Friday, 30 May 2008

Cozy Toes Care of the Canadians

This is the Hurricane heating boiler that we have specified for Caxton. Calcutt Boats are importing these marine heating units from Canada. Designed specifically for the marine environment they are robust yet apparently simple to service; a help when you are squeezed into an engine bay with your limbs in impossible positions.
We looked at Eberspacher and Webasto, the other two popular installations in narrowboats, but we were uneasy about their reliability so this is the choice we have made. Only time will tell..

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Morning Visitor!

Our local Barnowl photographed early this morning from the kitchen window! How wonderful is that? Just thought I would share him with you all.

Splashing it here, splashing it there, paint and paper everywhere

Joe has been busy decorating ahead of a visit from the estate agent next week. Yes, it is that time; bye, bye house! Or at least we hope it is, bye, bye house. Goodness knows how long it will take to sell but the estate agents locally seem to think that much of the slow down is media related hype - we'll see. Our hearts are not here anymore. The sooner we can divest ourselves of all this and move onto Caxton the better. We have been busy free-cycling and Ebaying the home for a number of months now and it is amazing just how much a body can gather around them...

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Garden shed to the fore

This is the front locker on Caxton. The gas locker will be at the stern, as Caxton is a reverse layout boat, so we thought that the front locker could become our 'garden shed' so to speak. Putting larger doors into the locker from the well deck will make this space more practical we hope. The inside of the locker will be painted a light colour, shelves fitted and there will be 12v lighting to assist us locating things - well that is the theory anyway!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Light Emitting Diodes - LEDs

LED lighting uses so little battery power compared to conventional BLUBS (Ok, bulbs, just a childish slip) that it seemed to make sense to go down this route so we have specifified that Caxton should maximise the use of LED lighting. To that end Joe has been experimenting with a number of LED bulbs rigged up Heath Robinson fashion in a darkened room (I do wonder about him sometimes..).

We have hunted for saloon lights that will take a G4 bulb because we knew that there was a LED equivalent and managed to buy these lights from John Lewis in a sale at £20 each!

Caxton is brass free, so its chrome, stainless steel and the like. We have four of these for the saloon in addition to other lighting but we will also source a couple of reading lamps for close-up work.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Liveaboard Insurance?

Like many on the cut, Joe and I are selling up to live full time on our boat. I was speaking to an Insurance Broker at Crick about insurance for Caxton and they are happy to rattle of a quote but nobody has been able to explain how the insurance might cover us if we find ourselves sitting on a muddy towpath with two dogs and the home, (God forbid), has gone up in smoke!

How have other liveaboards gone about covering this eventuality?

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Narrowboat Feast!

Yesterday we were up ridiculously early and en route to the Crick Boat Show by 7.20. Would there be any deals to be had and last minute must haves for Caxton?
We found Stuart Harper of Barnowl Narrowboats (our boat builder) on board Octavia, his show boat for Crick 2008.
We got a preview of Octavia ahead of the crowds: the boat is a beauty and her new owners are rightly pleased with Stuart's work. Caxton will be going from Graham Reeves, the shell builder, to Barnowl on 2nd June where the fit-out will commence. Roll ON!

Crick was heaving with people on the Saturday and there were so many dogs I thought I was at Crufts! Being a dog lover I found myself constantly distracted by appealing puppies. However, I am not sure that I would want to drag my pair of labradors around something like the Crick Boat show, but it seemed to work OK.
What a brilliant day though, so many stunning boats and a real credit to the craftsmanship of the narrowboat builders in this Country.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Discovered by Granny!

Andrew Denny of Granny Buttons has discovered NB Caxton and given us a mention! Have we now arrived?

Preparing for Crick Boat Show - the dogs have been taken to my brother in Norfolk for the weekend, car's washed and bags packed; can't wait, how sad is that?

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Tales of the River Bank

Yesterday morning we were up at 5.30 and on the road at 6.30 enroute to Sawley Marina in Nottinghamshire. The day was bright and dry following a night of heavy rain and the River Trent was on amber, "rising an inch an hour" according to the lock keeper.

Blimey, I sound almost 'boaty' and this is only from reading narrowboat blogs!

Anyway, Joe and I met Ray Cullis, of Trent Boat Handling, for our day of training. Ray is ex Royal Navy and ex River Police so he knows a lot about playing around in boats and is a thoroughly interesting chap to spend a day with. We were being tutored on a 55' cruiser so after some classroom work on board we were off, out of the marina, and very quickly going through our first lock out on to the River Trent! We spent the day rescuing men overboard, (amazing how many there were) turning,mooring, tying up, reversing and learning to recognise the dangers and the elements that can be used to our advantage to handle the boat.

We had a brilliant day with the weather being relatively kind to us and both would highly recommend this training.

What is worrying is that we hired a boat on the River Avon many years ago in an October and set off blithely for Stratford in wind and rain. We knew nothing, we were told almost nothing; absolutely clueless - an accident waiting to happen really.