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Self-build barge is completed
30 November 2004 1754 GMT

A Bristol blacksmith, working at Underfall Yard in the city docks, has just built a 'mini' Dutch barge from scratch.
The Audacious took 18 months to complete.
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This is the second metal boat to be built at the historic Underfall boatyard.

Tom Williams, who has worked in and around the docks for more years than he cares to remember, has named his new barge 'Audacious' and has spent the last 18 months constructing her.

He managed to fit in work on the barge between other jobs that keep his thriving blacksmith business going.

"It is quite heavy work and is a lot harder in many respects than building a traditional wooden boat." says Tom.

Tom used traditional boat building skills and metal working methods, which he has also displayed at many boat festivals both in England and France.

'Audacious' is now ready to be launched into the harbour, although Tom's next task will be to fit her out internally so that she can be used for residential cruising.

Tom thinks she is ideal for travelling the inland canal networks and well placed to do so from Bristol.

"I am waiting for the Harbourmaster to allocate me a mooring and then I may put her up for sale, although I haven't yet worked out an asking price," says Tom.

Underfall Yard has recently been refurbished thanks to Lottery money, European funding and financial support from Bristol City Council.

Over the last six years £500,000 has been spent on regenerating the slip and restoring buildings around the boatyard.
"I may put her up for sale although I haven't yet worked out an asking price."
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bargeSelf-build barge completed
A Bristol blacksmith has completed his own mini Dutch barge.


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