THE latest boat from Knights Narrowboats won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. If you like a traditional book, then the hideout isn’t for you, but if you like a clean-cut modern look then the builder’s 19th boat will appeal to you.
From its two-tone grey and off-white exterior to the similarly coloured interior the hideout is muted in its appearance. Thankfully the owners, for whom the hideout is their first boat, have opted for off-white inside which has avoided a clinical look. What the colour scheme does is highlight the engineered oak flooring and the impressive solid walnut worktops and tabletops.
These worktops are striking when you walk into the boat from the stern. The L-shaped galley provides plenty of room with the appliances having been well placed to maximise the room on offer. A 12v fridge, domestic-sized oven/grill and a Thetford three-burner hob, together with what seems to be a good amount of storage, make this both a practical and an attractive space. Cashmere-coloured panelled doors to the cupboards contrast with the walnut worktops and splashbacks.
Many of the design features of this boat are subtle, like the use of the space beneath the dinette floor as a wine store. The rectangular washbasin in the bathroom fits neatly behind the door from the main living area and the use of shadow joints on the edging and trim throughout the interior are subtle but work well.
The dinette provides room for four people to sit comfortably around a tabletop that matches the galley worktops. As mentioned before, a wine store for five bottles has been located below the floor in this area. This is in addition to a pull-out freezer beneath one of the seats, all of which makes full use of this otherwise spare space. The dinette also converts into an additional double berth when needed. With one of the large, black powder-coated windows at the end of the table and a side hatch to the other, this should provide the area with plenty of sunlight (unlike on the day of my visit!).
The main living area beyond the dining area is furnished with a large blue three-person sofa facing a TV a short distance from a particularly eye-catching white enamelled stove. With its black flue, hearth and tiled surround it’s very much in keeping with the colour scheme of the interior and shows how much thought has been put into this aspect.
It would have been easy to buy a more conventional black stove, which would have matched the colours, but opting for a white stove makes this more of a focal point than the TV – no bad thing.
The adjacent washroom has a walkthrough layout with a stylish shower enclosure (can’t really call it a cubicle) tiled in black and grey small hexagon mosaics and with a square, black shower head. A sliding door provides access to this space which sits opposite the Vetus pump-out toilet and the rectangular washbasin mentioned earlier.
Forward of the washroom is the main bedroom which is fitted with a 5ft cross bed with a bedside cabinet on either side. At the head of the bed are fitted two small flexible LED reading lights and beneath it is a large plastic waste tank. The room is heated by one of a number of very modern-looking black tubular radiators. Full-height wardrobes are fitted to both port and starboard and, as usual, access is via a double door to the well-deck in which a folding table has been fitted covered by a cratch cover.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this item, this type of styling will not appeal to everyone, but as someone who prefers a more minimalist look, I liked it. I was also impressed with the level of detail that has been used during both the design and the build, which apparently took four months to complete.
The hideout’s finish seems to be part of a trend towards painted interiors, which is in keeping with a modern design like this, but in most cases painted walls are broken up with natural wood edging. It’s a brave move to go the whole hog and paint everything but, in this instance, it seems to work.
Maybe we will see more of this in the future?
Despite the time of year, the hideout’s owners have been getting acquainted with their new boat, which is joining a number of other Knights boats in calling Aqueduct Marina home.
So it would seem they are set up and ready for a very comfortable season exploring the local area. Let’s hope they get some decent weather!Enjoy more Towpath Talk reading in the monthly paper. Click here to subscribe.