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  1. I'll certainly only get the BSC if the current one has expired. Haven't gotten an answer from the seller about that yet - he doesn't have a physical cert so he has to look it up and hasn't got around to it yet. The boat has three fire extinguishers, a fire blanket and a CO alarm. It has a LPG oven and hob and a Eberspacher D4 diesel heater that I expect need to be checked. It has exits on either end of the boat. It doesn't have a shore power hookup nor an inverter (for now), so the electrics are pretty basic. In my limited experience there is nothing I can see that is a danger or possibly non-compliant. Not sure what else needs to be examined?
  2. ivan&alice

    Getting work done at the same time?

    I'll keep that in mind. I asked for a quote on both, plus an extra couple of days in case the survey turns up welding work that needs doing. It's going to suit us better to wait until spring to do this anyway.
  3. ivan&alice

    Getting work done at the same time?

    I get that it's not necessary as it's not usually done. But I still would feel more comfortable having the surveyor look at bare metal and find any faults before they become serious, and if we're going to be replacing the blacking anyway it seems to make sense to me to go the whole hog. This is good advice, and once I'm on the boat I'll see how easy it is to lift the floor and look for these kinds of problems. The survey is just a one-page table of spot thicknesses measured by ultrasound. It doesn't say anything about rusting or pitting. The sides are between 5.0 and 5.9mm with an average of 5.6mm, the base plate is between 8.8 and 9.8mm with an average of 9.4mm. That's all I meant by 1mm deterioration over the specs (6mm sides and 10mm base). I've been told that the reduction in recommended blacking interval was a ploy for the boatyards to make more money and that every 4 years is ample. Kind of like how your dentist tells you to come back every 6 months. Thanks for the recommendation, I've emailed them to ask them about availability. I see they also advertise a half price dry dock during winter to allow you to provide more time for the coatings to cure, which seems very fair of them.
  4. There are lots of people who hire narrowboats with no experience at all, so hopefully we'll at least be a small step above them. I'll fly a yellow flag and I've read through the horn signals here: http://www.canalnarrowboat.co.uk/boat-handling/narrowboat-horn-signals/ I'll print these out and stick them next to the horn. I can but promise to make myself as small of a hazard as possible!!
  5. I guess you could say we're taking it one step at a time, or learning as we go! I am a complete and utter newbie, so I apologise for my endless stupid questions. I'm doing my best to learn though, even if I do look a bit of a fool doing it. No I haven't read any boating magazines, but I will if that is going to be a good source of information? We plan to take a short helmsman course at a marina, just so they can explain how to drive and work the locks and the basic rules. We are very well-meaning and really love the boating community who have been so friendly and helpful at every turn. We have several friends who are boaters or ex-boaters who have all enthusiastically offered to help us drive and such until we get the hang of it. Alice lived on a permanently moored boat for a year. I've never lived on a boat. Neither of us have even been on a moving narrowboat. So your observation is correct that we know very little about the practicalities of ownership and living aboard. We all had to start somewhere though, and we are really doing our best to get it all figured out. Until then, you might want to cross over to the other side of the canal if you see us coming...
  6. ivan&alice

    Getting work done at the same time?

    Wow, well, today I learned that the bottom of narrowboats are coated in rust! I suppose at 10mm it doesn't really matter that much - perhaps it's kind of like train tracks, which I believe they allow to rust because they are so thick the thin rust layer actually just protects the structural steel, and the fatigue of the trains passing over them causes faster deterioration than corrosion could. This is all rather reassuring. The boat was built to 10-6-4mm specs (pretty good standard on newer boats, in my experience) and the survey shows up to 1mm less all around below the waterline. That seems like rather fast deterioration (or slightly inferior materials than spec) but even so, that means another 100 years before she's rusted through if she keeps up that rate. It's true, I am worried about the ice destroying the coating, and by the sounds of the weather forecast we're in for as cold a winter as the summer was hot. I'm not sure how it's going to work since if the canals are iced over we aren't going to be able to continuous cruise. Is it a case of musical moorings - when the canal freezes over everyone keeps their spot? I've looked a little into winter moorings, seems they can be had for 6.7 GBP/metre/month even within the M25. Sorry - this was me not reading properly. Pressure wash if you are going to re-black with bitumen, grit blast if you are going to upgrade your coating to something more modern. This makes sense from what I learned in physics, that electricity flows over the surface of water - electrolytic pitting is likely to occur at the waterline. I'm actually not overly concerned about that on this boat, as she doesn't have a shore power hookup and hasn't been hooked up to shore power since her last survey. My main concern is if she might have a shopping trolley shaped dent from CCing London over the last three years, that rust has attacked it and that we're going to have an internal water feature before long. I'm absolutely terrified of that scenario, can just picture me like a modern day Hans Brinker with my thumb in a rusty hole as smelly canal water starts pouring in.
  7. ivan&alice

    Getting work done at the same time?

    I assumed that blacking was applied to the whole hull under the waterline, including the baseplate. Do you mean to tell me that when people have their boats blacked they only do the sides?! Surely this isn't right, what's stopping the baseplate from rusting through? Surely the baseplate is the most prone area to damage from striking shopping trolleys and grounding? The tough thing for newbies is that we don't know what we don't know. I will have to do my own reseach about the blacking options and make a call when I get there. I was wondering if the shot blasting might take a few fractions of a mm off the steel thickness, so I'm not overjoyed about that idea. Seems the forum generally recommends a pressure wash, the two pack epoxy, applied in Summer, plus anodes. I'll take that under advisement when comparing the prices and options. As I've forgone the survey, it's not possible to know if the seller is selling due to an imminent danger of sinking. I noticed no water in the bilges and no other reason to suspect it. I will get comprehensive insurance against sinking and get it surveyed as soon as the worst of the winter is over. As has been pointed out, this will give us a chance to find any other work that must be done and also to save up the money for said work. Beyond that, I don't think there is much more I can do?
  8. Sort of like the AA but for boats? I've had great experiences as an AA member, it's generally a far more practical sort of insurance than the financial kind. I'll certainly look into this and consider it. Thanks @Athy!
  9. Not a problem for us, we have friends and family who can put us up if it came to that. Ok, I wasn't joking, wouldn't consider the engine blowing up to be normal wear and tear! But fine, the thing that I'm really worried about is "Complete and Total Loss", i.e. that the boat catches fire and/or sinks between purchase and until we can get totally organised. I'll call the insurance companies today and see what my options are.
  10. ivan&alice

    Getting work done at the same time?

    Quite a few people ( @Neil2, @Boater Sam, @Dr Bob) recommending 2 pack epoxy. I'm all for an upgrade to the standard bitumenous blacking, for one because I F%&^ING hate bitumen having used it in the past when restoring a parquet floor - horrible, horrible stuff. I had a visit to Devizes marina last weekend and spoke to a really knowledgeable chap there who recommended Chlorinated Rubber coating rather than blacking. Apparently, as it's an electrical insulator, if you have a chlorinated rubber coating you don't need anodes?! So yes, part of my reasoning for shotblasting is to get her an upgrade on the blacking. The other part is because I want to be 100% certain that the hull is in good condition, and I don't trust the 1m intervals to do much in the way of ascertaining that the hull is sound. What if the pitting or wear happens to not be on the 1% of the boat that is actually surveyed? I'd like to be able to present a bare boat to the surveyor (and myself) so that we can get as accurate a picture of the boat's condition as possible. The rush was because, contrary to @Detling and many others very sound advice, I have not got a pre-purchase survey on this boat, due to the seller pricing her for a quick sale without one. I realise there is a risk here and the survey is good negotiation fodder but in this case it was a choice between a boat with no survey or no boat at all, and the price reflected the lack of survey opportunity. Therefore I figured I'd need a survey to get her insured, and I'd need to get her insured to get her licensed, and I'd need to get her licensed to be on the cut, which is where for some reason we've decided we want to be. But actually it seems that I can get insurance without the survey - perhaps because she's only 19 years old? So this reason may have just been my ignorance. The other reason for the rush is that she hasn't been blacked in the 3 and a half years since she was last sold, she's been continuous cruised since then so she might have had a bump or three to take some of the blacking off, and I was under the impression that this is almost twice as long as recommended. I'm concerned she's going to need a bit of work and I want to maintain this boat to a high standard. Given those facts, would you guys still recommend waiting until spring to haul her out?
  11. I found a place to get a list of BSC surveyors here: https://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/boat-examination/arranging-the-examination/find-an-examiner/?counties=London&search= I'll ask the seller tomorrow for his BSC reference number and expiry date. I'll try to book an examiner sometime this week if it has expired. At the moment our worldly goods are two bags of clothes and whatever few old appliances come with the boat. I'm not concerned with household (boathold?) insurance. I just want the boat itself to be insured in case it sinks on us or the engine blows up. That said, as we make this boat our home we'll accumulate a bunch of stuff that should probably get insured as well, so you're right that 780 won't cover much by this time next year. But I'm happy to cross that bridge when we sail under it. I've emailed the seller's present insurer for a quote and I'll give Craftinsure a call in the morning and see if the standard automatic quote will cover continuous cruising. Between the two of them I should find one that will sort us out.
  12. Wow, this really seems much simpler than I was expecting. Craftinsure will insure the boat for £133.24 (£100 excess) per annum, covering the boat and personal effects up to £780. That seems extremely cheap. I got right up to the bit where I'd have to enter my card details, obviously going to wait until the sale agreement is signed to make that final click. The only bit of the policy I'm not sure about is that it says "the permanent home mooring is in the United Kingdom". As continuous cruisers we won't have a permanent home mooring, so I'm not sure if we'll need a special CC insurance. Also, it says that the boat must have a CRT license, so it's a bit chicken and eggy, but I can get the insurance before the license, I presume they'll just refuse to pay out until I get the license. Fair enough, so that will require the seller to transfer the boat to my CRT account. I will have to get them to do that after Friday, then. If it turns out the BSC has expired, how much difficulty is involved in getting a BSC?
  13. She was built in April 1999, so 19 years old. How old is particularly old? We definitely want to insure it as soon as we buy it, I hope that's young enough to insure without a survey, that would be amazing. We'd like to get comprehensive insurance just in case it sinks on the way to the boatyard... I'm not sure if it is a valid concern but the possibility that my house can now sink is definitely something I want to be insured against!! And CRT will already have it tagged to the boat's registration number.  OK that's great. I took a look at the boat index checker here: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/boating/licensing/boat-check but this just tells us that the boat is licensed, no further information. It's possible that the BSC has expired, I wish there was a way to look this info up from the CRT index number or vessel serial number...
  14. The seller has agreed to do the payment and the occupation simultaneously on Friday. We're going to sort out the sale agreement tomorrow. So far, so good. I'll see if the signing of the sale agreement results in any more spanners. If this all goes down as expected next week, I think we've determined that the seller was genuine and simply wanted to help us by looking after the boat while I'm out of the country, as well as reducing their own stress of having to move pronto to a flat next week. I'm not sure what implications this has for licensing. I gather from the CRT website that we'll need insurance and a boat safety certificate for us to get licensed as continuous cruisers. I also gather that we'll need a survey in order to get insured. So the next step, I think, is to call around marinas in the morning and find the soonest occasion that we can book her in to be hauled out. Is there a grace period in this situation, where a boat was sold without a pre-purchase survey, to allow us time to organise a survey and BSC? Or will we be breaking the rules by being unlicensed for that period of time? The boat will presumably still be licensed under the seller's CC license - so as long as Alice moves her every two weeks until we can book time in a boatyard, are we good to go?
  15. Thanks, I think you are right, I am prepared to walk away at this point and I've now made that clear to the seller, if he's not willing to accept any of my 3 reasonable resolutions to the deal. No, it does not stack up. He wants a quick sale, but he doesn't want to move off his boat. That's the crux of it. That is another option, but obviously there is a cost involved with this. His argument is that the price is low enough that I should be prepared to take the risk. I disagree. It's unfortunate that buying a boat is NOT like buying a house, since there are no deeds. Possession is nine tenths, and therefore it would be foolish to give him both possession of the boat and the money. Not your keys, not your boat. I must admit that I'm starting to grow skeptical of the deal even if he does come around to agreeing to something reasonable. What if the reason he wants a quick sale is precisely because there is something wrong that he's not telling me? His attitude is making me very paranoid about it. We only have a week window to make this deal, and we're both pretty busy people. Agreed, patience is required here. The search is long and hard though. We accept that we'll have to compromise somewhere. In this case the compromise would be on the security of the deal itself, which as you all have pointed out very clearly, is not the thing to compromise on. Yeah, it's the chance to buy the boat we want at a reasonable price, and also for us not have to take occupation a month before we are actually ready to do so. But you are completely right, the cost of that is just far too high in this case. Get the popcorn, I'll let you all know what he says as soon as he says it. I think whether or not he accepts the instant occupation will be the final demonstration of whether or not this really was a scam.

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