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Everything posted by DpEndofShalo

  1. Its a she, and an accountant and doesnt mind paying in cash or dealing with Mr Smelly. Also a southern belle that loves Wales, lives in England with a Polish guy and a English Cocker Spaniel and a Turkish cat bringing up the rear. Its the United Nations at my house. I am sure that my grammar could use a brush up I am afterall from the colony
  2. Well, I have partaken of whats on offer at the Mr Smelly Bistro also known as Kizzi's. Lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Monday. Try as I might, I could find nothing to complain about and the fact that I went back a second time speaks for itself. Now as to Mr Smelly himself, well, surprisingly he did not smell except for the slight whiff of bacon on Sunday morning. When it came time to pay, we were relieved of our cash with due care and attention and a smile. I must remark on his lovely staff member. The lady with the dark hair...... what an absolute treat she is Be kind to her Smelly, she makes the place sparkle Tom and Alison
  3. As an accountant, I would advise him to do as such I will be trying him out on Saturday, I will report my findings
  4. Heres to the start of a beautiful friendship
  5. How about lunch Saturday? I do not really drink but having you prepare some food will save me having to cook. I will be all over that on a regular basis. Open year round?
  6. HEY NEIGHBOR! We are taking up a slot there for the coming year. Come say hi to us this weekend if you are aboard. We are coming down for Saturday and Sunday. Anything I should know about the mooring ? I must warn you, I make truly awful tea. Im a yank, born and raised and as you probably know, we like our tea ice cold
  7. In the week, Mon - Fri, we see each other an hour or so a day before its lights out to do it all over the next day. I hope that this will not be our lifestyle for more than a few years and if the right job came along closer to home, I know Tom would jump on it. I would personally like to see him take a pay cut and work closer to home but I also would never ask him to take a job and spend hours every day doing something he hated. Weekends are our time and I enjoy 100% of his attention for two full days. When we take to our boat, its our little haven and now that we have her back, she will be in use every week again
  8. Well folks, here she is, done and dusted. We did not end up going with the painter at our mooring. We went with Oxon http://www.oxonboatpainting.co.uk/ Can't state enough what a great job they did. The price was very fair and the customer service excellent. They really saved us from disaster. Very pleased. Ive enclosed a before picture so you can see her former leisure wear. Once again big thank you to all of you. You were wonderful when we really needed it. Tom and Alison 21429682_1253986828064624_4779372833132249088_n.mp4
  9. It went ..... well, very well. We arrived on site to collect the boat and there were problems but nothing we could not sort out. We told him we were not angry with him as he had agreed to help us get our boat in a condition to move and refunded our money in part. He is a nice chap, just not so good at time keeping. Problems.... well.... they took her right back to the metal which is exaclty what we asked..... but many areas in hard to reach places were left untouched. Our round windows... porthole windows... all 6 of them were put back in with this horrid black stuff that they were not very careful with, the new painter was appalled. We found deep cuts in the metal in a few places and they clipped the wire for one of the outside lights so short that it has receded back through the hole They took no care whatsoever when it came to the inside of the boat. I spent the first 3 hours cleaning up all the paintchips dust and dirt. Equipment loaded onto our boat did not belong to us. Items that did belong to us, we had to look for ourselves amongst the mess. She has been delivered to the new painter with a bit of rust from having to run her in the rain but we feel so much better that she is where she is now. The refund that we received was for everything we paid minus the cost of the paint which we took away with us. So full refund and paint at trade prices wasnt bad. This could have been a lot worse but you know when you are in the middle of the disaster yourself......its hard to think positively. You all have been fantastic...... Someone even messaged me to go to the painter we went with in the end. If we were in the pub, it would be pints all round.... And, if you see me on the cut.... just say how about that pint.... and we shall definately go for one. THANK YOU from myself, Tom, and Captain Cery..... (Cery being the 8 month old spaniel that is in charge ) Alison
  10. GOOD NEWS The painter has responded. He explained his situation and gave us a list of options and one of those options was a full refund and picking up the boat on Saturday. We have chosen to pick up the boat. I believe I stated many times in this post that on a personal level, I like this man. I do not think that his actions toward us while diabolical on the whole were intended as such. In my response to him I noted that my opinion of him personally has not been affected by this professional fiasco. It has caused me quite a few sleepless nights to have to push things to the extreme that we did in order to get a result. I would have loved it if he could have picked the job up and got it done finally but from his email this was not a likely prospect. I am very well versed in consumer and contract law. I was fully aware of the consequences should things go wrong. We purchased a home in 2015 and had multiple contractors in for the refurbishment and my standard practice for having any work performed that will cost over £1000 is to log on to companies house, see when the last accounts were filed and what those accounts have to say about the business. I also ask for insurance details. Part of my reason for choosing this particular person to paint our boat was that I was reasonably certain that he was not in financial hardship and his insurance details checked out. As this is part of my job and I have access to the information, not looking into these things beforehand leaves me more vulnerable than needs be. Judging from the other side of his canal business I was very certain that it would not end up with me losing £1900 if things went wrong. And as stated, I do not think this man is in any way dodgy. I think he bit off more than he could chew and didnt walk away when he could have because he truly wanted to turn it around. He is simply not able and simply loathe to tell us that. On a more personal level, that boat is not simply wood and metal clanged together so we can la tee da down the canal. My partner commutes Oxford to London every working day and we see each other for perhaps an hour a day. When we are on the boat, we leave work and the world behind and focus on one another. We went every weekend in the winter and it has made a significant difference to the quality of our lives together. Investing in the boat is investing in us. She needed a new paint job..... and she will finally get one.... a little later than planned. Crossing my fingers for Saturday. Keep us in your thoughts and if you are anywhere on the stratford/oxford canals and see a crazy looking boat, by all means wave...... Thank you all again so much for your advice. As I mentioned before, this is an invaluable resource for people that love boating..... but know very little about some aspects of it. Alison
  11. I came to the UK 20 years ago May 29th from a country where customer service is very different. It took a while not to bring my foreign mentality into a situation when I found myself having problems. It is not the case that customer service is so bad here and great there, the difference is in the fact that you seem to encounter many more small businesses who are run on a much smaller scale than corporations. There has to be a different level of give and take when dealing with small firms. The "Customer is Always Right" mentality could drive a small business into the ground if the business owner simply rolled over every time a complaint is made. The thing about this entire situation that gets straight up my nose is the fact that we are frantic trying to find out what is going on and have reached out to this man many many times before it has come to this level of problem and he can not even be bothered to reply to us in any way. It makes us think of things as so much worse than they probably are. We have even given him a couple of chances to wash his hands clean of the entire situation and even that is ignored. I simply do not understand it. Truth be told, Id still sit down and have a pint with this man, I just would not entrust him to undertake work on my boat. He has been in business over 25 years and I have not heard a negative word about him which makes me think there is something else going on and you know, we would have worked with him to the bitter end if dealt with fairly and honestly. And unfortunately, I can not empathize with a situaiton I know nothing about. But, at this stage, its hard to be very understanding at all especially when we have brought up the fact many times that the lack of communication is our chief complaint. I am glad we are going to take her back on Saturday but boy I am dreading what condition i may find her in. Fingers crossed.
  12. Update on current situation: We have informed the painter that we will be arriving on Saturday to collect the boat and requested a full refund. We have contacted the painter using the following methods 1. Email 2. Telephone where we left message 3. Text message 4. Facebook messenger message 5. Registered letter sent via Royal Mail signed for. Complete communication black out from their side. This is his standard response when things are not going as planned or he knows that we will not be happy. The stress and anxiety caused by this are heightened by a factor of 1000 when we are treated like this. I think I have covered all of the bases but if anyone can think of anything else I should do, I would be so grateful to hear it. Thank you for the time you take responding to me, we feel lost at times in all of this because we have never experienced anything like this in terms of a service provider. It really is so ridiculous at this point that its hard to believe. Thank you Alison
  13. I hope you will post pictures when complete Im glad you posted this because I would hate for someone like me to come along and read this thread and think that this is typical. From talking extensively to people, this is very much out of the ordinary. What I would advise is as someone previously posted, watching the job a little more closely from the start by perhaps visiting the yard or asking for updates via photograph. We would have known much sooner that every deadline he was promising was impossible.
  14. That is absolutely what has taken place here because to be fair to the man, he is someone that you would spend hours talking to. His reputation with his other canal based business is second to none. We have stuck it out this long because he is actually a kind person and we felt like he wanted to do as promised, he just can't. But its now at a point where he needs to just own his error in taking the job on and we cut ties. Ive hate forcing his hand every step of the way but as demonstrated by my naked boat, it was the right thing to do and now I can comfortably extract myself from the disaster having given every consideration on our side and getting nothing in return. If it goes ugly for you and you need help making it right in a legal sense, I would be glad to advise. The law is best left out of these situations if at all possible but sometimes its the only way forward.
  15. We had the hull shot blasted and epoxyed in the spring and the folks that did that for us were great. We payed for anodes as well and they refunded us as they said ours have miles to go before needing replacement. We ended up taking a mooring with them and they wanted the painting job but by that time we were already committed. I got in touch with them yesterday and they have responded that naturally they cant just take a boat in for painting in a day or weeks notice but that if we bring her home they will immediately protect her from the elements and give us the first available paint slot. We purchased the boat privately from Ely in Cambridgeshire after seeing an online advert and going to view her and having the survey done. We have changed her name. She is in fantastic interior and mechanical condition. Only 1300 hours on the engine and the interior was done to a very high spec. It was one of those situations where someone bought a boat, life got in the way, so it basically sat in a marina for 4 years. We are the third owners as the builder was the first. I can not say much more about the painter as it would probably reveal the identity but by no means is this painter in any dire financial straits. It is absolutely a case of biting off more than he could chew and instead of just disappointing us and telling us that, we have been strung along. We did not have a contract as in a formal piece of paper that said Contract on the top of it but before giving him the job, we made a list of what we expected and asked him to respond that he was in agreement and ofcourse at the time, everything was fine and not a problem. Every time we have been promised a date and disappointed, I have documented it. We have traveled to the yard to see the boat twice when we felt things were not progressing as they should be. We have photographed everything and have a log of correspondance. These situations tend to get rather complicated at times so I was careful at every stage to give him ample time to make things right before applying further pressure and then an ultimatum. I am very well versed in consumer law (its part of my job) and know the steps I should take before attempting to recover money etc etc. We have given every opporotunity to sort this out reasonably and even gave him the option to let us walk away. He chose to persist and will ofcourse miss the deadline again and at that time, I have a very good case for removing the boat and expecting a full refund. I just want to thank all of you for responding to me and validating what I thought I should do. We arent mean spirited nasty people looking to harm anyone or get something for nothing. We do however expect to be treated fairly and are willing to give folks the time to do that. I think 3.5 months when promised 5 weeks demonstrates that we have been fair. I appreciate the time you have taken in all of your responses and I may still need to come back with the next chapter of the story for further advice. I should know something in the next couple of days as to how this is going to end up. Being a boat owner but not having vast knowledge on things makes this place invaluable. You make a real difference when you take the time to help. Im not sure enough people say that. Onward to the finish line Alison
  16. I am not going to name and shame however anyone reading this thread is welcome to message me and ask if a particular painter is who I am referring to. I wouldnt want to see anyone go through what we are going through but I also think that putting it out there for the world to read is asking for more trouble until I get this sorted. The deposit was for paint and materials and the time it would be in the paint dock. He rents the paint dock out so worked that into the price. He was by no means the cheapest but he was very far off the highest estimate of £12,500 by a very reputable painter who is booked 2 years in advance. We consider price when getting things done but are always willing to pay a little more for a good job. The major problem with this painter is lack of communication and when he is cornered, he makes promises he can not keep and then neglects to tell us he is behind schedule until the last minute when we have asked for time off work and made plans to cruise home. He has even admitted that he avoids us when the news is bad. I have politely explained to him 2 months ago that we are reasonable people who will work with him as long as we are kept abreast of the situation and can see some sort of progress. Anyone can run into problems and have a change of circumstances that get in the way of doing the work as promised but avoiding your customer and breaking promises is not the way to go about handling it. After reading the different responses here, my instinct is in agreement with the many that say walk away now. I am not worried about the money already paid, we have a very well documented case complete with video and photo evidence and correspondance to prove our case should we have to recover the money through the court system. The big question now is ...... when we take it away in the condition that it is in, will we be doing significant harm to it by moving it over a period of 5 days to a safe location for storing it until the metal is covered and protected? Would covering it with a tarp just for the journey provide sufficient protection to get it back? We have 2 choices and thats to leave it there indefinately and continue to go through this nightmare or take it away and start over. I just want to know if walking away is going to damage what is a really nice boat. Thanks Alison
  17. DpEndofShalo


  18. We bought our narrowboat last August and knew when we bought it that we would have it repainted this spring. I did my homework, got tons of advice and estimates and decided to give the job to someone we were familiar with and that we had viewed previous work done by this firm. We paid £1900 for the deposit and dropped the boat off on April 8th. We were given a lead time of 5 weeks. That time came and went and we are now being told it will not be ready until the end of July. We made an unannounced visit yesterday to the boat and found 75% of the boat still stripped down to the bare metal. This was after last week giving the painter one of two non-negotiable options. Option 1: We come and get the boat immediately, receive a full refund and we will take the boat elsewhere and draw a line under the whole sorry situation. Option 2: Complete the boat no later than July 23rd at which time we will collect the boat in whatever condition it is in and if it is not completed, we will take the boat and pay nothing further and if the boat is in a poor condition to get someone else to finish the job, ie the new painter has to strip anything down to begin again, we will demand a full refund. We also demanded that we were sent pictures to demonstrate what work had been done on a weekly basis. I got no reply to this email but started getting pictures sent. There is no discernable difference in the pictures sent to us a week ago and the pictures we took ourselves yesterday. We are truly at the end of our rope with all of this. We actually like the painter on a personal level. But have been totally let down every time we are promised something. When we were supposed to pick up the boat 2 weeks ago, I sent an email stating what time we would be arriving at the yard and asked for a final invoice. No reply. As we were going down on a Friday, Thursday I wrote again requesting the invoice and that someone be at the yard incase we had an problems or concerns. Finally late Thursday evening, I got a call. Due to the extreme heat, the painting is not complete. He knew it wouldnt be ready on Monday but actually stated to me that he put off making the call because he knew we would be upset. I was promised an email or phone call the next day outlining the works to be completed and a time scale. The email never came. I wrote a rather terse email explaining that once again we had no idea what was going on but we were in receipt of another of his broken promises. I stated that we would be arriving at the boat yard to take the boat away on Saturday and someone needed to be there to give us our keys. I got an email back saying that it was going to take 17 more working days. Thats when I gave the ultimatium. What I would like to ask all of you kind folks out there is if it is actually feasible to paint a boat from bare metal with all the proper number of coats and a professional looking finish in what amounts to to 13 days now. The second question is, what would be the easiest way to determine that the boat has the proper number of coats applied without damaging visible paintwork. Remove a window perhaps and flake a bit off that is covered by the frame when the frame is in position? We have been given so many excuses as to why its taking this long and we have lost all faith in the painter. One of the things we have been told is that its too hot to paint as it dries too quickly in those circumstances. Are we being reasonable here. We have had a handful of really hot days since April 8th and the job has now overun by 2 months as of next week. And finally, are there any recommendations on somewhere to turn to get the boat sorted out properly with a straightforward painter that will not hide from us or avoid having any difficult conversations because I think we will be in the same situation on the deadline date. Any advice appreciated. Thank you Alison
  19. I dont mind sharing my registration number 524286 and if you go and check it.... sure enough.. not recognised. I appreciate that we all need to pay for our licence but offering a service to check things that doesnt work, defeats the entire purpose. Id love to know if you get anywhere finding out the issue
  20. We purchased a 30 day explorer licence for the canal system last September. Our boat is kept on the River Thames and licenced yearly through the Environment Agency. As we are in Oxford, we knew we would be on the canals for a couple of weeks at the minimum to a months time at maximum in the year up to September 2017. The explorer licence is perfect for us. What is not so perfect is being reported to the CRT as being unlicenced. When I put my own number through the checker, sure enough, the system does not recognise the number and it asks me to fill in the details of where this boat was sighted. Me being me, I have reported myself and in the commentary section, cut and pasted the copy of the licence email they sent to me when we bought the licence last September. This is the first we are using the licence. A gentleman with a clipboard who looked official but stated he was not employed by CRT knocked on our boat to ask about our licence. I showed the emails and he looked at me like I had an elbow growing out of my forehead and told me I should get in touch with CRT or I would keep having this problem. 1. Has anyone else experienced this. 2. Are there really people who are not being paid, running around checking everyones licences and then when shown proof of one, looking at you like you are making the whole thing up. Am I obliged to explain myself to these people. 3. How can it possibly be that a number that CRT gave me and is on the plates they sent and the licence I paid for, not recognised by their system. Frustrated Alison
  21. Hello Everyone A little advice required on how to rectify the slight listing of our 55ft Narrowboat. What has caused this was the removal of the wood stove after the inspection revealed it to have a broken seal. We have diesel heating and really didn't fancy a wood fire with children and animals traveling with us. Common sense dictates that we need to replace the heavy weight of this stove in order to right the list but I have searched for weights similiar to what I have seen in rented boats in the past and do not seem to be able to come up with anything suitable. I am quite possibly searching for the incorrect term. We have only owned her since August and still have a lot to learn. Can someone point me in the right direction or if my common sense is actually common ignorance, please feel free to right the list in my head Replacing the stove is not a road we wish to go down. We are happy with the diesel heating and even happier to have the space free that the stove demanded. Thanks a million. Me
  22. We recently purchased our boat and it came with a Natures Head toilet. We have used all the various toilet solutions over the years of renting through hire companies and renting or borrowing private boats. Now, I must admit that when purchasing the boat, the composting toilet was not exactly a selling point for me as I had heard so much negative commentary on them. The boat seller raved about the composting loo but we were sure that it was simply his way to influence the sell. We have now gone on two extended cruises and use the boat nearly every weekend and I am totally impressed with the toilet. It is by far the best option we have ever used for waste and as it turns out, the seller wasn't misrepresenting the toilet at all. It has the least smell of any of the toilets we have used and with the purchase of an additional liquids bottle, we can get away with emptying once a week for liquids but the solids is far longer. I am on 2 months now of not emptying the solids and things seem to be composting well. There is a learning curve to it as I made the initial mistake of emptying and cleaning the solids after a long cruise and it was pretty horrific and so I went seeking advice on what I was doing wrong or how I could help the situation and ofcourse it was simply me being a little too eager to empty the solids because as a new user of the loo, it somehow felt totally wrong to moor up the boat and walk away with waste in there. Lesson learned. The fan for the toilet is somehow rigged up to the same circuit as the water pump and works really well. We have solar panels that keep things topped up and leaving the fan on during the week does not cause any problems power wise, in fact we have never come back to the boat after being away for a week to find our power drained to any significant degree. After doing some reading up on the loo and the best way to use it, we switched from moss to coconut coir to compost with and it has proven to be a much better alternative. What I have found that also helps is to put in a bit of the cocunut coir every week especially during heavy use. A 5 kg bag of the coconut coir was £12.00 from amazon, delivered. We found it much easier to use than the moss. The design of the toilet is amazing in the separation of solids and liquids. We have noticed no problems whatsoever with a mixture of the two. My other half isnt so keen on sitting to do his liquid business but he has adjusted and luckily because the toilet does exactly as promised, its not something we have to think about but once a week. I am glad that our boat came with the toilet as I would not like to pay the prices they charge for a new one. Also, the spare liquids container we bought was a rather pricey £40 because it is simply a plastic half moon shaped bottle with a strap. They now ship new units with a spare bottle but this toilet of ours has been in use for 8 years and did not originally come with the spare bottle. For us, and we are a party of two, it has proven to be a really great feature of the boat and I am glad I gave it a proper try and read up on how to best use it. With a little self education, it has proven to be the only solution for waste that we will ever entertain in the future. Hope this helps.
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