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Dav and Pen

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Posts posted by Dav and Pen

  1. Surely if you are having and paying for an out of water hull survey you would be present to watch the surveyor and talk to him about any problems. Never had anything to do with UK surveyors as only brought old working boats and it was possible to see the inside of the hull and bottom. The engine we took a chance on but had a good idea. When we brought the barge in Belgium there was a contract drawn up stating that the buyer would pay for the docking and survey and if all was good which meant hull plus 4mm the offer would be accepted, if the survey threw up big problems the buyer could walk away and the 10% deposit (held by the broker) would be returned. The alternative was for the seller to pay for the faults to be put right which was the case in our purchase. The surveyors are real professionals and the one we used to buy and also through our ownership for the 7 yearly insurance surveys was Lloyd’s registered.

  2. Shared a lock on the Thames with a salters steamer full of the Thames conservators all in blazers and yachting hats. Very interested in our dirty old coal boat but also encouraging in our business and in fact a bit later we got the contract to supply the lock houses. They had the best interest of the river as their only concern and between them had real knowledge. 
    All the work on the Nene after the 47 floods was carried out by the Nene Drainage Board one of whose member was the chief engineer of the Northampton Brewery Company who later was mayor of Northampton. 
    All these bodies had an interest in the area they worked and lived in unlike the present day set up run by collage kids in a remote office .

    With regard to through toilets on the continent I’m afraid these are most common apart from Holland as there is almost no infrastructure for elsans or pump outs.

    • Greenie 1
  3. Our PD2s both had the spiral on the hand start which allowed you to put the decompressor levers over held by a bar attached to a small wheel that when you turned the handle slowly moved along the spiral until the decompressors fell . Sorry not a good description but it meant you could keep winding. Personally I nearly always failed to hand start them but Ted Ward never did. Ted had some wonderful terminology for the engine parts one of which was “splunger” which was always the cause of a mystery breakdown. Not sure of the reasons for the cranks breaking but ours did whilst ticking over in the top lock at Atherstone but it still got back to Braunston. As we were running camping boats decided to change it for a PJ3 from a trinity house generator which had only done 4 hours and 40 years later it’s still in the boat which has had 3 owners since .

  4. Narrow boats do roll as we found out on Lough Alan in Ireland where a wind had blown up waves at 90 degrees to our route. We were once moored at Soisons with our barge and a small narrow boat was also there, every time a commercial went past it really rolled frightening the owner who jumped ashore.

  5. 2 hours ago, matty40s said:

     Currently receiving 30 trucks full of concrete a day in the Stockton area, which is why no-one else can source concrete easily.

    If they dont use all the trucks, it is just dumped in an ever growing mountain behind the works.

    At chipping warden there’s a large batching plant in the compound but the concrete units to make the cut and cover tunnel seem to have stopped being placed. When I drove  a truck mixer any left over concrete was sold to the local farmers who always had a use for it. Not allowed to do that now apparently so tipped in the quarry or some where handy.

  6. When we were over there we came across a few narrow boats most of which had been trucked over to Simon Evans yard to be unloaded. This allowed them to avoid the busy and large northern canals and they were then able to use the central canals which are a bit more suitable. We decided to sell our Narrow boat and buy a Dutch barge in Belgium. Due to ill health we sold in 2019 before the 90 days rule which makes things difficult but it is possible to get a long term visa providing you can show income and health insurance.

    • Greenie 2
  7. Whilst it’s out of the water just have a can of blacking handy to paint over any places the surveyor had scraped clean (the boatyard will probably have some handy). If a bad survey is looking likely and you are walking away then leave it to the owner. All our boats have been sold privately and all but one brought privately the last being through a broker who drew up a contract. When we sold it I copied the contract.

  8. Douvre brokers are a good place to start but be careful because there are a lot of barges over 20 m that do not have ES-Trin certificates and therefore cannot be moved by water until they comply. Usually there is a contract when buying whereby you pay a deposit  and the boat is then surveyed at your expense but if it turns out to be not as described you can get your deposit back or the owner puts right the problems at his expense. Like old narrow boats old Dutch barges can be a money pit but on the other hand the Dutch generally look after them very well. Good luck.

    • Greenie 2
  9. Tadworth had a Torgem stove when we brought her from BWB 1973 as all the cooking was done on the butty Bakewell and the drop down table had been removed and a full length door fitted with the cupboard being used for hanging clothes. 

  10. It was taken to Ireland from Calcutt boats nearby Southam Warwickshire and put into the Grand Canal at Salins near Dublin. 3 years later we brought it back from Shannonharbour to Calcutt to be sold as we were buying a Dutch barge in Antwerp. As this was in 2000 the prices would now seem very good indeed but the company Whittens is still going and have been involved in moving some very big barges recently.

  11. We kept our barge on the Burgundy canal for some 10 years and our winter mooring was in the part of the canal which is under this threat. It was obviously being run down and the 50 locks from Venerey to Pouilly are in a poor state and need quite a lot of labour to pass boats through. The hotel boats either work the route from the summit to Dijon and the Saone or from Venerey to the Yonne although most of these have given up due to the state of this section of the canal due to lack of dredging and low water levels so they have gone to the Canal Loire.

    Some years ago the VNF tried to hand over the canal to the region who were prepared to take it on and did so for a little while but the deal broke down over the pensions that they would have to take on. I understand from my friends there that there is a 2 year delay before a definite decision and there are rumors of something like sub contracting this section out to an infrastructure company. Closure would be a great shame as the locks are pretty easy and the area is very interesting.


  12. I knew a boat owner who kept a graph of his beer consumption day by day and could compare it with the previous years. Mind you he was a draughtsman. I kept a record of each days journey in hours, no of locks, mooring costs if any.  Also when gas brought and oil changes etc and fuel brought. Originally on a Microsoft works program but then on spreadsheets.

    • Greenie 1
  13. To me a boat is for moving and seeing other places plus the test of steering them! All the maintenance etc that goes with them is part of it unless you are wealthy enough to pay others to do it for you. At the ages of the OP and with a mortgage free house buying an expensive new build seems like a big mistake. People who do this rarely can get back into the housing market and my advice would be to downsize and by a reasonable used boat once you have both decided that you really like the idea of living aboard after trying out a couple of rental holidays, this gives you the option of living aboard during the warmer months and in the house during the winter. We started boating 60 years ago with a small cruiser and over the years finished up with a Dutch barge on the continent where we spent 17 years cruising between April and October. We finally came ashore full time 3 years ago at the ages of 78 and 80 as my wife was becoming very unsteady and as it turned out very Poorly. You never know what’s in store.

    • Greenie 2
  14. When we were there a man at Shannon Harbour made his living buying second hand hire boats from the broads, doing them up and selling them on and there were some old springer NB s as well. The vast majority of the boats were old GRP cruisers but Ireland has got wealthier since and now there are plenty of modern Dutch steel Cruisers .The photo is of a rally at Shannon Harbour


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