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 set ourselves a budget of 12 grand to buy and get one, either done, or needing doing. Well we pretty well realised 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.
At this point, I must say im not new to narrow boats or refurbs, so new what to expect. 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 Im quite handy restoring wrecks of different kinds. and Teresa has many practical skills, seamstress etc.
We turned this down originally, as too much money for what she was. But the guy who owned it phoned us 2 months into our search and halved the price. After looking at 10 different boats in various sizes and states, we decided to buy her, as it was do-able, both money wise and time wise.
The boat was out of water in a Trucking transport yard, in Dawlish. So it gave me a good chance to have a good look at the hull. and it was very good. 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.
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 of a rip off, but thats the rules, but £600 was a bargain to get it there, we were quoted over a grand by others.
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 bear 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.
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.
We have done away with the fire, as we opted for diesel and electric heating..one 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 refurb inside of the old hull.
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.
Ripping it out and as it was before refurb. above.
Below, as it was being rebuilt
BELOW…the almost finished article. because if you ever owned a narrow boat..??? You know they are never finished !!
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 tw** 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 .