helmsman, and a loud hailer facility for the helmsman to communicate with deck crew or other vessels.

From the saloon, a further set of oak steps lead down into the galley. These steps can also be raised to allow access to the engine room, and incorporate an inundation port for fighting a fire in the engine room. At the base of the steps on the starboard side is a cupboard containing the 230v electrical distribution. This comprises two consumer units, one for each output of the Victron Quattro inverter. The first output is always on and provides a no-break (UPS) supply during connection and disconnection of generator and shore power sources. The second consumer unit serves those circuits that are live only when generator or shore power is present, such as space and water heating. This cupboard also contains the pump and selector for the flushing water, which can be drawn from fresh or grey water tanks as preferred. The refrigerator is immediately forward of the electrical switchgear and the space beside and behind it can be accessed through a door adjacent to the steps. A basic set of tools are stored on the inside of the door. Immediately above the refrigerator is a large drawer forming part of the aft-facing seat in the dining area.

On the port side of the galley are the electric, 2 ring, induction hob, and the stainless steel sink. The worktops are finished in Melamine/Formica and the cupboards below have solid oak frames and oak finished doors. Storage for crockery is provided at the back of the worktop. At the forward end of the worktop is the combination fan oven/grill/microwave which is mounted at eye level on an oak shelf with space below containing the electric kettle and toaster. In the floor of the galley area are two hatches with lifting rings, allowing access to an under-floor storage locker about 200 x 60 x 60 cm. The flooring in the galley area is high quality vinyl.

Forward of the dining area is a wet room containing shower and hand basin. It is completely lined in GRP and has a solar powered ventilator and low voltage LED lighting.

A bi-fold louvered door separates the galley from the bow cabin and when linked to a similar door on the wet room, provides privacy for the bow cabin which then has, in effect, an en-suite shower and toilet. The toilet compartment is on the starboard side entering the cabin, and on the port side is a cupboard with hanging space and a large drawer beneath. This cupboard also contain the spring-retract water hose for filling the fresh water tanks. The hose is pulled out through a small hatch on the outside and has a permanent swivel connection to the tanks. There are further cupboards above each bed and additional stage beneath the beds for bags and larger items. The bow cabin has an escape hatch in the roof and two fixed porthole windows.

The engine room contains the fuel and fresh water tanks which are of MDPE construction and provide capacity of 540 litres of diesel and the same amount of fresh water. The water is pressurised by an automatic pump and associated pressure reservoir, providing a good flow for showers and other outlets. Water is heated by a calorifier with dual coils, one for the generator and one for the auxiliary engine. In addition, it is fitted with a 230v immersion heater, and all hot water then passes through a 7.3kW instantaneous heater. The immersion heater and instantaneous heaters are supplied by the second output of the Victron inverter which is live only when the generator or shore power are active. The 'power assist' feature of the Victron unit allows the inverter to supplement the power from shore or generator, so enabling the 7.3kW heater to the necessary current.

Domestic power and charging of the main batteries is also provided by the Victron 10kVA Quattro inverter. The generator is a 6kVA SDMO unit driven by a 3 cylinder Mitsubishi engine at 1500 rpm. It is housed in an acoustic enclosure and the dry exhaust system is heavily silenced making the generator almost inaudible when standing adjacent to the vessel.

Thruster jets fore and aft are supplied by a hydraulically driven pump, powered from a Kubota 2.2 litre normally aspirated diesel engine on the port side of the engine room. This system also drives a third propeller mounted in an outdrive 'pod' and containing a hydraulic motor, capable of delivering about 26kW (36 hp). Fuel from the main tanks passes through a water separator before being fed to a pair of filters, with changeover valve to allow the reserve filter to be brought into service in the event of a blockage.

The engine room also contains the power distribution for the 24v DC system, together with the 24v charger, and the 2 air compressors that supply compressed air for the pinch valves controlling the thruster jets. One of these is 12v DC powered and the larger unit is powered by AC mains. They share a common tank with automatic venting to drain any condensation when the units are switched off. Also in the engine room is the pipework for the keel cooling system and the thermostatic valve that bypasses the keel to prevent over-cooling of the engines. There are two circulating pumps for the coolant, with changeover valves to allow the spare to be brought into service.

On the outside of the boat, again starting at the aft end, there is a bathing/access platform, with a vertical ladder to the aft deck. It is constructed on a steel frame and finished with planks of a very hard timber called Massaranduba or Brazilian Redwood. The platform has a boarding ladder on the port side and davits for storing and launching the dinghy. There are hinged access panels in the platform for access to the electric outdrives. On the port side there is the connection for pump out of the black water tanks. The platform has D section rubber fendering all round and rubber wheels at the corners to prevent abrasion when in contact with dockside walls. The platform can be used to access the boat from a pontoon when moored stern-to.

The vessel has 2 pin anchors ('spud legs') with electric winches, and the aft pin anchor passes through the aft machinery space in the hull with its upper section at the forward edge of the platform. The rear-facing CCTV camera is mounted on the pin anchor housing and provides the helmsman with a view astern when manoeuvring.

The aft deck has a bench seat with storage beneath. The storage compartment comprises a polyethylene water tank with access hatches in the top face, providing dry stowage even when the deck is subject to heavy rain or spray. The top of the seat is formed of a lightweight aluminium scaffold board which doubles as a gangplank for accessing shore when moored in rivers with shelving banks that prevent close mooring.

At the port side is fitted a stainless steel crane which can be used to lift supplies onto the deck or for recovery of persons from the water. At each corner there is a substantial bollard cleat of stainless steel construction, welded to the deck.

In a waterproof locker to the starboard side of the steering wheel there is the shore power cable which is pulled out from a spring-retract reel inside the boat. This has a permanent connection at the boat end using a slip ring, allowing the 30m cable to be pulled out and plugged in to the shore supply without the need to connect the inboard end. This cable is rated at 32A and is terminated in an ISO 32A plug, with adaptors for the usual range of shore socket types, including single and 3 phase supplies.

The upper helm comprises a stainless steel wheel, working in tandem with the main helm and manually controlling the hydraulic steering. In addition to duplicated engine and thruster controls, there is an HDMI monitor for the navigation display, plus discreet instruments for depth, speed, compass and GPS repeater. The monitor and instruments are mounted on hinged waterproof hatches allowing them to fold flush with the coachroof when not in use.

The upper helm is protected by a canopy on a stainless steel frame, which can fold flat when very low bridges need to be negotiated. The central portion of the canopy can be opened and folded back for ventilation, to provide better vision and to allow access to the coach roof and solar panels. The upper windscreen also folds flat.

The solar panels, with an area of 7.2m2, are mounted on an aluminium alloy framework which is hinged on 3 sides to its mounting points. This allows it to be inclined to port, starboard or forward in order to increase the amount of energy collected. The maximum power output is slightly over 1kW, providing up to 20A charging current to the 48v batteries. The framework is supported and raised on a manually operated screw jack in the centre.

At the forward end of the main saloon roof is a fully functional (pan, tilt and zoom) CCTV camera, controlled from main helm position. The PTZ camera, together with all of the other cameras, is connected to a digital video recorder which provides a continuous record of a journey and also serves for security purposes. The 8 channel recorder also records the navigation (chart plotter or map) screen from the computer providing a positional record together with the positions shown on AIS by other vessels. Also at the forward end of the coachroof are searchlights and deck lights.

Forward of the main windscreen, the roof of the forward cabin and galley areas includes a solar powered air extractor from the forward wet room, and an escape hatch from the forward cabin. There is also a cowl Dorade vent to the galley. At the forward edge of this roof is the base of the mast, which is provided by an extension of the forward pin anchor housing. The mast folds down to lie horizontally when passing under low bridges. At the top of the mast is a horizontal beam carrying a fixed HD camera, VHF aerial, anchor and steaming lights, the wind direction and speed sensor and the radar transponder aerial. This assembly has a levelling mechanism which holds it in a horizontal orientation whatever the angle of the mast.

Forward of the cabin, there is a hatch in the deck for access to the anchor chain locker. The rope/chain rode comprises 12m of galvanised chain and 50m of rope, and runs over an electric anchor winch to the Delta type anchor.

The sides of the vessel are fitted with heavy rubber D-type fenders for the whole length, with further sections at low level along the sides of the aft platform.
Pictures of the boat
Specific details for the share offered
Size of share as a percentage or fraction
Price in UK pounds
Reason for selling
Pre-booked weeks included
Holiday entitlement with share offered here.
School holiday option possible?
Running costs for 2018
Contact details for vendor
Search terms
General Comments by vendor
I am seeking one or more enthusiastic collaborators to buy shares in an unusual and innovative electric canal cruiser currently being completed in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

Sharers must be willing and able to assist with the remaining jobs and would ideally have an engineering or scientific background or at least an interest in some of the technology involved.  All of the major metalwork and woodwork is complete, as is all internal trimming, decoration and upholstery apart from carpeting of the saloon and aft cabin, and the jobs remaining are mostly concerned with electrical systems, plumbing and instrumentation. The technical manual is also a 'work-in-progress' and involvement in that aspect would be a good way for sharers to become familiar with the vessel.  The vessel is due to be lifted in early April 2018 to allow cleaning and anti-fouling and some minor modifications and also the fitting of the hydraulic drive leg which is currently under construction. The opportunity will also be taken to make good small areas of paint damage on the topsides caused by fenders and general wear and tear, and to have the boat surveyed. Given some input from sharers, it is envisaged that the boat could be re-launched, carry out sea trials and move to France, or another chosen cruising area, in time for the 2019 season.

Lola is a 12.6m steel cruiser which was launched in 2013 and is being completed afloat. The vessel has been optimised for use in the inland waterways of Europe and is an unusual project as it is powered by electric stern-drives supplied from batteries, which can be charged by solar panels, onboard diesel generator or shore power.  The boat is arranged to sleep 6 under normal conditions (2 singles in bow cabin, seat converting to double bed in saloon, and twin/double in aft cabin.) A seventh and possibly eighth person could be accommodated using the dining area seating and table.
The construction has been fully documented, with photographs, calculations, specifications and surveys available to sharers on request. Whilst the vessel is now exempt from the Recreational Craft Directive, the requirements have been complied with wherever possible and independent surveyors and naval architects have examined critical issues such as stability, scantlings and down-flooding. Electrical systems have been installed in accordance with ISO standards for vessels of this type and the absence of petrol and LPG mean that the usual safety concerns in those areas do not apply.
Lola has a number of interesting features not generally found on a vessel of this type, including some that are understood to be unique. For example, the keel is designed to be full of water during normal conditions but has the facility to be emptied to increase buoyancy, raising the boat by about 45mm. This feature allows the vessel to be floated off if aground.
The keel has been designed so that Lola can readily take the ground and is strong enough to support the vessel on a single point of contact. The boat is stable when aground on a level or sloping surface such as a slipway, and this has allowed work to be done between tides without incurring the cost of a crane. The keel also incorporates the cooling compartment which is built into one side of the keel so avoiding the usual pipes associated with closed cooling systems of this type.
The keel cooling arrangement, together with the grey water flush facility and holding tanks, also mean that no sea water is introduced into the vessel for toilets or cooling, thus avoiding the problems associated with sea cocks and pipework.
The thruster system is also a novel design in that it uses water jets, less than 50mm diameter, to produce the thrust. This avoids the usual tunnel passing horizontally through the vessel, and also allows a fifth jet to be incorporated facing astern. This can be used to move the boat out of weeds, ropes or other obstructions without rotating any of the propellers with the risk of fouling.
Lola has pin anchors, also known as 'spud legs' fore and aft, which can be lowered by electric winches to hold the vessel stationary when, for example, waiting for a lock to open. This avoids the wasted energy usually involved in 'jilling around' in order to maintain position.
The systems are fully instrumented, allowing data to be displayed and recorded on power usage, motor efficiency and other parameters. However, the vessel can be operated simply by using the conventional controls, familiar to any boat skipper.
Lola has been designed as far as possible to allow single-handed operation. For example, the side windows adjacent to the main helm can be removed completely, allowing the helmsman to tie up or cast off the centre line without leaving the driving seat. The motors and thrusters can also be operated from the bow deck, allowing the skipper to handle a bow line while controlling the boat. The autopilot and hydraulic steering allow the helmsman to leave the helm for short periods when in clear open water.
Much effort has been directed towards a very professional installation. Most of the internal oak woodwork was undertaken by a professional carpenter and the structural welding was all carried out by a very experienced coded welder. The exterior painting of the vessel was undertaken by a shipyard with a proven track record in boatbuilding, using industrial quality marine products and the electrical systems and instrumentation were designed and installed by a qualified and experienced electrical engineer.
The main features are:
12.2m steel hull (12.6 LOA), 3.8m beam, 11m LWL, cruiser format, similar to a Stevens or other Dutch Steel cruiser
Hull, cabin and topsides in 5mm steel; box keel of 10mm sides and 12.5mm base
Hull insulated with spray foam and Thinsulate quilt
Inside of hull finished in Jotun epoxy following mechanical cleaning
Exterior finished in Jotun epoxy paints following grit blasting
Twin electric motors on outdrives, 7kW (10 hp) each, for silent low speed canal cruising
Hydraulic steering from upper and internal helm positions
Traction batteries 48v 800Ah lead acid with central venting and filling
Instrument/domestic batteries 24v, 240 Ah, with 3 stage 230v charger
Bow cabin with twin bunks and adjacent heads and shower/wet room
Galley with sink, fridge, toaster, induction hob and combination microwave, grill and fan oven (all electric galley ­ no gas on board)
Saloon with dining table and bench seats
Aft cabin with en-suite wet room containing basin, shower and macerator toilet.
Aft cabin has one fixed and one moveable bed allowing double or twin configuration
Generator SDMO 6kVA with Mitsubishi 3 cylinder diesel engine running at 1500rpm
Dual redundant fuel filters and water separation
Shore power via spring-retract reel and 32A isolation transformer
Electric heating by 3 built-in fan heaters and heat pump in keel cooling circuit
Victron Quattro 10kVA inverter/140A charger with inputs from shore power and generator
Dry exhausts for both engines
Solar array on cabin roof, 7.2 m2 with tilt mechanism to port/starboard or forward
Solar charge controller Victron 150/70 MPPT type
Auxiliary engine Kubota V2203 51 HP diesel, driving hydraulic pump
Hydraulic motor outdrive, 26 kW (35 hp), for additional thrust when required
Keel cooling for generator and auxiliary engine with 230v circulation pumps and thermostatic mixer valve
Calorifier with coils for each engine plus 230v immersion heater
540 litre fresh water, 560 litre black water and 734 litre grey water tanks
Grey water flushing of heads
540 litre main fuel tanks plus 40 litre day tank on generator with changeover valves
Bow and stern thruster jets supplied by water pump and hydraulic motor
Stern platform with davits for dinghy
Main computer feeding 3 monitors at lower helm, one of which is also TV, plus a fourth monitor at top helm position
CCTV cameras and recording for security and to aid manoeuvring
All cables and pipes numbered at each end and recorded in spreadsheet with details
Sharers are sought who would bring the skills and enthusiasm to help complete the fitting out of this unique vessel, and would then have the use of the boat, (in France probably, but subject to collective decision of sharers), for 4 or more weeks annually. I would consider splitting 12th shares into single weeks (1/24th) if someone only wanted 1 week summer plus one winter.

It is proposed that ownership of Lola shall be in 12 equal shares, with each sharer owning as many of those shares as they wish.  Each share would allow the owner 2 weeks in the (24 week) summer season and two further weeks in the remainder of the year.  Owners would then pay their proportionate share of both the annual running costs, and also any remaining construction costs. The running costs are estimated at a maximum of £600 yearly per share, and the remaining construction costs are fairly trivial as most of the required material has already been acquired.
The precise wording of the sharing agreement would be agreed by the initial group of sharers. It would be informed by the wording of similar agreements known to have been used successfully by established syndicates sharing comparable vessels. Subject to those discussions, the sharing agreement is expected to involve a rolling list of sharers, in order of joining the group, who would bid in that order for their preferred weeks in both the summer and winter seasons. In the first round of bidding, each sharer would be allowed to bid for 2 weeks in each season which might be consecutive or separate as desired. Following allocation of weeks to each sharer, the process would be repeated until all shares were allocated for the coming year. Every year, the sharer at the top of the list would move to the bottom and the others would move up the list by one place. It is envisaged that the allocation bidding would occur in about September for the coming calendar year, in order to allow time for planning.

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