Kitty is our trip boat that runs from Woking. She is 45 years old and near the end of her life. We want to replace her with an all-electric boat.
Entirely run by volunteers
The Basingstoke Canal Society has over 1,000 members and as you know is run entirely by volunteers. Kitty, our trip boat is no exception with a whole band of people giving up their free time to keep her running. Trips on Kitty get a 5* rating on Tripadvisor and attract thousands of visitors each year.
We need to replace Kitty
A canal boat can only go on for so long before repairs become almost impossible to sustain. Kitty is nearing the end of her life and we plan to replace her with an all-electric boat. Kitty is named after the last horse to tow boats along the canal, so it’s fitting that with your help she will be replaced by a boat with an equally environmentally sound power unit!
An Electric Revolution
As well as making the new Kitty non-polluting and all-electric, we also plan to install several charging points on the canal in Woking which will represent the first step towards making the canal fully electric for all users.
Better adapted for the Less Abled
The new Kitty will be much better adapted for the less abled, being designed from scratch to allow easier wheelchair access and provide enough space for an on-board toilet.
Kitty is a Community Resource
Kitty is very much a community resource which in addition to introducing thousands of visitors each year to the beauty of one of the finest canal environments in the UK also provides trips for local schoolchildren, care homes, hospitals, heritage open days and people with disabilities. Kitty has also had a long association with the Children of Chernobyl taking children on trips each year.
We need to raise a lot of money!!
Sadly canal boats don’t come cheap! The boat will be produced by a UK based boatbuilder and together with installing the charging network, we need to raise around £200,000 to replace Kitty. To prime this, the Basingstoke Canal Society is contributing £70,000 from its own funds and we are aiming to raise the remaining £130,000 from a variety of sources including grants, individual and corporate donations and an art auction in late February at the Lightbox in Woking.
Don’t Lose Kitty!
We’ll be launching a crowdfunding site shortly which will allow you to make donations to help replace Kitty and launch our new electric boat. There will be rewards for larger donations and of course all your donations will be GiftAided.