Wednesday, 27 March 2013


The guys from the boat sales rung today to say sorry for the delay in craning out Festina Lente but this is due to the unseasonal like weather but she will be lifted next Wednesday for Ian to complete the survey and the boat yard to black her bottom.

If Rugby is anything like the IOM I can understand their predicament. Weather on IOM

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The 'Tiller Girls'

We have decided we will go on a boat handling course, although we have 20 years experience on river cruisers we will be canal boat virgins and the tuition will do us both good . Handling a flat bottomed steel 58ft narrow boat is going to be a whole lot different to the characteristic's of a 34ft twin-engined keeled fibre glass cruiser.

Best we get some professional help and start of doing things correctly and safely, as Sue is going to be a tiller girl (remember those tap and kick dance routines at the London Palladium.Tiller Girls) it will give her more confidence and me a bit of lock wheeling know-how.

Will try and fit a handling course in a day or two before we take delivery of the boat.

Betty Boothroyd ex-speaker of the house of commons was a Tiller Girl in the '90s

Sunday, 17 March 2013


I've been tiding up my garage and shed today putting away tools that I have used beside all those tools I have purchased and never used, the one's I thought would come in handy one day and never have. This got me to thinking about the boat and the limited storage there will be for a tool kit.

I'll have to find out exactly what tools will be required to service the engine (spanner size's etc.) and  which tools will be required to keep all the systems on board in good repair and only take those with us when we go (maybe the odd just in case's a man thing apparently)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

What's in a name

The only thing I didn't like about the boat was the name "Festina Lente"  I thought it to be an amalgamation of the previous owners daughters names or such like  and would need to be changed but  I punched the name into Wikipedia  and the result was this:

Festina lente or σπεῦδε βραδέως (speude bradeos) is a classical adage and oxymoron meaning "make haste slowly" or "more haste, less speed". It has been used as the motto of many people including the emperors Augustus and Titus, the Medicis and the Onslows

Now I absolutely love it, it represents for me exactly how I want to spend the rest of my life.

Licence and Insurance

We have gone for the C.A.R.T (Canal and river trust) Gold license as this gives us the ability to use all the navigable waterways of England and Wales including those of the Environment Agency who run  the rivers Thames, Medway, Nene, Great Ouse and Stour. cost for a year running from Jan 01 to Dec 31  is £1098. and you don't get a discount for starting part way through the year.

Not that we will visit all the rivers this year but we are planning to spend some time on the Thames in July as our nephew is getting married in Windsor at the same venue as Charles and Camilla , so will be good to moor our home there while we attend then probably have a few weeks seeing how much the Thames has changed over the last 15 years since we were last boating there and maybe explore the river Wey.

Insurance quotes for the boat as a continuous cruiser (CC) as opposed to being  marina based is around the £200 mark, which is not at all bad for the value of the boat.

I'm expecting the lift out , survey and bottom blacking to be around £1200.

Only 6 weeks to go ...can't wait.

New addition

Our daughter who lives at home has bought a gorgeous black Labrador puppy to keep her company while we are off on the water. Haven't had a dog in the home since I was a boy , it's great he is only 6 weeks old and can fetch already then I suppose it is inbred in him . His name is Sylar.

Thursday, 14 March 2013


Our surveyor rang today and apart from a broken catch on the gas locker and a dodgy plug socket in the saloon everything is fine internally. Will have to wait for a time to lift the boat to check the hull so this may be two weeks before we get the report.

Handed in my notice to quit work today too I will be jobless from 26Apr..... hooray. It will seem strange not having to go to work we have been employed ever since leaving school and Sue has been with the same company all her working life.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Spoke to the surveyor today and he will be able to do all the on the water stuff later this week and he has kindly said he would liaise with the boat yard to do the hull survey when she comes out for blacking which will save having to pay for the lifting twice.

You can see a video of the boat "Festina Lente" @

Please eel free to leave comments about her.

Monday, 11 March 2013


Job done

Just flew home to the rock very pleased with our selves. We covered just over 1000 miles in 5 days in a little Chevrolet spark  1200cc hire car looked at 20 boats, narrowed this down to two for a second and more detailed look.

We have paid a deposit on one and are arranging the boat to have a full survey.Once this has been done and all is satisfactory we will get her bottom blacked. The owner has volunteered to give us a days instruction on how all the systems on board work etc. Then there will be nothing stopping us on our journey down the canals and rivers of inland water way systems

Thursday, 7 March 2013


Wintry weather on the way so may have to cut trip short. So far we have 3 possibles and may put a  cheeky offer in on one. Let you know tomorrow.


Did 4 marinas yesterday and viewed 8 boats one of which we are quite keen on. a case of being in the right place at the right time the owners of the boat had just brought  her to the marina to sell and were still aboard clearing off their gear so we were able to have a nice long chat with them about the boats spec and systems, this is much better than speaking with the broker.

We are at the Pytchley hotel overnight just down the road from the first port of call at Crick

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Have to be up early in the morning to catch the red-eye flight to Manchester at 7am. Booked the smallest Enterprise rental car at a reasonable cost. They do try and add about £9 a day extra to reduce the £600 excess down to £250 which is ultra-expensive, I have  excess insurance cover with a private company that only cost about £35 for the whole year

Rang all the broker's today and a few of the boats on our list are sold and a couple more are under offer but never mind we plan to view as many boats as possible and enjoy the trip.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Boat search

Have sorted out an itinerary for our boat viewings later this week.

We are really looking forward to the trip, we should have a good idea of what money we are going to fork out to get the right boat.

Friday, 1 March 2013

The Plan

Alvechurch Marina
Braunston Marina
Nottingham Boat sales
Ash boats Sawley marina
Norbury wharf
Venitian Marina
Swanley brokerage
Mercia Marina
Crick Marina
Aquaduct Brokerage
Great Haywood
Trinity Marina
Rugby Boats
Buckden Marina

We are hoping to visit most of the above to look at what they have for sale.
I haven't worked out the best route yet but as we are flying into Manchester we will probably do the Cheshire ones first.