Mandarin at Vale Royal

Welcome to the Mandarin Syndicate

We are a friendly group of enthusiasts, self-managing our shared ownership narrowboat for the benefit of all our members and having a lot of fun in the process.

If you would like to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the historic canal and river network of the British inland waterway system, owning a share in Mandarin is a great, cost-effective way to do it.

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Currently there are no shares available.

The Syndicate

The syndicate is entirely private and non profit making. It has run since 1993 when Mandarin was built. Each member owns a share in the boat until such time as they choose to sell. Skippers must be over 18 and have experience over 2 years on similar craft. A comprehensive agreement is signed on joining the syndicate when a share is purchased.

There are two- or three-week p.a. shares and members pay monthly contributions of £72 or £108 respectively towards licensing, mooring, maintenance, insurance, gas and electricity costs. We aim to fully fund even large expenditure such as periodic repaints and engine replacement from these monthly payments. This works out at a very reasonable £432 per week holiday with only diesel, pump out and solid fuel costs to be paid on top. 

An Annual General Meeting is held at a hotel over a weekend out of season. A Chairman, Secretary, Engineer, Treasurer and Bookings Secretary are elected. This is also a great social event when we can meet with fellow owners who we might otherwise meet only briefly at handovers.

Cruising allocations are flexible, requested in advance of and finally agreed at the AGM. Additional use of Mandarin is generally available outside the season for a nominal sum. Each member is entitled to nominate up to two Associate Members who may use the member's allocation but with some restrictions.

The mooring location is continually reviewed and agreed at each AGM. For 2023 we are based near Napton.

The Boat

The interior is light and airy, finished in ash T&G panelling. The windows are of stylish, rounded 'top hopper', design with lined curtains. The boat is insulated and centrally heated throughout by an efficient, programmable Webasto 5kW marine heater newly fitted in 2016. Hot water is heated via a calorifier by both the engine and the Webasto. Where a landline mains supply is available, an immersion heater may also be used. The solid fuel stove in the forward cabin makes a delightfully cosy environment on chilly evenings and there is a fireguard to protect younger crew members.

The boat is conveniently wired for 240V electricity derived either from an on-board Sterling 1.6kW invertor or from a landline where available. Some mains outlets have integral double USB charging. 12 volt sockets are also provided throughout.

Mandarin can comfortably sleep up to six. The double bed has a sumptuous, high quality foam mattress and the two fixed single berths are of comfortable foam.

The lounge / dining area has a flexible arrangement: two Leila deluxe chairbeds can convert to comfortable single beds or be pushed together to form a settee or double bed. The dining chairs are stored within the folding dining table that can be used in the forward cabin or even set up on the towpath! Comfortable folding occasional chairs complete the seating.

The spacious bathroom has a step in shower / hipbath with integral seat and thermostatic shower. There is a hand basin and Microphor flush toilet with remote holding tank. A heated towel rail and powerful thermostatic radiator ensure that showering is always a delight.

The galley area has a 1½-bowl sink and drainer, tiled worktop, a 12V electric refrigerator (new for 2018) and a four-ring gas hob and cooker (newly replaced for 2013). Drinking water is filtered. There is a full complement of crockery.

There are ample storage cupboards throughout the boat and the comfortable, high quality floor coverings were completely renewed in 2019.

We have a policy of continuing maintenance and improvement which aims to uphold the high standard of Mandarin. Hull blacking is carried out every other year and the superstructure is repainted on a six year cycle. Mandarin was fully repainted in Winter 2020/21.


Copyright 2023 The Mandarin Syndicate