Tam Lin was built by Barry Jenkins in 1983 as Titania for her first owners (we are the second owners, Gill and John Watson). Barry was renowned for his original approach to steelwork design and his boats were some of the first non-custom boats to have recessed panels the along full length of the cabin sides combined with a low gunwale line to fit into what is recognized today as the modern impression of 'tug' style boats. The tug style boats of Barry Jenkins, and a later company he formed called Eddishaw & Jenkins, were characterised by a very fine long bow. The unusual underwater shape with the bottom plate sweeping up from the around the front edge of the cabin to the point of the bow nine feet further forward gives very smooth wash free progress along the canal, the down side being slightly less positive steering in windy conditions with the front of the boat being more easily blown off course than the stern. This is not normally a problem and in general the boat is a delight to handle when one is used to her.
The fit-out was completed by the first owners and is, by modern standards, somewhat spartan and old-fashioned (no 240v for instance) but it suits us. We do have plans to refit the galley and bathroom area to modernise the facilities and give a little more room in the too small bathroom. (The previous owners were not big people and I am!). When we bought the boat the sleeping arrangements were two bunks, one above the other, the lower (wider) bunk was around twenty-two inches in width and the upper one less due to the tumblehome of the cabin sides. This was not comfortable and Gill ended up sleeping on an inflatable mattress as the upper bunk was too small for her (I couldn't fit in it at all!). We now have a double bed that folds in the middle so one half lifts during the day to give access through the cabin to the engine-room.
When we bought the boat (from Braunston Marina) the engine was a Coventry Victor horizontally opposed twin cylinder diesel. A couple of years later the engine gave up the ghost and was replaced with a BMC 1.5 expertly reengineered and fitted by Terry Yates (near Newbold on the Oxford Canal). This unit has proved most satisfactory and starts first time, uses virtually no oil and is economical.
When we acquired the boat we knew we would have to rename her and much thought went into a suitable name. Tam Lin was finally chosen being a tune performed by one of our favourite bands Fairport Convention (and a nice folk story with a happy ending - Gill)
Tam Lin is moored at Middlewich, Cheshire on the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. To see pictures of other Internet boats that have passed our moorings click here.
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(Pictures, links and more info to be added shortly)
Last Updated 11th July 2002