Now on DVD, this is the highly rated BBC 1 TV series The Boat that Guy Built.
Whether you know Guy through his motorcycle road racing, his starring role in the movie TT: Closer to the Edge or his Fred Dibnah-style presenting in this hugely popular series, The Boat that Guy Built is essential viewing.
In the series, Guy and best mate ‘Mavis’ (Mark Davis) travel Britain’s canal networks restoring the narrow boat Reckless.
They can only use the methods and inventions of the Industrial Revolution, creating hilarious, informative and entertaining viewing, as any one who saw the pair grappling with a tin of baked beans, brewing up mugs of tea or building a shower will know!
During the six episodes brews a cup of tea, which includes building a blast furnace to cast an iron pot to boil water and visiting the Wedgwood factory to learn how to create traditional mugs, and prepares for a good night’s sleep by visiting an Industrial Revolution cotton mill, where he weaves his own bedsheets on 19th-century looms and makes a mattress at the same factory that supplies the Queen. He also creates his own version of an alarm clock!
Other highlights in The Boat that guy Built include Guy Martin and Mavis setting out to enjoy beans on toast, by making a tin can using a 200-year-old technique, then baking bread and learning about Sheffield-steel cutlery, making a steam engine to get a narrow boat's shower working and visiting the factory of lavatory manufacturer Thomas Crapper to test 19th-century toilet-flushing systems.
The pair also give the narrow boat reckless a makeover, learning about designer William Morris while applying one of his wallpaper patterns, and try their hand at painting and traditional decorative treatments. Guy also heads to a Macclesfield mill where he is taught how to weave silk for interior decorations.
The Boat that Guy Built concludes with the homecoming, where Guy Martin and Mavis show off the renovated boat at a party, learning how to prepare Victoria sponge, and shoot a commemorative Victorian-style portrait with a 150-year-old camera. As ever, it isn’t plain sailing and the maiden voyage is hampered by bad water and weather conditions, as the narrow boat struggles through inch-thick ice.