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Pet

Can I have Advice please ?

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Hi

I am looking at buying a traditional, historic narrowboat with a lister engine 

The boat name seems to be Shilton but not sure until I see the paperwork if this is correct.

Apparently it was moored in London /it has some origonal features inside and the engine works OK. 

Am I wasting money buying it /plan to restore it and use daily.

I would immediately want it lifted and repaired.

 

20180513_152346.jpg

Edited by Pet
Wrong info

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Buying a wooden boat is the easy bit - funding the ongoing repairs is expensive, and don't expect to get a fraction of that money back when you sell it.

 

As someone who had a wooden boat once said to me "Living on a wooden boat is great so long as you can accept it's always trying to sink underneath you." To be fair his maintenance was at the praying and hoping end of the scale, but they are an almost all consuming hobby in their own right so if you just want a home, buy something steel.

 

Given that she appears to be a "big Ricky" butty, which is now motorised and converted I'd be doubtful of the existence of many "original features"

 

Pete Harrison of this forum will be able to provide some more insight into the history.

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I think you are optimistic if you want it to be repaired immediately.   Skilled restorers of wooden boats are few and far between and I suspect have long waiting lists.

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I can only agree with the above comments, also please bear in mind that there are very few boatyards on the system with the knowledge and skills to undertake any repairs needed. They are a labour of love for committed owners with deep pockets.

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Would appear that it was formerly a butty paired with this

http://hnbc.org.uk/boats/shirley

 

I'm not sure but appears to be a steel Hull not wood? Is it steel Hull and wooden top? 

 

If as you say you intend to use this daily then I would suggest that imho something requiring less ongoing maintenance would be a better option. If as others have said you want an expensive hobby and have a passion for historic boats then I applaud you and others that take these on and keep them alive.

Ask yourself the question would you drive to work daily in a historic car? I know my answer. 

 

Edited by reg

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I'm about along the same lines as those already here. I have had a couple of wooden (oak on elm) ex workboats over the years, both converted to hire boats for the early 60's (probably). They can be very problematic and the first thing I'd do is not lift it. If you do buy, find a dry dock and have it empty slowly..

Letting it dry out could lead to other problems too, so don't have it out too long.

 

To be honest don't buy wooden now, last one I had was getting on for 40yrs ago, they were getting to be hard work back then, repair wise. Buy an old iron one if you can find one. That is if your set on having an historic boat.

Just imo.

 

Edit: Another thing, if your thinking of buying wooden, get your head in that forward locker with a torch and small screwdriver or similar. Then start gently prodding, don't let the current owner know your prodding.... ;)

The bow will likely be sheathed in tin.

Edited by 70liveaboard

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If that boat is in fact Shilton it is, as Rose Narrowboats points out, a converted (wooden) Walkers butty and I've lost the reference now but I think I saw somewhere that it had been "cut down", presumably at the stern.   It would be interesting to see a picture of the back end to see how it's been done, but it looks to me like the entire cabin/stern section has gone which surely limits its appeal as an "historic" boat. 

 

Like a lot of folk on here I've often fantasised about having a wooden boat and I once went to look at an old Broads cruiser with a guy who had 40 years experience in building/restoring all types of wooden craft.  He put the fear of God into me and I've never looked at one since.

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1 hour ago, reg said:

Would appear that it was formerly a butty paired with this

http://hnbc.org.uk/boats/shirley

 

I'm not sure but appears to be a steel Hull not wood? Is it steel Hull and wooden top? 

 

 

Definitely wooden. This boat is over 80 years old, and one of relatively few Large Rickies surviving. So definitely a labour of love, and certainly not any sort of investment.

 

Shirley and Shilton may have been the intended original pairing, but they were built by different builders (Shirley - Yarwoods of Northwich, Shilton - Walkers of Rickmansworth), the delivery dates varied and so many of the intended pairs never worked together.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Pet said:

I would immediately want it lifted and repaired.

 

As koukouvagia was tangentially driving at, this is not something you do to a wooden boat once, it is an ongoing and never-ending process bordering on a lifestyle.

 

A lifestyle that involves spending perhaps a sum equal to the price of the boat every three or four years if you are paying others to do it. And possibly one helluvalot more. Getting the boat out and surveyed would be a good idea, so you know what you are in for. 

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8 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

As koukouvagia was tangentially driving at, this is not something you do to a wooden boat once, it is an ongoing and never-ending process bordering on a lifestyle.

 

I think the following should also be highlighted :

 

1 hour ago, 70liveaboard said:

They can be very problematic and the first thing I'd do is not lift it. If you do buy, find a dry dock and have it empty slowly..

 

'Lifting' a wooden boat in 'unknown condition' could easily lead to breaking its back.

I once saw this happen at a boat yard just outside of Manchester - it was a sorry sight.

 

 

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Sadly I infer 'use it daily' means you'll be living on it - and that means repairing it as you go - not a joyful or inexpensive task.

Lifting it immediately infers it's leaking quite a bit at the bottom end as well.

 

Both the above suggests that why it was 'well priced'. You may think that you can fix it (everything's possible), however be aware that good quality timber required for structural member is very hard to source and consequently - expensive. You'll not find any at Wickes or many supplier anywhere.   

Please, please, please do walk away...

 

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5 hours ago, Pet said:

I would immediately want it lifted and repaired.

You say the engine is OK so what repairs does it currently need,

 

1) Immediately

2) In the near future

3) Longer term.

 

Who do you plan to use for the repairs ?

There are not many yards still left with the necessary skills for repair of wooden boats

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Thank you everyone, sorry for late reply but I drove straight into the marina on the way back to look for myself and take more photos.

 

My experience is non regarding a narrow boat - my first boat was a risk also in the shape of a Black Prince - Shetland witha V8 which everyone told me not to buy - but after I had it restored - it was the best boat at the marina. I only sold her because I was leaving for another country to do business, so she which went on to a great couple who love her, who have other Shetlands.

 

However - I always wanted a narrow boat or barge and was offered one in 1986 for 10K and always regret not buying it (barge)

 

How I came about Shilton; I was on my local marina talking to a welder about a much smaller narrow boat when he mentioned Shilton - 20 minutes later and some photos - I had made up my mind - providing she wasn't going to sink there and then and I could get the repairs done and completed within 1 - 2 years - then I would buy her.

 

The first words out of my mouth as I climbed down into the basin and opend the doors - never have being on a narrow boat before or seen a Lister engine was "Oh my good God"

 

Yes it wasn't the prettiest of sights - it then I used to work in maintenance years ago annd it had nothing on some of the properties we have attended.

 

I used to be an artist in a past life as well as other trades and now help businesses - so being self employed has it's flexibility on time.

 

Regaring being two boats - it is just one, with the origional Lister engine in good working order.Not sure who butchered it inside, but it does have some origional cupboards inside and art work.

 

 gut instinct is - she is a nice boat - it would be nice to find out her history, where she has been on adventures and find a mooring to suit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pet

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5 minutes ago, Pet said:

Thank you everyone, sorry for late reply but I drove straight into the marina on the way back to look for myself and take more photos.

 

My experience is non regarding a narrow boat - my first boat was a risk also in the shape of a Black Prince - Shetland witha V8 which everyone told me not to buy - but after I had it restored - it was the best boat at the marina. I only sold her because I was leaving for another country to do business, so she which went on to a great couple who love her, who have other Shetlands.

 

However - I always wanted a narrow boat or barge and was offered one in 1986 for 10K and always regret not buying it (barge)

 

How I came about Shilton; I was on my local marina talking to a welder about a much smaller narrow boat when he mentioned Shilton - 20 minutes later and some photos - I had made up my mind - providing she wasn't going to sink there and then and I could get the repairs done and completed within 1 - 2 years - then I would buy her.

 

The first words out of my mouth as I climbed down into the basin and opend the doors - never have being on a narrow boat before or seen a Lister engine was "Oh my good God"

 

Yes it wasn't the prettiest of sights - it then I used to work in maintenance years ago annd it had nothing on some of the properties we have attended.

 

I used to be an artist in a past life as well as other trades and now help businesses - so being self employed has it's flexibility on time.

 

Regaring being two boats - it is just one, with the origional Lister engine in good working order.Not sure who butchered it inside, but it does have some origional cupboards inside and art work.

 

 gut instinct is - she is a nice boat - it would be nice to find out her history, where she has been on adventures and find a mooring to suit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So - have you purchased said boat ?

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Hi Alan

I have made a offer - making the arrangements on Wednesday.

 

:)

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Just now, Pet said:

Hi Alan

I have made a offer - making the arrangements on Wednesday.

 

:)

I thought you probably had and were basically looking for confirmation from the 'hive' that it was a good decision.

 

May I respectfully suggest that before making the final decision you re-read the comments in this thread - some from VERY experienced wooded boat owners.

 

If you continue with the purchase I hope you have deep pockets and a lot of luck.

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20 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

Sadly I infer 'use it daily' means you'll be living on it - and that means repairing it as you go - not a joyful or inexpensive task.

Lifting it immediately infers it's leaking quite a bit at the bottom end as well.

 

Both the above suggests that why it was 'well priced'. You may think that you can fix it (everything's possible), however be aware that good quality timber required for structural member is very hard to source and consequently - expensive. You'll not find any at Wickes or many supplier anywhere.   

Please, please, please do walk away...

 

Hi

I was only going to lift imedietly so I could have her worked on and since reading the comments I realise that is unwise and no I am not going to live on her.

 

I have made a offer and I will have a inspection done this week prior to making payment - as yes there are other boats if they find something serious and I don't shop at Wicks - there seems to be a good yard that  restores boats professionaly in Herts.

 

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11 minutes ago, Pet said:

Regaring being two boats - it is just one, with the origional Lister engine in good working order.Not sure who butchered it inside, but it does have some origional cupboards inside and art work.

what others are getting at is that the boat was originally a butty, an unpowered boat that would be towed by another powered boat (the motor)

therefore whatever is at the back end of this boat is not original, the hull will have had extensive modifications to allow the lister engine and drive gear to be fitted

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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

I thought you probably had and were basically looking for confirmation from the 'hive' that it was a good decision.

 

May I respectfully suggest that before making the final decision you re-read the comments in this thread - some from VERY experienced wooded boat owners.

 

If you continue with the purchase I hope you have deep pockets and a lot of luck.

Hi Alan

I did read all the comments - hence before I part with any money I will get a full inspection, if I have to I will walk away - but it would be nice to give a tired old lady (boat not me) one last chance..

1 minute ago, Jess-- said:

what others are getting at is that the boat was originally a butty, an unpowered boat that would be towed by another powered boat (the motor)

therefore whatever is at the back end of this boat is not original, the hull will have had extensive modifications to allow the lister engine and drive gear to be fitted

OK

I will bear that in mind thank you

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I've had wooden boats in the past and, as advised, don't take her out until you have a good idea of what's needed. Look to the Dutch for advice as they have many old wooden vessels in daily use. Only keep her out whilst any underwater/hull necessary work is carried out as prolonged drying out can cause more problems.

 Good luck and enjoy the experience, I'm jealous as my wife has made me give up my tools so I have to settle with a new steel 'sailaway'.

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Thank you for the advice and once she is completed everyone is welcome to visit - this is not about being practical - profit - bodge - it's about saving a bit of history and enjoying it - much to my boyfriends (one day husband - apparetnly he has this in mind) raise eyebrow.

 

The thing is - it iwas either this or a very large motorbike - as I miss my bikes - my logic is it is safer and it's lovely - it scares me - but it's a challenge and it's old, it's lovely, it has character, Shilton needs help or she will be scrapped for sure where she is or turned into someones gun palace for a couple of years then ditched or as a water based London oom with a view.

 

I have shown my son - he likes her and he has just got his first job after uni - off to do engineering along side his job , most of my friends are engineers in all fields some retired and none know about this project yet and will be shocked.

 

The main thing is - I have had the best advice today, I have made notes and I will follow all advice (apart from walking away - unless it is totally unsavable)

 

1)Get her to a dry dock and let the water go slowly: *Acess *Advice *Act (repairs if needed - which i am sure there are)

2)Once everything belw is secure:Above the water - same again - professional advice and act to save the boat

3)Start restoration

 

In between that - find out as much history as I can and make up a file on her journey.

 

Petrina

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Pet said:

Petrina

My heart desperately wants a historic narrowboat but my head knows better - for now.  So I would really love to hear about Shilton's restoration, it would be nice if you were to become a regular here and tell us how things were going - perhaps start a restoration blog in the boat building section. 

 

Welcome to the forum. :D

Tumsh.

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I know exactly what it feels like to fall in love with an historic wreck - we're gluttons for punishment and have done it twice.  Mind you it took over twenty years and shed loads of money to restore them.

I was once offered the historic wooden butty Beatrice for free.  Reluctantly I walked away knowing that it's one thing to restore an iron and steel boat, but quite another to take on a wooden one.

For what it's worth I struggled for years to keep the wooden back cabin of the butty watertight.  In the end I gave up the fight and plumped for a steel one.

Good luck, anyway.

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11 minutes ago, Tumshie said:

My heart desperately wants a historic narrowboat but my head knows better - for now.  So I would really love to hear about Shilton's restoration, it would be nice if you were to become a regular here and tell us how things were going - perhaps start a restoration blog in the boat building section. 

 

Welcome to the forum. :D

Tumsh.

Hi and thank you - I will take photos , videos and hopefully more people will take a chance and save another :)

10 minutes ago, koukouvagia said:

I know exactly what it feels like to fall in love with an historic wreck - we're gluttons for punishment and have done it twice.  Mind you it took over twenty years and shed loads of money to restore them.

I was once offered the historic wooden butty Beatrice for free.  Reluctantly I walked away knowing that it's one thing to restore an iron and steel boat, but quite another to take on a wooden one.

For what it's worth I struggled for years to keep the wooden back cabin of the butty watertight.  In the end I gave up the fight and plumped for a steel one.

Good luck, anyway.

HI

I don't love it (yet) I will love it the day Shilton is restored - ATM it is scary - but I will learn fast and act in her best interest - money is replaceable - if a old boat goesit doesn't return - I have no idea why but I know I just have to go for it :)

  • Greenie 2

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14 minutes ago, Pet said:

Hi and thank you - I will take photos , videos and hopefully more people will take a chance and save another :)

That would be fantastic.

 

I think a lot of people would jump at the chance to save a historic boat but just aren't able to so I'm glad that you are and that this one is being given a chance too. 

Edited by Tumshie
To unmuddle my historics and my historicals.

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