The Army Major and his boat made of tin raising thousands for good causes

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Derek Johnson

Michael Stanley is a former Army Major who should be spending his well-earned retirement with his feet up enjoying the beautiful Sussex countryside.

Instead he decided to take to the water in a homemade boat, that looks more like a tin bath, to raise tens of thousands of pounds for good causes.Tintanic 2 is his latest invention created at his home workshop in Sussex.

The 80-year-old, known as 'Major Mick' tried several versions before 'Tintanic' was born, rowing it 100 miles up and down the Chichester canal for charity.

Some of Mick's attempts were discarded early on Credit: Michael Stanley

Michael said: "The idea came from India when I saw young children were using corrugated iron to go fishing and this was just another little bit of a challenge to me at the time when I had to stay at home.

"I didn't realise I would enjoy it so much, and to be honest, doing a bit of rowing each week has not been a great strain and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

"The best compliment I can be given is by teenagers who say I'm cool."

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Mick's exploits have seen him navigate rivers, canals and open water through Wales and in the Highlands of Scotland.

Sally Stanley, Michael's wife, said: "Well he always likes to be doing something. He can't bear to be sitting down doing nothing.

"So it wasn't surprising, but I must admit I am pretty proud of him. It's a lovely thing he is doing it for."

Michael Stanley is a retired Army Major Credit: Michael Stanley

St Wilfred's Hospice in Chichester has been the main beneficiary of Michael's efforts.

He has raised £43,000 for the hospice, which is enough to fund 200 home visits to patients in the community. 

Alison Moorey, St Wilfred's Hospice, said: "Cheering everybody up by his wonderful antics, rowing up and down the canal for weeks on end, it was a really positive thing at a time when everybody really needed a lift."

Mick's next journey will be from the Isle of Wight to the mainland in spring 2022.