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Robert B.

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  1. Thought I'd resurrect this thread rather than start afresh. I had a chat with GJW this afternoon and was categorically told that they no longer insure vessels more than 60 years old. With Sara being up to a century beyond their cut-off they were regrettably unable to make an offer. I'm waiting to hear back from Aston Lark/Euromarine. RB
  2. Currently have a boat moored there, you can PM me if you have any specific questions. I have some thoughts but not for a public forum. Regards, Robert
  3. Clypeus is moored adjacent Sara and I'm afraid I must admit the odd covetous glance... A lovely boat to admire, I wish you well whether you decide to sell her or not.
  4. Two persons here on a 32' vessel. SWMBO* is very good at keeping track of the money I spend, I can PM you detailed breakdowns but we roughly work out at £2300 PA for Marina moorings, EA Anglian licence and insurance. We budget another £2,000 for maintenance and the odd surprise (last years "gift" from the old girl was casting her propeller off. It's just outside the junction of the Welford arm if anybody fancies some scrap brass...). She sips fuel at roughly a litre an hour, although I won't do a breakdown of our cruising as everybodies situation is different. We can PM screenshots of an annotated spreadsheet if that is a suitable format for you to work from? Regards, Robert (*She Who Must Be Obeyed)
  5. I should probably clarify that the Tecsun doesn't pick up DAB either. It does have shortwave though..
  6. I use one of these for serious AM long wave/medium wave listening, but it works very well for FM too. Great battery life (6 months or so of daily use), sensitive receiver and a handy 'easy tuning' feature that scans all available stations in a band at the press of a button then allows you to rotate through them. I'd highly recommend it other any DAB set I've ever tried.
  7. Proud enough that I squeeze in a picture of her when ever I can ?
  8. Having just read through the other thread, I can add that Sara handles well and we've never had any stability problems of note, although she will heel C. 15 degrees or so if you ask her to do a tight turn with any speed on. You do need to pay attention to the tiller as she has a habit of wandering off to bury her nose in the left hand bank if left to her own devices for more than a moment. The lack of swim limits hull speed to around 4 knots and giving it any more welly just results in a fountain of spray (fun!) and ultimately cavitation (not good!), so we settle down into a steady bop-bop-bop and just accept that the day is about the journey.
  9. We own the Oxford Canal ice boat Sara (30', 6' 10") who has a similar history. Built 'tween 1850 - 70 from wrought iron and used as an iceboat and occasional maintenance craft on the southern section of the canal. Thomas Millner, engineer of the GJCC (which shared the section through Braunston) made a study of these craft when considering their own ice breaker needs and wrote that "In the new light ice boats that I hope to possess before long I am going to have the handrail on the sides or in the centre at the bottom as now suggested, and I want to find out the best method of the two. The Oxford Canal use the side method and break ice much cheaper than we do ". The short iceboats were originally based out of Banbury and Thrupp, with larger craft kept at Heyford and Napton. She appears to have had an easy life as, other than replacement and renewal of rivets along the water line (subject to harsh ice abrasion during each winter season), there have been no repairs of any note to the hull. She was out of work and laid up at Braunston by 1961 when she was purchased for sum of £100 and towed to Chiswick on the Thames for an additional £5 (I've often wondered if any photos might exist of her last voyage in her original form - a narrowboat towing an iceboat must have been an unusual sight by this point?). Her cabin conversion started later that year, was destroyed by a fire in '65 and restarted to be completed by '68.
  10. Took the family out on a cruise down the river Lark today, heard noises coming from the pumping station museum at Prickwillow and decided to investigate. Them diesels were a wee bit bigger than our Lister. As you can see, the weather was awful. Rob
  11. It is lovely to hear from you, I am sitting in a cosy Sara as I type. I take it your mother was Jean? We have a copy of her book on board. It almost certainly was Sara you recently saw as we are now based in Ely. If you find yourself this way again do drop me a line - you'd be more than welcome to have a cuppa aboard. She has a few changes sine John rebuilt her, primarily the addition of a stove and the swapping out of the old Coventry Victor for a twin cylinder Lister. I recently had to lift the floor panels to access the bilge and got to admire all his hidden joinery, as well as finding a few wood shavings that had undoubtedly lain there since the 1960's. Regarding her origins, we now think the hull dates back to the 1870's. Warmest regards, Robert B.
  12. Following on from the iceboat thread here, I have managed to scan some pictures of our boat Sara in the hope that someone may see something in her details that might shed light on her origins. The photographs were taken in 1961 at Cubbits yacht basin, Chiswick, and show John Mattey in the early stages of cleaning back the hull before priming and painting it (it can be seen that he started aft and worked forwards). He had purchased her earlier that year from Michael Street of Braunston, paying the sum of £100. There was a second 45 foot hull in the yard also, I don't suppose anyone knows what became of it? We are told that she was built "around 1900" although I don't know if this is just hearsay - I wouldn't be surprised to learn she is a few decades earlier or later than this. Likewise we are told that she was built for the Oxford Canal Co. which would fit with where she ended up. The Oxford tended to have two rocking rails mounted each side of the vessel (the crew doing the rocking standing back to back), although it is clear in these photographs that any evidence for where they attached has already been removed (see the Thomas Holt at Foxton). One surprise is that there is no indication of any towing mast having been present, presumably the forward cleat was used to bring her down to the Thames. The two large pintles for hanging the original rudder are evident, sadly these were lost during the subsequent fitting of her weed hatch and cavitation plates. Any thoughts gratefully received! At present she is at N. Kilworth awaiting a replacement prop and shaft. Regards, Robert.
  13. Yes it is. She's at North Kilworth presently having some maintenance before travelling to the Anglian waterways. The present conversion was built by John Matty between 1961 - 1977 (although most of what you see dates from 68 - 77 as she was badly damaged by a fire at the yard he was working). He took his styling from the GJCC directors launch Kingfisher. I found this photo showing the stem construction. Rob
  14. Our old girl Sara is an iceboat, seen here prior to blacking. Her construction consists of both internal frames with double rows of rivets on abutting plates and overlapped plating around the bow and stern. Presumably the latter was easier to fashion given some of the complex curves. We believe she was built for the Oxford canal company as a horse drawn boat around 1900. At thirty foot she is "short" iceboat and we know little of her working history except that she had ended up at Braunston by 1961 in the company of a 45 foot "long" boat. Regards, Robert
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