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Philip

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  1. Can I ask how the double at the front is made up on layout 1 of the 25ft please? I've been looking at pictures but can't find where the 'bridge' comes from to make it into a double bed.
  2. Also wondering if it is better to spend a bit more on a short version of one of these that won't come with problems, than spending say £10,000 less on a 25 year old 40-foot narrowboat that might be a total mess behind the panelling and cupboards and under the floorboards.
  3. That's interesting, thanks! I know they all have two layouts but can't find a plan of layout 2 for the 25ft anywhere. Can the double at the front on layout 2 convert to a dinette? The layout 1 looks like it'd be good if only they could just get rid of one of those single dinettes at the back and use the space for storage/longer galley. But might be too far out of the template.
  4. Just to give a summary of what I'm thinking...I currently own a Norman 24 GRP and thinking about whether to go for a steel boat. Cruiser is in good condition mechanically (engine, drive, electrics, canopy), but it'd be nice to have a more comfortable toilet area and somewhere to shower, along with a full oven as currently only have two-burners and a grill. Water tank is only about 30-35 litres, so very very small capacity. Also the lack of insulation and large single-glazed windows make it rather uncomfortable to sleep on a cold night (there is heating but the Propex blown-air only runs off a 1.9kg gas cylinder, so not really big enough to leave running through the night). Advantages of the cruiser are the canopy and sociable cockpit, although the canopy needs to be up when it's raining and it's a bit of a faff putting up. I've done near enough everything with my cruiser over 8 years, and perhaps time to think of something else. So whilst a longer steel boat has more home comforts, I'm not looking to liveaboard and so can't justify/afford splashing out much more than 30k really. The Aintree 25/30 seem to tick a lot of boxes with them being a similar same size so easy to turn, haul through locks etc along with cheap running costs. The added luxuries being a full cooker, wet room with shower, no need to worry about the rear deck getting wet, diesel powered heating system and I'm assuming much better insulation? The one downside is lack of storage, more so with the 25, but if Aintree could replace one of the single dinettes with a wardrobe and cupboard in the template then it would be ok. I'm just asking anyone who owns or has owned one of these boats, would it be worth spending approx. 30k on one of these to 'upgrade' from my GRP and use for trips? Little things like whether the dinettes and double berths are comfortable, is the wet room well sealed and useable etc? I know the decision rests with me, but would appreciate any opinions please! I'll add that I do a lot of cruising miles, so something nice and robust and easy to steer and handle would be good.
  5. Just wondering if anyone knows the cost of a brand new 30 footer of this class? The website doesn't quote the prices. Can I ask what these snagging problems tend to be when taking on a newly built boat? Just that there is a bespoke design I have seen and chances are a used boat would be of standard layout.
  6. Thanks Interesting! Thank you. Have until January before MSC seaworthy certificate runs out and would at least like to do Western Point to Ellesmere Port, but the Mersey crossing sounds fascinating.
  7. So I don't have to climb up/down the lock ladders.
  8. Would a steel boat of 35ft be reasonably easy to pull in and out of locks? I do a lot of single-handing so it's a consideration, prefer not to use lock ladders in deep locks if I can help it!
  9. Thanks for this - I think I might just call it a day at Ellesmere Port!
  10. Not really, cruisers such as the Norman that I have with the bow well ballasted are very good in the water, yes they are more responsive than narrowboats but with good control of the wheel they're certainly not unpredictable.
  11. In terms of weight and being easy to pull in and out using ropes, there's no contest!
  12. Just wondering what kind of planning is needed to cross the Mersey from the MSC into Liverpool Docks? I know all the stuff re the Ship Canal, but is an anchor mandatory for all boats crossing the Mersey? A weight is sufficient for my GRP boat using the Ship Canal. Also can you plan a date to cross the estuary or does it all depend on tide/weather conditions? Just done the MSC from Manchester to the junction with the Weaver and the full length of the Grand Union, so maybe decision time after doing the remaining bit of the MSC and the Mersey as to whether or not to stick with my GRP or look at steel/aluminium. Considering something to live part time on, but also aware that a narrowboat is harder to single-hand through locks than a cruiser is!
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