The Basingstoke Canal Society has operated a trip boat on the Canal since 1978, when the original John Pinkerton was acquired. That boat has served us well over 36 years, raising nearly £¾ million – all of which has been spent by volunteers from the society on the restoration, maintenance and improvement of the Basingstoke Canal.
The Society was fortunate to have been left a very significant bequest by a former member, Alan Flight, which has enabled us to contemplate, and then actually to take delivery of a specially designed and commissioned new boat, the John Pinkerton II, in April 2013.
The new JP is about 18″ (45cm) wider than its predecessor, though is the same length at 68′ (21m). More luxurious than the original, she is quiet and cruises easily. There is an interior corridor all the way through the boat, making it easier and safer for the crew to operate. The covered cabin is more spacious for passengers, with more flexibility for seating and setting up tables. There is a well stocked bar on board, with light refreshments, tea and coffee. Postcards and souvenirs are on sale. There is a toilet at the back of the boat. On fine days there is opportunity to take the fresh air from the front well deck.