The New Venture. The Narrow Boat. Voyager. May 2019


                      This is the interim Before Trusty’s next Road adventure

Well we did it !! Returned to UK and bought an old Narrow-boat, and re-furbed it. Picture above is it going into water on  Monday 5th august, after we got it 90% finished on dry land.

The new adventure has begun

We decided not to sell Trusty and replace her for Trusty two..instead we went for the narrow boat option. The way things are looking in the UK at the mo. buying a 20 grand camper (that’s our budget) may not be the best option, besides it gives us computer controlled mechanics. which I don’t want. Keep it works !!”

We set ourselves a budget of 12 grand to buy and get one, either done, or needing doing. Well we pretty well realized very soon, that  amount of money doesn’t get you much of a narrow boat..and we looked at a lot. most of them wrecks in various different forms.we needed a boat of 30/40 feet. ideal size, larger boats are good for general living but tiresome on narrow canals. you can turn (wind) a smaller boat much more easily without traveling an hour or so to a winding hole, locking on the way there and back, hard work and time consuming.

At this point, I must say I am not new to narrow boats or refurbs, so new what to expect. Our previous blogs reveal Lynton Dreams, my other boat I refurbed.

The main thing I was particularly looking for,was a good hull, or one with a survey done.The rest of it didn’t matter much, as I’m quite handy restoring wrecks of different kinds. and Teresa has many practical skills, seamstress etc.

We turned Voyager down originally, as too much money for what she was. and what we had, but the guy who owned it phoned us 1 month into our search and halved the price, and after looking at 10 different boats in various sizes and states, we decided to buy her, as it was doable, both money wise and time wise. Buying her,  plus the renovation saved us money as well ..But hey ho, you can’t take it with you.

I have never been a savings type to ten bob!!!  once when I was a kid, then went out and blew it on sweets. No saving for old age..figured if I had me health, I could always turn my hand to something..And if not?? well money wouldn’t help much..besides if you have it, and they stick you in old folks home smelling of P*** etc, then they take it off you anyway..

                                  THEN YER BACK TO 10 BOB POCKET MONEYImage result for pensioner cartoon old folks homeThe boat was out of water in a Trucking transport yard, in Dawlish. (Two Photos below) So it gave me a good chance to have a good look at the hull. and it was good for its age. with the required over plating done. and a Survey. the boat is  A 1978 Springer  length of 10 meters.

People who know narrow boats generally see them as bottom end boats..But to be fair, if you get a good one, they are very good. This one had been completely over plated with quarter plate Steel, and spray foamed inside the hull. I have the receipts for 6 grands worth of work. on that account alone. V hull which makes it less roomy inside. but much more economical on the go.

So we set about the project.

Did a deal with the transport yard to deliver her to a boat yard in Gloucester, very reasonable. £600 which included Crane on and and into yard when it got there.. But Whoa, if you go down this route ever,  A warning, most boat yards wont let third parties crane anything, so we had to pay to get it craned off the lorry and into the boat yard,and then back into the canal when finished…bit disappointing , but that’s the rules, but £600 was a bargain to get it there, we were quoted over a grand by others.

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So, we set about the rebuild.

The hull was very good, but had been re-blacked by previous owner and left out of the water for 5 years. The blacking underneath that, did not look great, so we scraped all of it off down to bare metal. as we also did to the paint on the top later on. Then added 4 coats of bitumen black, scraped down the top and added 3 coats of ford tractor blue. That took us about a month.

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The interior was a complete mess..To be fair the guy we bought it off had his own ideas on how to proceed, but due to ill health, could not proceed, Lovely guy. genuine, but interior was no way ever going to be good. so we ripped it out. and started again.

Inside before we ripped it out

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We have done away with the fire, as we opted for diesel and electric for cruising, and the other for Marina life.. when we bought the boat, we could just about walk through it with our hair brushing the ceiling, once we had gutted it we found out why..the floor had been put in 3 inches higher than needed, so the first job was that. and while we did it we decided to refurbish the inside of the old hull. (New one is part over plated )

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The next stage after getting the floor back in was to design the interior to give max space and ease of use in a 32 foot by 5.9 space. I wont bang on for page after page of the rebuild as its too much too write down, but a brief collage in pics of before and after, should do it.

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Ripping it out and as it was before refurbish. above.

Below, as it was being rebuilt The Hull is a v design on the Springers, which restricts  design and makes it both higher floored, and giving a narrower interior. we manage to get it right..with a 6 foot headroom (just)

Before curtains were made and before sofa installed

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BELOW…the almost finished article. because if you ever owned a narrow boat..??? You know they are never finished !IMG_20190731_213325

More or less finished


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Voyager now on the mooring and we are using her..We have no immediate plans to cruise the canals this year, Its a thing I have done extensively before, and right now our priorities are a Base.. 

We are going to slowly finish the jobs  and maybe  haul her out next year again for,  more paint work to pretty her up..Not allowed to paint on the marina, owing to some twat dropping a can of paint into the water, But for now we are content to sit and contemplate the beautiful surroundings 

Trusty’s Next real motor home adventure will prob start just after Christmas..  Hope you enjoyed this blog and our website…any questions please free to contact us  contact us

December 2019 Trustys Forth Adventure

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