One benefit of being moored by houses and a road is that you can take advantage when the dustmen come round; they very kindly took all our recycling away this morning.
Whilst Buddy and I were out for our morning walk, Darren, the main man at the boat builders, called me to say that he had had a call from Dave, the guy who owns the adjacent yard and the boat hoist, saying he was happy to drop the boat in today rather than Friday. I agreed and set off immediately for the yard. By the time we arrived they had taken her from Darren’s yard, along the road and were manoeuvring her into Dave’s yard. I missed the spectacle of her going along the road but a couple of guys took pictures which they will send me. I did see the traffic jam that had built up as the traffic has to be stopped in both directions as there is a tricky railway bridge to go under.
|Dave manoeuvring his hoist over the boat – rather him than me! He looks a long way away (in the cab with a pink sweatshirt on)|
Once the hoist is over the boat a harness is put round it so it can be lifted. Unlike normal cranes the harness does not come together and join one crane jib – each side is hoisted separately. This means there is less chance of the paintwork getting damaged.
Hoist positioned over the boat ready for lift off – the driver sits in the cab behind the yellow railings
The hoist was then driven to the inlet to the canal and then positioned so it can straddle it.
Boat being lowered into the water
Chalkhill Blue 2 is finally in. Buddy doesn't look particularly interested.
The whole operation had happened so quickly and had taken Darren’s lads by surprise that we had all forgotten about getting the fenders on. Once she was in the water that was soon rectified.
We went over the outstanding job list and it really feels like the last few jobs will be completed by tomorrow morning when we hope to start moving in. Buddy and I went home for possibly our last lunch on Chalkhill Blue before returning to the yard later in the afternoon.
When we got back, they were checking the trim and working out how much more ballast was required and where it should go.
|Jason, the painter, checking how and where the boat is listing. Font suggested by our arty daughter, Jo.|
Once again we went through the job list and the only items that really need to be done now before we move on is completing the installation of the battery management system and getting the ballast sorted. Other items are not so important as long as they are done before we get on our way next week. I’m sure they’ll be a snagging list once we move in just like in a new house.
The solar panels have a monitoring system but that measures what is being supplied to the battery bank; the battery management system lets us know, amongst other things, the state of the batteries and how much power is being used.
As it’s Thursday, Karen will be coming home tonight so I imagine we may well be celebrating. Although, before she gets back, I’ll probably be meeting Darren in the pub outside our current boat to go through and agree the final invoice.