A SHOREHAM man has launched a Crowdfunding page to help complete the transformation of a former World War Two vessel into a lavish fire engine-style houseboat.
Hamish McKenzie owns several houseboats beside the Adur River in Shoreham, but one in particular stands out among the rest as a fire engine that forms the front canopy.
But to make the finishing touches on this unique houseboat, Hamish has launched a Crowdfunding page and promised to open its doors to the public over the Adur Festival next year.
Hamish said: “Since arriving in Shoreham in 1986, I have spent most of my work time extending the life of many of the historic vessels I found here, including a significant collection of WW2 military vessels.”
It is hoped the houseboat, known as the Dodge, will have a future as a short-term holiday let and accomodation for his team of volunteers that help keep the seven boats running.
He said: “The work is labour intensive but my personal running costs are low. I have already achieved much surviving on income provided by my boat tenants.
“I am finding it difficult to achieve all I wish with this rotting flotilla on my present income.”
Hamish is looking to raise £2,500, which will make the finishing touches including the bedding, kitchen equipment and an alternative heating system.
He said: “We presently rely on a wood-burning stove with back boiler, which is fine for long-term residents, less so for holidaymakers.
“The vast majority of the work is done and I am confident that we will be able to have our first paying custom before Christmas.”
But once this project is finally completed, Hamish will be moving onto the next big task, restoring the Clive.
He said: “My next and ongoing project is a World War Two motor torpedo boat seconded to the Canadian Navy.
“Sunk for 20 years but now floating, she is being converted to a capacious and flexible workshop for use by myself and other local innovators.”
Residents can see the run of quirky houseboats on the estuarine mudflats, opposite Shoreham town centre, just two minutes from the beach.
“The Riverbank and its houseboats offer an excellent location for this type of business,” he added.
If you want to help Hamish make his houseboat transformation a reality in time for Adur Festival next summer, click here
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