It’s funny that live aboard boaters are happy to make public pictures of their boat homes, inside and out, but we wouldn’t dream of sharing pictures inside a land based home. This thought occurs to me every time I include a picture of the new boat in a blog entry; it’s such a personal thing but many people do it. A friend of ours has just bought a new widebeam for her daughter to live on in Canary Wharf and had posted some brilliant pictures on FaceBook, especially those taken as they cruised it down the Thames. Also, many boaters’ blogs include a section on the build and the inside of their boats too.
Wednesday started well and, after our morning walk, Buddy and I went to the boat yard. Bang on schedule they started moving the widebeam out of the way so that our boat could be moved out of the boat shed. Well, it’s not a full widebeam as it’s only nine feet wide but that extra two feet makes it look a lot broader than a narrowboat. We have never fancied a widebeam, especially a full width 14 foot one as they are too much like living in a house. They are also restrictive in that you cannot get between the southern and the northern canals and rivers without transporting them by land.
My heart is always in my mouth when I see boats being lifted as the straps look so fragile. I was reminded of when we were on the River Severn in March last year when we passed a crane with one strap that was tied in a knot!
There are not many things left to finish off on the boat so preparations were made to get it into the water as the remaining jobs can easily be done once she’s afloat.
A tractor was used to push a hydraulic trolley around the boat. It was then raised and she was dragged out of the boat shed.
The plan was to take her by road to the next boat yard where they have a hoist for dropping boats into the water by manouvering the hoist over an inlet (like a slipway without the slope) to the canal. We were glad ours was not being lifted with straps because they can ruin the paintwork.
The tractor pulled the boat towards the exit to our boat yard and then we heard that the hoist wasn’t ready for us in the next boat yard.
Being pulled to the exit – can’t really see but the boat needs a good wash as she is covered in dust – the last job that will be done before she goes in the water
The hoist was still moving boats in the other boat yard but one of its hydraulic pipes had started leaking. I was filled with dread as I immediately remembered that the shell was four weeks late in being delivered because of a similar issue at the yard in Liverpool where the shell was built.
Anyway they were confident it wouldn’t take long to fix so we were rebooked for Friday. Our boat will now stay in the current yard until then and hopefully the remaining jobs can be completed in situ. As the hydraulic rams on the trailer will slowly go down overnight, our boat has been put on blocks until she is ready to be moved again.
So we’re not quite ready to move in yet but Friday was the date planned and it still looks like it’s on – hydraulic repairs notwithstanding.