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Archive for the ‘Buying a narrowboat’ Category

New nb day 27th May 2011

This was the day we had waited for MD boat (that was the builder, we hadn’t named her yet) was put in the canal at Northwich & we went to transfer belongings from Tin Lizzie, a large estate car full already & we were only novice casual cruisers at this point! She looked so odd compared to older traditional nb’s, she was ultra shiny, very plain & no personal touches yet.

MD Boat at Harral Brokerage by Lochaber & Cornish

Our first days on MD boat were spent taking her from Northwich to Nantwich then back to Aqueduct Marina which was to be her new home. Anyone who says that 57ft is easier to steer than 42ft is kidding you! She is a reverse layout cruiser style with quite modern lines & equipped with a bow thruster, but I vowed we would not use it unless there was no other alternative! It was a pleasure to have a proper shower, washing machine, central heating plus stove & most of all decent lighting. We kept the idea of a pump out toilet as that is our preference, although I was a bit anxious when I realised that the tank was located beneath our bed. On the technical side she has lots of batteries & 3kw inverter.

Anyone who says that 57ft is easier to steer than 42ft is kidding! Our first attempt at getting into our new designated mooring on a slightly windy day…..an embarrassing disaster! Great lads at Marina lent a helping hand, now that looked easy, why couldn’t we have done that? (a year on we still don’t always get it right!)

Much discussion & deliberation was done during this week over a name for MD boat.

Cornish, that’s me Sue & Lochaber, that’s him Colin are represented by the Cornish flag & a Celtic symbol, that’s the personal bit decided.  A common phrase during the tribulations of the previous year in our house had been “that’s bloody ridiculous” in frustration one day Lochaber twisted the phrase & it was a “ping” moment for a boat name less the swear word obviously, so That’s D’riculous was born. (The D is in remembrance of my mum who had recently passed away).  Lochaber also has an affection for crows, I don’t know why anyway we decided to give our signwriter free license to put crows on the bows mixed with traditional diamonds….we like it!

DSC01751 by Lochaber & Cornish

DSC01752 by Lochaber & Cornish

DSC01753 by Lochaber & Cornish

Now she is all kitted out & painted up & ready to go, I’m so nervous at having to manoeuvre 57ft without scratching the paintwork. Well, forget all that has been said after several summer trips on the Shroppie & the Four Counties Ring she is now scratched, slightly bumped & the bow thruster has been well used! The hold & all the cupboards are filling up with stuff, we have added  some traditional touches to take the bland newness away. Oh & changed the chimney as I destroyed the original one going through the bridge before the lock at Middlewich!

The next step for us is a helmsman’s course, which we both passed with flying colours, now all we need is adventures & experience.

During 2011 we took her out as much as we could grabbing every spare weekend & using all holiday entitlements to be aboard, we made it round the Four Counties Ring, a little way along the Macclesfield canal & numerous short trips to Barrbridge, Nantwich etc. So, her bottom is wet & she is all dressed up and waiting for adventure.

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April 2011

We now knew that we wanted to embrace the canal life but with a couple of personal obstacles in our way we decided to take our time, find the dream boat, kit her out then when the time was right we could take the “plunge”.

We soon found her, all the high spec we wanted for a liveaboard, clean sleek interior, sleek midnight blue outside & a blank canvas for us to make our own.

Inside new MD boat by Lochaber & Cornish

New MD boat on the wharf by Lochaber & Cornish

Summer 2011

First year problems

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This set of pictures show the drive plate removed from our nb after approx 74hrs cruising!!

We had moored the night at Wheelock after a stressed couple of days in the pouring rain negotiating Heartbreak Hill locks for the first time,  all with odd sounds coming from the engine & we had no idea what they may be. but the boat was still running well, no smoke, no cutting out. In the last lock before Wheelock a terrible crunching sound came from the engine as I put her into reverse, put her into forward expecting the worst but she carried on, just a bit more noisily.  It was at this point we decided to grab a mooring asap at Wheelock & wait till morning to investigate further. In the cold light of day & the turn of the key…..nothing! We started to make some phone calls, the suppliers were not very helpful saying that we must have hit something,  this was proven not to be true, as we had already stated, by Neil Coventry the brilliant engineer that came to our rescue.  He eventually managed to fit a new drive plate & things have been ok since. However neither the supplier or our boat builder would cover the cost of the replacement so that was an added extra we hadn’t bargained for in the first 6 months of owning a new nb.

We also had problems with the fridge not working a wire had not been attached at the back! Warm wine is just no good!

So, don’t think everything is always plain sailing with a new nb, our first year has been to say the least, eventful.

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