New era begins for renovated trawler

A family boat - bought 40 years ago - has been restored and is ready to sail around Scotland.James K

A family boat - bought 40 years ago - has been restored and is ready to sail around Scotland.James Knight, who runs the Waveney River Centre, has had his team restore the Aspyrian in their boat yard for its new Scottish owners.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

After 40 years on the Norfolk Broads, Sulizan the steel trawler has been transformed and is now making her way to Scotland.

The 56ft boat was given to Waveney River Centre managing director James Knight, 46, after his father, Bill, died.

Before that the boat had sat in a yard in Brundall since the late 1970s, every year awaiting a restoration.

It became a running joke in the Knight family that she would be finished next year – but that day never arrived.

But when Mr Knight decided it was time to sell the family boat in 2008, and the new owner asked for a complete refit, the much-awaited restoration project began.

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“We stripped her right back to a bare hull and started all over again,” Mr Knight said. Now the boat can sleep up to 10 people and is kitted out to the highest specification.

“She is a beautiful looking boat that you wouldn’t think was 40 years old,” Mr Knight added.

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Transformed at the River Centre in Burgh St Peter, a holiday park and marina, the boat became a icon for visitors since 2010 as they watched the boat change.

But now the made-over and newly named Aspyrian is making the voyage up the east coast to Scotland, ready for a tour of the islands.

But Mr Knight said saying goodbye to the restored family boat was emotional.

“It was something dad never finished. But we know in our hearts dad would be pleased we have finally got it done.”

The boat will be sailed before becoming a hire boat around the Scottish islands in 2016.

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