Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Went to the dentist for root canal treatment today but the tooth couldn't be saved so had it pulled.

Oh well, looking on the bright side as always it cost £46 instead of £250.

Betty is doing well and moving around indoors quite well, making tea, loading the washing machine and pulling the curtains at night. Sue believes it may be only be a couple more weeks before she can come home 'Hooray' Then we can both start narrow boat hunting in earnest.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Shopping on line

Did my first Tesco shop online today, not for me but for Sue and her Mum down in Somerset. It was simple(although Sue was prompting me at the telephone) and will undoubtedly be a great help for when we are afloat.

I think this way of shopping could be kinder to your purse as you have to think before you shop and you don't see all those promotions that the stores tend to place at eye level and strategic positions that tempt you to overfill your trolley.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Venetian marina sent me this one today

Ticks  all box's bar one.(semi instead of trad).

Ah well sure the right boat for us is out there somewhere.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Re think

I have been re-evaluating our requirements.

Must-haves are:-

Trad Stern  with 8'.6" Cabin
  1. Range
  2. Water can
  3. Bucket
  4. Oil lamp
That's how the boat people of old managed.! ...and if it's good enough........

Save a bit of money too including cheaper license and mooring fees.
I bet the boat brokerages won't have many boats with that spec. I'll maybe try ABNB's Crick office first!

Haven't run this one past Sue yet though, don't think she will be to agreeable.

Saturday, 19 January 2013


Betty had her Operation Tuesday and will be home tomorrow (Sunday). Marvel at the speed of things these days major op to remove a lung and home for  Sunday roast in five days.

Sue has been staying in a hotel in Bristol which is by all accounts a bleak and dingy 10-minute walk to visit mum, dossers and beggars among the genuinely homeless en route so she won't do the trip in the dark.

Just need for Betty to recuperate and be strong enough to look after herself before Sue can get back home and we can narrow boat hunt in earnest.

Thursday, 17 January 2013


Don't know what all the fuss is about Tesco burgers being "Contaminated" with horse meat, at least horse meat is edible, just ask our continental cousins. The burgers probably contain a lot worse ingredients.

Been trawling the web again and this is the best that fits our needs although still not all box's ticked.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

A long day

Just got back from picking the car up from Somerset total of 240 miles to Birkenhead and then a 4hour ferry trip back to the Isle of Man. Will take it to the garage next week.

ABNB Crick office has sent me details of 3 great boats the best of the bunch is

Bit out of our price range but then I have seen boats dropped by £10k :)

Thursday, 10 January 2013


As I said in my first post Sue is in Somerset looking after her Mum. She took the car over on the ferry but unfortunately, the car has decided to play up. The alarm keeps going off at all times of the day and night Sue has had to disconnect the battery so as not to annoy her mums neighbours, she called out the AA but they couldn't sort , she took it down to the local village garage and they removed the alarm fuse but then the car wouldn't start. So I am off to Somerset tomorrow to bring the car back to the Isle of Man unfortunately on this occasion I won't have time to stop at marinas and look at boats on my way up to Liverpool.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Boats we've owned

Most of our boating experience has been on the river Thames in fibreglass cruisers.

  1. Dutch-built Passat 21ft with outboard engine
  2. Freeman 22  with inboard petrol 105E engine (think Ford Anglia)
  3. Princess 32 with Volvo Penta petrol engine to stern drive
  4. Birchwood 33 GT  twin Ford  diesel engines
We love the Thames and we spent every weekend most evenings and all our holidays on the boats. 

We did toy with the idea of buying a steel dutch cruiser and live on the Thames but then we would be missing out on all those wonderful canals

We had a 20 foot fishing boat with a Mercedes diesel engine for a couple of years on the Isle of Man but didn't get a lot of use out of it because the mooring was a drying out harbour and when there was water under the boat the weather might be awful and when the weather was good I'd be at work or there'd be no water under the boat, or so it seemed.

Looking forward a narrowboat is the sensible option for us for sure.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Christmas present.


We received these really useful walkie talkie's from our lovely daughter.  Be very handy for comms between the Skipper and Lock Wheeler.

Suits you

Spec of our ideal boat would be :

  • Trad style 
  • 55 to 60 Foot
  • Engine 40hp +
  • Spray foam insulation
  • Raised Pullman Dinette
  • Side hatch 
  • Cassette loo (or room for one if pump out fitted)
  • Pure sine wave Inverter
  • Alde Diesel C/H and S/F stove
  • S/S water tank
  • 12v Fridge
  • Hob and oven (microwave not required)

Nice to haves:

  • Solar panels
  • Genny
  • Battery management system.
  • Washing machine
  • Cratch cover
  • Bow thruster


Since giving up boating on the River Thames 15 years ago and moving to the Isle of Man for work reasons Sue and I (Andy} have always said we would like to move on to a  narrowboat when we retired, officially this date is still another 8 years away for me and a little more for Sue, but after a health scare for me  and redundancy for Sue in 2012 we hope to achieve our "dream" this year (the earlier the better).

For the last few years, we have looked at every boat in our price range and above on every boat brokerage web site on the net daily to see what is available and what would suit us. We have toured a few marinas too. I read lots of narrowboat blogs from wonderful liveaboard boat people every day (these are a great source of very useful information about the lifestyle, canals, boats, equipment, problems and friendship's made} Read all the canal magazines both hard copies and web-published

Betty and Sue
Unfortunately, Sue is away in Somerset to look after her mother who is having an operation. She will probably be away for a few months.

I will post about what should be included in our ideal boat  soon