The river and canal community -
uniting to help British Forces Veterans
get off the streets and in to floating homes

In July 2021, a member of the abandoned boats group, Andy Flint,  came up with an idea. And the idea struck a chord in the community on the cut and rivers.

Andy put a post on Facebook, proposing river and canal users, boat owners and businesses  use our combined knowledge and skills to restore a boat and give it to a homeless ex service person. 

The response in the other groups was phenomenal,   and in just days,  through others willing and generosity,  we had  a locked secured yard to work on the boat and a company willing to transport the boat to and from any part of the country for free.

In less than a week we had been donated out 1st narrowboat and work will start on her soon.

The charity, The Veterans Support Association have now thrown their weight behind us, so we can work in partnership with them to place the finished boats in the right place.

We have enough people power to get it restored but would love all the help we could get. 

If you would like to get involved but won't be able to be "hands on" - if you are able, a donation towards any licensing, insurance and so on, for boats we restore, would be much appreciated. You'll find a link to donate at the foot of the Home page and on the bar at the top.

Do get in touch if you can help - either on the email link above, via our Facebook page messenger, or by What'sApp.

About Us
 NB Daisy is  home! NB Daisy is  home! NB Daisy is  home!
 NB Daisy is home!

Pete Ballinger and NB Kinver have completed their journey to bring NB Daisy home to Sawley Cut Wharf

A plastic fender round Kinver's prop slowed him down but didn't stop him, our Pete's not a man to be beaten! Only a day later than intended, the two boats arrived.

We couldn't have done it with out the help of a number of you - huge thanks for aiding Pete on the journey goes to: Glyn and Owen, Zoe, Tushka and FVA founder - Andy.

There are lots of pictures on the FVA Facebook page - but here are just a few.

Now the work begins to make her ready for the next chapter of her life - as a home for a Veteran.

NB Capricorn, under tow by Pete and NB Kinver

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We have our 4th boat - and she's a whopper! NB Daisy is now at Sawley Cut Wharf for work to begin on her.

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We have been donated "Second Chance"

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Boat number 2 has been donated! Meet "Canute"

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Our 1st boat began her journey on 23rd August 2021, and has arrived at Redhill Marina. See inside for a walk through video of what she is currently like.

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Less than a week from launch and we were donated our 1st boat! All praise to Fran and her mum for this marvellous donation. Its a 40 foot narrowboat with a cruiser stern steel bottom wood top . Who's up for a project !

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Ship Shape Stove Services

Huge thanks to the amazing, generous folk at Ship Shape Stoves. They have donated 2 stoves to us, which they will referbish and fit in the boats. It's going to make a huge difference to the comfort and safety of our vets on board. Support these wonderful people if you can.

Simba Matresses

For the generous donation of 4 single mattresses, for NB Daisy


Who's given us a fabulous, hand made gift

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Glyn & Barbara - for their huge donation!

The donators of our 4th boat - Daisy

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SuperStar Speakers Events Ltd

Who donated the profits of an evening to us...

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The donator of "Second Chance" - our 3rd boat

Nottingham Panthers Hockey Team

A Remembrance weekend game brings a big donation

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The donator of our 2nd boat

The donators of our 1st boat

Fran and her mum

For giving us their late husband and dad's 40 ft narrowboat. We can't thank you enough.

Ballinger Towage & Steerage Services

Redhill Marina, Nottingham

These brilliant folks have given us space to work on our 1st boat.

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Other vital donations

 Towpath Talk - we were proud to be featured in the January 2022 edition: 

 Our feature on ITV Central: We are proud to be working in association with the Veteran Support Association. Registered charity reg no 1190025 in England & Wales . Find out more about their work by following the link: The Association's John Joyce spoke about linking with on ITV Central News 

 Waterways World - 

How did Forces Vets Afloat start?

Founder, Andy is a boat owner and member of a group which is interested in the many abandoned boats on our canals and rivers.

He proposed in the group, that it might be possible to get hold of an abandoned boat, refurbish it, and pass it on to someone who was homeless.

People loved the idea and the overall consensus was that the boat should go to a former member of the British Armed Forces, who was without a home.

The day after is initial post on canal-themed Facebook pages, offers of help  came flooding in, and it was decided that a Facebook page was needed to keep track of things. Lizzie Lane then came on board, as admin, to build the FB page and now the website.

Where do the boats come from?

The original idea was to give new life to boats which have been abandoned and who's owners can't be traced. This would bring back in to use,  boats which would just eventually sink, stop them becoming eyes sores and blocking mooring spaces.

This rapidly spread to being offered the pick of boats which had been taken to be scrapped - which will give us scope for different sizes and styles of craft.

Our 1st boat  - a narrowboat - was extremely generously donated, by the family of a gentleman who had died. What a memorial - what a wonderful gesture. 

Who can get involved in restoration?

The simple answer is - anyone.

If you want to help - we will find you something to do.
It could be as simple as helping wash a boat down or doing some sanding, to skilled jobs like plumbing, painting, gas and engine servicing, laying floors, running up curtains and furnishings, the list could go on for miles.
If you have a skill - we can use it.
If you have a willing pair of hands and some time - we can use you.

If you want to get involved, drop us a message using the contact page on this site, message on the Forces Vets Afloat Facebook page, or use What'sApp, the number is on our header on the home page.

How will you decide who gets the finished boats?

We are hoping to partner with a charity, which has an established name and infrastructure, Ideally it will be one who specialises in working with veterans.

We will hand the boats over to them, and they will decide who it will suit.

Requests are in to various charities - we will let you know which we are working with as soon as something has been decided.

I don't have a skill or time to help, how can I get involved?

We realised very soon after we started the project, that travelling to where the boats are and getting stuck in would be impossible for some people.

To this end we have set up a Go Fund Me page - where you can make donations if you would like to.

You can find it here:​​​