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JD Boats was commissioned in 1986 to replace the wooden skin of "President", then the only steam narrow boat, but now famous world-wide. They had previously spent many years crewing on it taking it to shows and events.




David's boat, Eric Bloodaxe, was also begun in 1986 and comprises the bow of a very old narrowboat. Over the period of 10 years, this boat was lovingly worked upon the result being a fusion of both traditional and modern boat styles and was a fitting home for many years!


JDBS were then invited to the National Waterways Museum at Gloucester to build various exhibits, this 3 month contract extended to a year and various other arcane restoration skills were learnt under the guidance of David McDougal, the Keeper of Collections. Specialised restoration work has remained part of the JDBS operation.=During 1993 to 1994 JD Boats was commissioned to perform restoration work on the Narrowboat Wye which can now be seen as a floating exhibit in the Gloucester Museum.




Other boats such as Northwich have been restored either whole cabins or just insides. Other non floating exhibits as can been seen below. The wagons were restored for display on the rails around the museum. Various static exhibits were built specially for the museum several using the traditional techniques such as the full size boat cross sections mounted on the walls.






The quality and uniqueness of a JD Boats Narrowboat is partly due to their deep understanding of the original boat building techniques and how this applies to modern boatbuilding.