A young Michael was introduced to boating on his family's narrow boat. His real interest lies with working boats. In 2006 he acquired the ex-FMC motor Clover. With the Clover restored he took the opportunity to buy the butty Fazeley in 2008, followed by his purchase of Emu in 2009 and slowly restored this to trading condition, winning the Hemelryk Award in 2011. He also won the Hemelryk Award for Clover in 2014. He operates a marina on the River Lee and goes boating as much as he can.