Meet Commodore Steve and Turnip the dog as our man Olley goes GoBoating

Imagine collecting hundreds of plastic bottles and creating a boat for fun days out in the sun. Well now you can! New GoBoats are available for hire on Westside’s canals. MIKE OLLEY reports.

Just where do these ideas come from? Electric boats for hire on the canal, just by the bridge between the ICC and Brindleyplace. How wonderful!

Watch this vlog here:

By the way that’s Turnip the GoBoat dog. He lends a hand keeping things all ship shape.

I popped down the other day and was delighted to meet Commodore Steve. The GoBoats are all made out of recycled plastic bottles, another wonderful aspect.

Commodore Steve gave me and Jim a full break down on how easy the GoBoats are to drive (or is it sail?) a few essential safety tips, and off we went.

Commodore Steve has a small fleet of these boats that he rents out for a modest fee. I think its £95 for an hour, yet that’s for up to eight people. So the price of a coffee and a big sticky bun … not bad.

I took Jim Simpson, the director of Birmingham Jazz Festival, with me. Jim is formerly of the RAF, so I wasn’t concerned about demonstrating poor nautical skills in front of a fly boy.

As I approached the Black Sabbath Bridge – incidentally Jim was Black Sabbath’s first ever manager – I was determined not to hit the narrow sides. I am delighted to tell you I didn’t hit a thing; I’m also astonished I didn’t hit a thing!

Yet these GoBoats are in fact dead easy to drive, sail or whatever. Indeed, after an initial period of anxiety I was very much at ease.

Jim is in fact one of the coolest blokes in Birmingham. He just sat back and had a great time. I think that anyone would be in the same position.

I’m told the GoBoats are booking out fast. I’m going back soon to do a bit of team-building and have a load more fun. Maybe see you there.

See you later Turnip!

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