A few months ago, we reported a story about the John Bunyan Boat, a local company that offers river cruises on the waterways around the Bedford Town Centre area.

The Clements team amended the propeller design to help make the boat stop quicker and also reduce noise levels so passengers could enjoy a quieter cruise.  They also donated a propeller and a spare so that the vessel could continue to operate efficiently.   

Following the installation of the new gear, Colin Christie, the Volunteer Maintenance Director for the project gave a report back to Clements on the different the new gear had made to the boat. 

“Wow, what a difference machining small changes to the profile of the blades of the 19″ x 16” propeller makes to its performance.

We fitted it today and now have a propeller that is quiet up to 2000rpm and still retains its ability to stop the boat quickly and makes reversing manageable, without the boat accelerating aft quicker than expected. This will also give our passengers a smoother and quieter trip. What is also noticeable is that, before your latest adjustments, the wash from the prop when going forward was appearing at almost 45º to starboard and the tiller needed quite a lot of force to provide a straight course for the boat.  Now the wash is about 10º to starboard, so much less force is required on the tiller to correct it. We just need to ensure that we don’t lose this one! I’m still rather paranoid about the prop falling off, but with less vibration and all new drive train components it shouldn’t be a problem. A close inspection will also now be part of our weekly checks.”

The John Bunyan Boat, run by volunteers, offers both local people and visitors river cruises as well as special interest cruises including afternoon tea, fish & chip suppers, jazz evenings, folk on the boat, Motown & Northern Soul. The boat also caters for private charters, with bookings often being taken from local businesses, schools and community groups for birthdays, wedding/anniversary events, corporate days out, educational trips and many more. All profits made by the boat go towards the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterways Trust.