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NervousPervous

Inland Cruisers?

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Hi all,

 

So I'm thinking of a small boat for leisure use to test out whether I want to invest my inheritance on a liveaboard in a few years time. As I haven't got my inheritance yet, my budget is not large. I have been looking at the lower end narrowboats but have a question. Is there any reason why I could not buy an Inland cruiser for the canals? Some of them seem to be made to fit (6'10" with low stern cabin) but I haven't seen any on the canal where I live. Obviously they are tiny, but they are also cheap and as all I really need is to test how I cope with the lifestyle, is this an idea I should toy with? What reasons are they NOT to buy one? For starters I'm thinking ones with a petrol engine is maybe not good as I don't know whether you can get this at fuel points?

 

I'm not at all bothered about snob values or traditions etc - I'm way too old in the tooth for such things...

 

Thanks,

 

Meg

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Just sold my narrow boat because having failed to interest my family in boating,a narrowboat was wasted on me.

Bought a little grp cruiser and loving cruising to the pub and "fettlin"it.

Grp narrowbeam cruisers sell for a few hundred quid for a project,to several grand for one ready for action.

Petrol is a pain,but you can google petrol stations and plan your fuel stops.You will need a tiny barrow because a 20ltr jerrycan gets heavy if you have to walk very far.

Have a google of Norman boats for sale.They are usually fairly cheap,although the later ones (Norman 24,which became the Atlanta 24)are dearer.

Best of luck.

 

 

 

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Lots of people have narrow GRP cruisers on the canals. They are often a better bet than steel narrowboats at the budget end of the market, because they lend themselves better to DIY repairs.

 

Regarding petrol, Google maps is your friend, as it shows the nearest petrol stations to the canal.

Edited by cuthound
Spillung
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Right, I'm back after a bit of googling. I've found one I like the look of and can afford. However it is 7ft wide. I would be looking at traversing the narrowest routes on the network so would this be an issue? I read that some of the locks are subsiding which is why new boats are made to 6'10" 

 

Given my phobia of sinking I obviously don't want to risk getting wedged!

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1 minute ago, NervousPervous said:

Right, I'm back after a bit of googling. I've found one I like the look of and can afford. However it is 7ft wide. I would be looking at traversing the narrowest routes on the network so would this be an issue? I read that some of the locks are subsiding which is why new boats are made to 6'10" 

 

Given my phobia of sinking I obviously don't want to risk getting wedged!

Firstly, is it actually 7 foot, has anyone measured it?

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3 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Firstly, is it actually 7 foot, has anyone measured it?

Don't know, just going off the ad. It's tiny - only 22 ft. A Dawncraft 22

It's basically a caravan - but I've lived in vans much smaller!

Edited by NervousPervous

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5 minutes ago, NervousPervous said:

Don't know, just going off the ad. It's tiny - only 22 ft. A Dawncraft 22

It's basically a caravan - but I've lived in vans much smaller!

It says 6' 10" here http://www.jonesboatyard.co.uk/boat-sales/dawncraft-22-boats-for-sale.html

Capture.JPG

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Yes I just found that! There's no date of manufacture listed in the ad but it's dead cheap and very retro looking inside. Does anybody know how much a survey would be for something like this? I'm assuming you can get surveys for them?

 

I would have cash left over to do bits to it but don't want to waste money obviously and would want to get quotes for stuff first.

Edited by NervousPervous

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Just now, NervousPervous said:

Yes I just found that! There's no date of manufacture listed in the ad but it's dead cheap and very retro looking inside. Does anybody know how much a survey would be for something like this? I'm assuming you can get surveys for them?

I posted it because its the original specification for the boat, not any he has for sale 

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9 minutes ago, NervousPervous said:

I've gone to the sellers website and now it says 6'10" - YAY!

 

Now to find out about surveys... 

Do surveyors check engines and electrics or just hulls?

What ever you pay them to do

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10 minutes ago, NervousPervous said:

I've gone to the sellers website and now it says 6'10" - YAY!

 

Now to find out about surveys... 

Do surveyors check engines and electrics or just hulls?

They will check whatever you ask them to check.

Its like a shopping list  - you just pay for what you have done.

Ask the surveyor what he recommends done on that type of boat.

 

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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Thanks everyone - so last question for now - how do I find a surveyor and how do I find out if s/he has a good reputation? Also, are they accountable if something turns out to be not as they reported or is it all a bit of gamble?

 

I've spent more on a campervan without getting a full check done but I'm familiar with how they work more or less - outboard engines, hulls - all totally new to me...

Edited by NervousPervous

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7 minutes ago, NervousPervous said:

Thanks everyone - so last question for now - how do I find a surveyor and how do I find out if s/he has a good reputation? Also, are they accountable if something turns out to be not as they reported or is it all a bit of gamble?

 

I've spent more on a campervan without getting a full check done but I'm familiar with how they work more or less - outboard engines, hulls - all totally new to me...

You may find this web site useful when looking for a surveyor.

 

http://www.canaljunction.com/boat/surveyors.htm

 

Howard

 

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24 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

@Loddon didn't there use to be a surveyor who did river craft, broads etc on here at one time 

Yes @Teadaemon is a surveyor based on the broads but I don't think he posts here anymore. 

He may still be on the Norfolk broads forum though. 

Edited to add : last here 2015

Edited by carlt

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1 hour ago, NervousPervous said:

yes the one I found is in Norfolk Boat sales

If it's on the Broads,there is no direct access to the canal network,so will need road transport.

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The one thing no-one has mentioned about small GRP cruisers for living on is heating. Generally they don't have any and get bloody cold inside when the autumn/winter arrives.

 

And battery charging from an outboard is abysmal so no scope to have an electric fridge.

 

Ok that's two things. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, NervousPervous said:

Also, are they accountable if something turns out to be not as they reported or is it all a bit of gamble?

I had a very bad experience with a boat surveyor.

 

I was buying a boat and had a 'full' hull & gear (engines and gearboxes) survey which the boat passed with flying colours.

In the 1st couple of weeks of ownership I had no end of serious (expensive) problems which should have been picked up in the survey.

It eventually cost me over £20,000 to get the boat 'sea-worthy'.

 

I had strong words with the surveyor, who referred me to the T&Cs in the survey which basically said "I am not responsible for anything I have not seen, I do not lift carpets, open cupboards etc etc etc, and the "survey is only valid at the instant I write it", don't come back a week later and say this is faulty as how do I know you haven't broken it.

 

I engaged a marine Solicitor with the intent of taking the surveyor to court but at the 1st meeting he said "don't waste your money, with all of the surveyors small print you haven't a chance of winning'.

 

I learnt a lot since and have purchased a further 17 boats and have never again had a survey.

 

As someone with little or no knowledge of boats I would not suggest that you forgo a survey, but just realise that whilst it may highlight a serious problem and save you from 'buying a bad un', it may also not find the fault.

A survey is not a panacea  for 'all ills'.

 

There was an example of a boat purchased from a well know Midlands Broker, which was surveyed by the brokers recommended surveyor, it actually sank on it maiden voyage with its new owner taking it home.

 

Surveyors should indemnity insurance, but numerous examples of similar problems to my own would suggest they are loathe to use it.

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8 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

The one thing no-one has mentioned about small GRP cruisers for living on is heating. Generally they don't have any and get bloody cold inside when the autumn/winter arrives.

 

And battery charging from an outboard is abysmal so no scope to have an electric fridge.

 

Ok that's two things. 

 

 

The usual heating system on a petrol powered grp boat is a Propex blown warm air heater.

Fairly cheap to buy (£500 ish)but if you can't install it yourself,quite dear.

They run on gas,and use very little leccy,and being room sealed are quite a safe heating system.They are a little heavy on gas use,but as most boats have a gas system, fitting is easier than a diesel heating warm air system.

When I have done the 101 little jobs on my cruiser,I will be installing a Propex heater.

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10 hours ago, carlt said:

Yes @Teadaemon is a surveyor based on the broads but I don't think he posts here anymore. 

He may still be on the Norfolk broads forum though. 

Edited to add : last here 2015

Thats the guy, I remembered him as teabag so couldn't find him. Thanks

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9 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

The one thing no-one has mentioned about small GRP cruisers for living on is heating. Generally they don't have any and get bloody cold inside when the autumn/winter arrives.

 

And battery charging from an outboard is abysmal so no scope to have an electric fridge.

 

Ok that's two things. 

 

 

My dawncraft 27 was nice and warm with a Taylors paraffin heater and a solar panel kept an absorption cooler running with the occasional top up from the genny. Chest coolers are far more efficient than upright fridges BTW. 

I still have the heater and fridge 25 years on but the boat has long gone. 

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1 minute ago, carlt said:

My dawncraft 27 was nice and warm with a Taylors paraffin heater and a solar panel kept an absorption cooler running with the occasional top up from the genny. Chest coolers are far more efficient than upright fridges BTW. 

I still have the heater and fridge 25 years on but the boat has long gone. 

 

 

That's interesting, I was unaware solar panels were even available 25 year ago. I first noticed them about 15 years back and dismissed them out of hand as they cost nosebleed money, like £300 for  80w IIRC. 

 

I'm surprised a solar panel small enough to fit on a 27ft Dawncraft can keep any absorption technology 'cooler' running. What exactly was your "absorption cooler" please? Sounds very interesting. Absorption fridges are known as battery killers for very good reason. 

 

 

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Thanks for all your replies everyone. I went away and did a lot more googling into the wee hours last night and have picked up a few snags about GRPs that I shall have a ponder on - the lack of heating being one and the difficulty handling being another (and one rather terrifying one about being prone to leaks which I hadn't really anticipated). I really need to get some experience with both a GRP and a Narrowboat before I decide. Think I will leave the one in Norfolk for now until I've done that but thanks for the surveyor tips. 

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