Page last updated at 19:12 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 20:12 UK

Slimming Viking can now sail ship

Tim Barnacle courtesy of Vikings of Middle England
Tim Barnacle has been interested in the Vikings for many years

A Viking enthusiast in Lancashire has lost 9st (57kg) in weight so he can sail his very own Nordic ship on lakes and rivers across the country.

Tim Barnacle, 47, stores Ratatosk - named after a Norse red squirrel - in his back garden in Hesketh Bank.

The 20ft (6m) boat has cruised across the Marine Lake in Southport, meandered down River Blackwater in Essex and sailed round Tatton Mere in Manchester.

Mr Barnacle said: "I can now sail her without the risk of her capsizing."

He is now named as Slimmer of the Week on a regular basis by his local Slimming World club.

We sometimes open a little window to the past when we are at camp... a team of Vikings
Tim Barnacle

He bought the boat from a craft shop in Formby in 2000, and when he moved to Lancashire from Leicestershire earlier this year, he brought her up in a trailer with him.

"I'm desperate to know where she was built, when she was built and her whole history really.

"I believe she is about 20-years-old and modelled on a Viking ship dating back to the 10th Century."

A keen member of Vikings of Middle England, Mr Barnacle often goes away on weekends across the country with fellow historians.

"We sometimes open a little window to the past when we are at camp, especially if there is torrential downpour and we all work together, a team of Vikings."

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