For the last week we have been back at the caravan in Mansfield and most of our time has been spent on preparation for our great day in just over two weeks.We have been busy browsing ‘tinternet,trying to find the best prices for some of the equipment we are going to need.One of the first things we have to get is a licence to be on the waterways,and one of the requirements for that,apart from the cash of course,is that we have insurance.Getting the insurance has proved to be quite easy because it can all be done online,a truly paperless arrangement,something that is great when living on a boat.Getting mail delivered is a bit of a pain when continuously cruising so anything that can be exclusive to a computer has got to be a bonus.We wish that more businesses would go down the same road and have the online option,and save a tree at the same time.
Pretty much all the furniture for Chyandour has already been ordered but we still have a tv to buy and for this we are waiting for the next Freaky Friday at one of the major chandlers.Freaky Fridays are 20% discount days,and they only have a couple a year,so we have a shopping list for the next one on October 5th.Our boat does come with everything we need to sail off into the sunset,but there are a few additions that we want to get over and above what comes with her.Extra mooring pins and hooks,windlasses and a Seasearcher magnet will all make our life a bit easier.This magnet thingy is important because if we drop anything made of steel into the cut,the magnet,on a long piece of string,will help us get it back,and ,if what we have been told is true,a few of the things that other unfortunate boaters have dropped too.
We also have to get lifejackets and an anchor and chain,all of which are a necessity on rivers,in fact,we wouldn’t be allowed on some rivers without them and sensibly, we should have them anyway.John,one of the guys building our boat, didn’t look all that impressed when I said we wouldn’t need them for a while.Neither anchors or lifejackets come cheap though so ‘tinternet has proved to be great in our search for what we would like at the best price.I’ll let you know how we get on with some things when we get them because there can be some surprising bargains out there.Buying things from places outside of the usual marine shops can give quite a large saving,caravan and camping stores can be cheaper and yet have some of the same equipment that we use,you do have to shop around though,and it’s easy to see why some boat owners say that BOAT stands for Bring Out Another Thousand.
All our bedding and things like towels have come from a great store here in Mansfield called Textiles Direct,one of a chain of stores throughout the Midlands,Yorkshire and the North West.They have been great because they have 4ft bedding which is not easy to find,and as it was at such a good price,we’ve brought enough to last a few years.To be honest,very little of what we had in the bungalow in Perth is going to go on board with us because most of it wouldn’t fit .We also sold pretty much everything,so we are starting afresh and Lisa’s loving the challenge of having to buy everything new.
On Tuesday we went to pick our carpet and then to Trent Lock to see Chyandour in her new coat and she had changed from our visit on the previous Friday,her coach lines had been applied and other bits had been painted.Her gunwales had been sanded to give us a grip for when we need to walk along them.There were still some more things to discuss with John and Mick as well,even though we are getting closer to completion.Things like delivery dates have to be confirmed for carpets and furniture,we need certificates to accompany our licence application and the positioning of various pieces of equipment has to be decided.It really is building to a very exciting time now and sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s all happening.We only took a few photo’s on Tuesday because the best bits have still to come and we’d been told there would be some pictures on Kingfishers build blog on Friday.
There she is on the left,all her doors off and all her paint gleaming,on the right you can see Mick as he removes the masking tape from the gunwales after putting another coat of paint on top of the sanding.Sorry about the quality of the photo’s but it’s hard to get them right in the light in the covered dock and I’m no photographer.
On the left a view of the port side paintwork in better light,see the reflection of the paint tin,and on the right is the carpet sample book that was loaned to us to see what our chosen carpet would look like on our boat.You can see the curtain and upholstery material on the top.
On Friday,as promised by John and Mick,the photographs of Chyandour were on Kingfishers build blog and she did look spectacular.Jan Deuchar is doing an amazing job on the signwriting,we knew it would be good but what she’s doing is just what we want.I’ve pinched a couple of photo’s for here,but not the best ones,if you would like to see them then click on the link above.
On the left are the coach line panels that will be filled by Jan Deuchar when she does the sign writing and on the right is Johns workshop with our cratch board all primed and ready for the top coats.The cratch is at the bows of our boat and when the cover is fitted we will have another “room” in effect.Something similar to the picture below.
This one is on the sister to Chyandour,she’s called The Cats Whiskers and her cratch board is slightly different.It will give us a nice little covered space outside our lounge.The cover can be up or down.
Today we went into Sawley Marina to the Canals & Rivers Trust office to pay for the licence,we have to pay so much per foot for our boat and the licence is like council tax in that it is our contribution to the upkeep of the canals and to provide things like water,toilets and waste and rubbish disposal.we also had a good look round their chandlery to compare prices.From there it was over to another couple of Chandlers that are not too far from Trent Lock,again ,to look at prices ready for Freaky Friday.We think we have everything covered but you know how it is when you have that little niggle at the back of your mind that keeps saying “forgot something but don’t know what it is”,well that’s how we feel.We’ve got lists on bits of paper all over the caravan and still go out without them.My iPhone is handy,if I remember to use the notes app that is.We’ve ordered the anchor and other bits too so it’s been a bit of a pay out day.
To finish the day off we went to see Chyandour and she looks fabulous.Jan has almost finished the sign writing on her and John and Mick are now busy getting the last bits and pieces done.Here’s how she looked today.
The left is a view of the stern on the port side where you can see Jan’s handiwork and on the left is the good lady hard at work,she’s doing an amazing job for us.You can see Mick on the roof as he sets about fitting the solar panels.
Chyandour is number 14 out of Kingfishers yard and on the right is what Jan has painted to reflect the meaning of Chyandours name,”Home on the Water”.Good,don’t you think? We like it,but then we would wouldn’t we?
Right,that’s all for this week,we will be back to Trent Lock on Friday for another look because Heather and Steve,Lisa’s sister and brother in law,are stopping off on their journey “oop north” and they want to see Chyandour.They are the ones we had a week in Yorkshire with and who helped with the Tiller Pin as well as putting up with us for five weeks after we left Perth.Take care everyone.