The Houseboat 'Dodge'
She is named after the fire engine that forms the front canopy of this vessel and has been a home for five years already. We have now completed most of the work involved in her first major refit and require funding for the finishing touches.
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. Sunken wrecks have become my speciality and I rejoice in finding application for that which most percieve as rubbish. The work is labour intensive but my personel running costs are low I have already achieved much surviving on income provided by my boat tenants, a lovely crew indeed. I am currently hosting 2 international volunteers. Four hours work a day in exchange for board and lodging.
I currently own 7 boats over 10 metres (30 ft) and am finding it difficult to achieve all I wish with this rotting flotilla on my present income. I aim to initially use the Dodge for a combination of short term holiday lets and volunteer accommadation. The additional income stream will fund the renovation of the other boats. My next and ongoing project is the 'Clive', a WW2 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.
The funds requested here are for final fitting out, bedding, kitchen equipement etc. and an alternative heating system for the Dodge. We presently rely on a word burning stove with back boiler which is fine for long term residents, less so for holiday makers. 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.
Located on estuarine mudflats opposite Shoreham town and midway between Brighton and Worthing, two minutes from the beach, the Riverbank and its' houseboats offer an excellent location for this type of business.