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sniffy the great

More GRP Cruiser questions

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First, I’m new here so, Hello...., I’m Doug. I live near the Kennet and Avon, have hired a dayboat a few times and walk along the canal most day. I don’t have a boat but I WANT ONE.....!

 

I’m not “handy” so I want something that is not a project and doesn’t need TLC or tweaking. I was hoping to get a short (c35’) narrowboat but the prices for a nice example are a bit hot for me. 

 

So i’m thinking a GRP cruiser may literally be the compromise vehicle to get me on the water. I’ve read other topics which address this question and I’ve noted issues to do with the handling characteristics of an outboard, petrol as a fuel, limitations of areas of use due to beam size and battery re-charging. None of these seem to be enough to rule out cruisers.

 

I have other questions. For example, how do GRP boats stand up to the rough and tumble of lock transit? Why aren’t there more of them to be seen on the canals? What kind of heater would be suitable to make a GRP cosy during cold mornings and evenings? I’m sure there’s more.

 

I’d like to get waterborne for round the 10k mark but could maybe stretch to 15 if I could just sell my small motor-home. There seem to be nice cruisers available for round those prices. I quite like the look of a Shetland 4+2. Anyone have experience of such boats on the canals or got any useful input on them?

 

A bit of a rambling first post - apologies but I hope to get some informative replies.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Doug

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We have an Eberspacher (diesel powered) Hot Air central heating system.

6 outlets (one in each cabin)

Turns on - instant heat, thermostat control so turns off when its warm enough , turns back on when it gets cool.

 

Problem (unless you have a diesel powered boat) is that you will require another fuel tank.

Problem (if you have an outboard) they do require a fair bit of electrikery to run the blowers.

 

But you were not really serious about getting a petrol powered boat WERE YOU !!!!!!

 

Outboards will not have sufficient output to charge a domestic battery bank

Outboards run of nasty, dangerous, awkward to source petrol

 

For your budget you will find a proper boat with a proper engine.

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Just now, sniffy the great said:

Define “proper boat” if you would, please. 

Anything that is not a cut off length of Sewer Pipe.

 

Mostly GRP, but wood and steel can both be used to make proper boat shaped boats.

 

 

Yes - I have had my share of both 'sewer tubes' and 'yoghurt pots'

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1 hour ago, sniffy the great said:

First, I’m new here so, Hello...., I’m Doug. I live near the Kennet and Avon, have hired a dayboat a few times and walk along the canal most day. I don’t have a boat but I WANT ONE.....!

 

I’m not “handy” so I want something that is not a project and doesn’t need TLC or tweaking. I was hoping to get a short (c35’) narrowboat but the prices for a nice example are a bit hot for me. 

 

So i’m thinking a GRP cruiser may literally be the compromise vehicle to get me on the water. I’ve read other topics which address this question and I’ve noted issues to do with the handling characteristics of an outboard, petrol as a fuel, limitations of areas of use due to beam size and battery re-charging. None of these seem to be enough to rule out cruisers.

 

I have other questions. For example, how do GRP boats stand up to the rough and tumble of lock transit? Why aren’t there more of them to be seen on the canals? What kind of heater would be suitable to make a GRP cosy during cold mornings and evenings? I’m sure there’s more.

 

I’d like to get waterborne for round the 10k mark but could maybe stretch to 15 if I could just sell my small motor-home. There seem to be nice cruisers available for round those prices. I quite like the look of a Shetland 4+2. Anyone have experience of such boats on the canals or got any useful input on them?

 

A bit of a rambling first post - apologies but I hope to get some informative replies.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Doug

BITD there were loads of grp cruisers on the cut, the narrowboat rules these days for a variety of reasons but it's not simply because they are more impact resistant.  Yes they are more user friendly but there's still a lot to be said for grp and if you have less than £20k to spend these days IMHO you would be wasting it on a steel boat.  

 

A nice practical alternative is the Highbridge 32 which was built for canal work with substantial rubbing strakes but if you don't need to be narrow beam there's any number of boats to be had for under £15k - don't be afraid of age, eg boats from the 60's and early 70's were massively overbuilt you just have to wary of stuff from the mid 70's when most companies started thinning the lay up and cutting corners.  Early Freeman cruisers have a lovely classic feel to them.  

 

I agree ideally don't go the petrol route, though petrol powered boats often seem very good value for money.  Some old grp boats might have an ancient BMC or Perkins diesel but a cheap petrol boat could be converted with one of the new generation japanese diesels and therefore still be a sound purchase.  

 

One issue is you almost certainly won't get a weed hatch with a grp cruiser, the narrow bean Freemans have them but I'm not aware of any other boat of this type that does.  So you need to have a good look at how easy/difficult it is to get at the prop from outside.

 

Most grp cruisers are meant for summer holidays so don't expect wonderful standards of insulation.  Having said that I know a couple that use their Freeman 23 all year round.  

 

I would have a good trawl through the Apollo Duck pages and see what you like the look of.  Take your time, there are usually loads of these boats for sale and it's not the same frantic market there is for narrowboats.  The best time to buy is in the Winter months when the market for inland grp boats goes very quiet. 

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49 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Anything that is not a cut off length of Sewer Pipe.

 

Mostly GRP, but wood and steel can both be used to make proper boat shaped boats.

 

 

Yes - I have had my share of both 'sewer tubes' and 'yoghurt pots'

Alan - you’ve surprised me.  I can try to interpret your similes:

“Sewer Pipe” - narrow boat?

”Yoghurt Pot” - no idea ( I’m new here, remember?)

 

So, you are a champion of GRP Cruisers of a certain type? Whereas, I’d have predicted you were going to tell me that only narrow boats were the one true path. Am I getting this right?

17 minutes ago, Neil2 said:

BITD there were loads of grp cruisers on the cut, the narrowboat rules these days for a variety of reasons but it's not simply because they are more impact resistant.  Yes they are more user friendly but there's still a lot to be said for grp and if you have less than £20k to spend these days IMHO you would be wasting it on a steel boat.  

 

A nice practical alternative is the Highbridge 32 which was built for canal work with substantial rubbing strakes but if you don't need to be narrow beam there's any number of boats to be had for under £15k - don't be afraid of age, eg boats from the 60's and early 70's were massively overbuilt you just have to wary of stuff from the mid 70's when most companies started thinning the lay up and cutting corners.  Early Freeman cruisers have a lovely classic feel to them.  

 

I agree ideally don't go the petrol route, though petrol powered boats often seem very good value for money.  Some old grp boats might have an ancient BMC or Perkins diesel but a cheap petrol boat could be converted with one of the new generation japanese diesels and therefore still be a sound purchase.  

 

One issue is you almost certainly won't get a weed hatch with a grp cruiser, the narrow bean Freemans have them but I'm not aware of any other boat of this type that does.  So you need to have a good look at how easy/difficult it is to get at the prop from outside.

 

Most grp cruisers are meant for summer holidays so don't expect wonderful standards of insulation.  Having said that I know a couple that use their Freeman 23 all year round.  

 

I would have a good trawl through the Apollo Duck pages and see what you like the look of.  Take your time, there are usually loads of these boats for sale and it's not the same frantic market there is for narrowboats.  The best time to buy is in the Winter months when the market for inland grp boats goes very quiet. 

 

Neil2 Lots of practical and useful stuff - thanks. I saw the Highbridge mentioned in another topic and did a search about an hour ago but couldn’t find anything. I’ll keep looking.

 

Coug

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Grp are really only for summer weekends, hence that when you see them.

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59 minutes ago, sniffy the great said:

Alan - you’ve surprised me.  I can try to interpret your similes:

“Sewer Pipe” - narrow boat?

”Yoghurt Pot” - no idea ( I’m new here, remember?)

 

So, you are a champion of GRP Cruisers of a certain type? Whereas, I’d have predicted you were going to tell me that only narrow boats were the one true path. Am I getting this right?

Sewer Pipe = NB (Yes)

Tupperware or Yoghurt Pot = Plastic = GRP

 

I champion the 'right' boat in the 'right' use subject to budget.

 

Rough Guidelines (always exceptions)

Less than £15 For canals go GRP

£15-£30 for canal go GRP Or Steel

£30k + Canals = Steel

£30K + Rivers, Wide canals & Sea + GRP

 

Sea = Boat Shaped Boats of a suitable size and power of engine.

 

I have had all sorts from an 8ft 'roof topper' to a Cat A Ocean 'Blue Water' yacht.

 

We have enjoyed all of them as they each fit a niche on the water. Any of them used in the wrong area would be unpleasant if not dangerous

 

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Alan - thanks for that summary - succinct and very useful.

 

Ive just seen this on Apolloduck:

https://motorboats.apolloduck.co.uk/boat/dawncraft-25/582415

 

I’m not that far from Bradford on Avon, as it happens. Are you (or anyone else reading this) familiar with this make and model? Do thy have a reputation - good or bad? Any input gratefully received.

 

Doug

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Looks OK.
One point I haven't seen raised, but have you thought where you are going to moor your boat? If that one is in a marina it might be worth finding out if it can be transferred to you.

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1 hour ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Sewer Pipe = NB (Yes)

Tupperware or Yoghurt Pot = Plastic = GRP

 

 

 

.........but that description is totally inaccurate as GRP is most definitely not plastic......but most with a sewer tube will use the word yoghurt pot for one upmanship or just 'cause it has been that way for years. 

When we were sailing lumpy water stuff, we had a GRP yacht and a friend also with a GRP one ( an X yacht.....one of the better ones) yearned for a steel yacht. He bought one. It taught me Steel boats and GRP boats don't mix well. If I had a GRP cruiser I would avoid sharing a lock with a NB. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

.........but that description is totally inaccurate as GRP is most definitely not plastic......

Does that mean GRP no longer is/stands for glass reinforced plastic?

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Just now, Jerra said:

Does that mean GRP no longer is/stands for glass reinforced plastic?

Never did.

It stands for glass reinforced polyester. Always has done. It is not plastic. It is a thermoset.

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6 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

Never did.

It stands for glass reinforced polyester. Always has done. It is not plastic. It is a thermoset.

How odd, I have read many articles over the decades where it has always been referred to as glass reinforced plastic.

 

EDIT:   As an example Kinglsly plastics Ltd under the heading What is GRP say "Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) also known as Glass Fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) is fiber reinforced polymer made of a plastic matrix reinforced by fine fibres of glass.

Edited by Jerra

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8 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

Never did.

It stands for glass reinforced polyester. Always has done. It is not plastic. It is a thermoset.

I believe you are the pedantic minority of one.    .....................  or you are deliberately taking the piss.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic  - polyester and epoxy are specialist plastics.  

 

 

Edited by Murflynn

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9 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

I believe you are the pedantic minority of one.    .....................  or you are deliberately taking the piss.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic  - polyester and epoxy are specialist plastics.  

 

 

I probably am the pedantic minority of one. 

GRP started out as glass reinforced polyester in the 60s and 70s but it's use has drifted into the word plastic. The GRP we make boats out of however is not plastic. Look up the definition of plastic. It is a material that can be moulded at higher temps. GRP cannot be moulded. Wikipedia is wrong in saying it is a type of plastic. It's just everyone and his brother has decided the word plastic can be used for things it isn't...including Wikipedia.

There is even one site on tinternet that says there are two types of plastic - thermoplastics and thermosets!!! Rubbish. 

Another clue is that epoxy laminates i.e. GRP but with epoxy instead of polyester are never called GRP. They are called epoxy laminates or epoxy composites. 

No, while the world may think GRP is a type of plastic, GRP is most definitely not a plastic as plastics are by definition mouldable above their softening point. GRP is not mouldable once it is cured. Now, the clever ones of you out there may say it is plastic before cure.......and yes, I would agree, the unsaturated polyester resin dissolved in styrene is a plastic, but once cured, it looses its plastic nature.... never to return.... and becomes a thermoset.

In the 80s, the car manufacturers introduced glass filled polypropylene for bumpers. They never used the word GRP but they would have if GRP meant plastics. 

Plastics and thermosets have been my job for the last 48 years.🙃

Its nice to be different.

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3 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

Plastics and thermosets have been my job for the last 48 years.🙃

I only had 25 years 'in plastics' (primarily PA6, PA6.6 & POM, but a little of other oddities)

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11 hours ago, Timx said:

Grp are really only for summer weekends, hence that when you see them.

No they are not.

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10 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

I probably am the pedantic minority of one. 

GRP started out as glass reinforced polyester in the 60s and 70s but it's use has drifted into the word plastic. The GRP we make boats out of however is not plastic. Look up the definition of plastic. It is a material that can be moulded at higher temps. GRP cannot be moulded. Wikipedia is wrong in saying it is a type of plastic. It's just everyone and his brother has decided the word plastic can be used for things it isn't...including Wikipedia.

There is even one site on tinternet that says there are two types of plastic - thermoplastics and thermosets!!! Rubbish. 

Another clue is that epoxy laminates i.e. GRP but with epoxy instead of polyester are never called GRP. They are called epoxy laminates or epoxy composites. 

No, while the world may think GRP is a type of plastic, GRP is most definitely not a plastic as plastics are by definition mouldable above their softening point. GRP is not mouldable once it is cured. Now, the clever ones of you out there may say it is plastic before cure.......and yes, I would agree, the unsaturated polyester resin dissolved in styrene is a plastic, but once cured, it looses its plastic nature.... never to return.... and becomes a thermoset.

In the 80s, the car manufacturers introduced glass filled polypropylene for bumpers. They never used the word GRP but they would have if GRP meant plastics. 

Plastics and thermosets have been my job for the last 48 years.🙃

Its nice to be different.

Bob , you are my Hero.

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9 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

.........but that description is totally inaccurate as GRP is most definitely not plastic......but most with a sewer tube will use the word yoghurt pot for one upmanship or just 'cause it has been that way for years. 

When we were sailing lumpy water stuff, we had a GRP yacht and a friend also with a GRP one ( an X yacht.....one of the better ones) yearned for a steel yacht. He bought one. It taught me Steel boats and GRP boats don't mix well. If I had a GRP cruiser I would avoid sharing a lock with a NB. 

 

We have shared many locks with steel boats over the last ten years and have never had a problem and never had any damage caused to our GRP boat.

 

The trick is not to panic and start pulling and tugging on ropes if the boats touch each other. If you leave them alone they settle against each other and ride up and down in the locks with no damage.

 

Plastic boats don't explode if a steel boat rubs against them.

 

It is usually the steel boat owner who is in fits of histerics when the boats rub up!

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18 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

No they are not.

It is hardly 'a Summer weekend' at the moment (2 C last night) and we have 'survived', in fact probably 'thrived' would be a better description.

 

Eberspacher pumping out up to 8Kw, comfy bed, good food, ………………………………..

 

All cooked 'on the boat'

Saturday Dinner  Pizza, Garlic bread & Chips

Sunday Lunch Roast Chicken, Mash, Yorkshires & Veg

Monday Dinner will be Aldi Rump-Steak, fried onions, chips and a bit of salad

Tuesday looks like being Pasta, Chicken, sauce, & garlic bread

Wednesday plan is Chicken breast (in a light batter) in bread rolls with chips.

Thursday, plan to head back to the marina and it'll be takeaway (delivered)

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