Walking boat flops

IT was supposed to be one small step for boat, one giant leap for seafaring kind.

IT was supposed to be one small step for boat, one giant leap for seafaring kind.

But when the big moment finally came for London’s first walking boat to haul itself on land, the 20ton vessel flopped it.

After two years building the 40ft red and white barge, artist Andrew Baldwin had hoped his creation’s kinetic-powered metal feet would not waver on dry land.

It seems the Thames’ strong turning tide had other plans when it stopped the boat in its tracks yesterday.


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The boat had set sail from Trinity Buoy Wharf in the Docklands to the foreshore just outside the Tate Modern.

With hundreds of people watching, the boat’s cogs turned and its levers desperately raised and lowered.

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The mechanical wonder made four strenuous attempts to defeat the pull of the tide and heave itself onto land. But try as it might the walking boat failed to live up to its name.

The artist’s frustration was palpable – after all, the boat had already proved itself in an earlier trial run at Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Today the boat will again attempt to put its best foot forward, this time at the Trinity Buoy Wharf. Keep an eye out for updates.

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