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Protester takes £80,000 boat out of marina in dispute

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 03, 2014

Jack Farrant

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A DISGRUNTLED customer involved in a dispute with a boating company took matters into his own hands by climbing aboard a vessel belonging to the firm and steering it out of a South Derbyshire marina.

Police were called following the bizarre stunt yesterday morning in which the protester, 68-year-old Jack Farrant, made his way onto the £80,000 narrowboat which was moored at Mercia Marina in Willington.

It belonged to the New and Used Boat Company, with whom Mr Farrant is currently locked in a row.

He claims the company failed to honour a guarantee after a boat he purchased for £70,000 two years ago suffered a raft of problems.

The New and Used Boat Company categorically deny any such agreement had been made and bosses insist they had ‘gone out of their way’ to get the narrowboat back into working order.

The company blamed the boat’s deterioration on the way it had been kept by Mr Farrant, who has lived on the water at Streethay, near Lichfield, since he acquired it in March 2012.

The drama unfolded when Mr Farrant got onto the narrowboat through an open hatch and steered it out of the marina.

Following the stunt, he remained a short distance away on the boat for around two hours.

Police were called when the company noticed the vessel was missing.

Derbyshire Police confirmed officers had visited the marina, but said it was a civil matter between the two parties.

Trading Standards had investigated the matter too, but said it was a ‘contractual dispute’ and that it would thus be taking no further action.

Chris Hill, managing director of the New and Used Boat Company, said: “He did buy the boat off us nearly two years ago and it did have some problems.

“But we couldn’t have done more to help him.

“We would buy the boat off him, but there has to be a profit in it for us – we are not a charity.”

But Mr Farrant remained defiant and insisted he would carry out another similar stunt if the company failed to meet his demands.

“I will definitely go back,” he said.

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