A purpose built floating home and venue has been my dream since owning my first canal boat in the 1990s. In 2017 this became a reality with the launch of Fiodra, a purpose wide-beam barge. Build in Poland Fiodra is both my permanent home on the water and a space for sharing. Fiodra and I travel the wide canals and rivers of the UK.
Fiodra is a steel wide-beam barge built by Viking Canal Boats in Poland. At 60ft x 12ft she is wide, but this gives plenty of room for a living space and an activity space. She is licensed by the Canal and River Trust (CRT) to operate as a Roving Trader on their waterways. This means she can be used for business and events as well as a live-aboard. The activity space (The Saloon) is 10ft x 20ft and will accommodate around 10 people for workshops and 24 for talks.
I've been around boats since a boy. My (late) father was a marine pilot, in the Wash, and from a local fishing family. My brother Bill was skipper of a tugboat. We built boats for ourselves large and small over the years and my family owned a few canal boats. I've lived on two narrow boats on the southern English canals. Fiodra is the newest and biggest vessel.
After a career in arts management, marketing and technology I am now a freelance mindfulness teacher, web-consultant and mentor to adults on the autistic spectrum. Oh! and I run Fiodra. Linkedin Profile.
The name Fiodra
If you are curious... Fiodra (pronounced Feardra) is the Gaelic name for the island of Fidra. Norse name Fiðrey (trans) "feather island". Some say Robert Louis Stevenson based his map in his book Treasure Island on Fidra. Wikipedia Entry
Saloon: The Oxford Concise Dictionary describes a saloon as a “public room for first-class or for all passengers on ship.” !
Regulation and safety
- Fiodra is licensed by the Canal and River Trust as a Roving Trader
- Fiodra registered as a food business with Dacorum Borough Council. Food Hygiene Rating 5
- Fiodra has a commercial Boat Safety Scheme certificate
- We obtain commercial screening licenses for all films from the relevant distributor.
- Safety Risk Assessments are made at each location/venue
- A Temporary Events Notice (TEN) is submitted to the local authority for each venue.
- The skipper (Bob Chase) has a "Personal Licence" for alcohol sales from Haringey Council
- Fiodra is insured for public performances