At an age when many people are thinking about how to get in and out of their bathtub, 65-year-old Mervyn Kinkead has taken his bathtub use to a whole new level. He added an engine, put a plug in the sink and created a Bathtub Boat! And then he sailed it from Northern-Ireland to Scotland….

Mervyn Kinkhead in his bathtub boat

Mervyn Kinkhead in his bathtub boat

Crossing the Irish Sea in Bathtub Boat

The Northern-Ireland native from Lisburn  has become the first man to cross the Irish Sea, between Northern-Ireland and Scotland in an ordinary bathtub, clearly out-doing the group of  British friends who SAILED a BOUNCY CASTLE across LAKE GARDA.

Kinkead did however, not paddle his way across the choppy sea just North of the Isle of Man. An engineer friend equipped Kinkead’s small, single-man tub with boat stabilizers and an outboard motor.

This friend, who is an experienced sailor, followed him in his normal, non-bathtub, boat and guided Kinkead in the right direction. Luckily for Kinkead all this worked out well and they managed to stay well out of the way of the big ferries en route.


With only a relatively minor hiccup along the way, Mervyn covered the 19 nautical miles from Donaghadee across to Portpatrick in about eight hours on on September the 1st 2010. The problem arose when the bath – probably used to being filled – began to take in water about three miles out of Portpatrick. However it was soon righted, and Mervyn made it across to Scotland shortly before nightfall.

Mervyn Kinkhead in his bathtub boat after crossing the Irish sea in it

“It all began as a bit of a joke,” Mervyn told BBC district reporter Claire Savage. “Then someone said about doing it for charity so I thought I had better do it.”

The adventurous admiral admitted to feeling like a celebrity when a crowd gathered in Portpatrick to herald his damp arrival. However, his pride in his achievement does not equate to certainty over whether he would repeat the trip.

“I am glad it is all over. I would do it again – well, I would consider doing it again!”

It appears Mervyn is not the only one turning his bathtub into a means of transportation. A guy from Kazakhstan motorized his bathtub and made it drivable. The contraption was dubbed ‘MotoTub’ and he drove it around the streets of Almaty in 2013! Read the entire story here.


For more bathtub driving, sailing and rowing adventures have a look at kickasstrips’ ‘bathtub adventure section