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Ian_L

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About Ian_L

  1. I have little magnets sewn into the curtain hem at a strategic point and a tiny steel screw in the wooden windowframe and the curtain holds to the wall no problem. I use this method for venetian blinds as well. Cheers Ian
  2. Thanks... but this has raised more questions. Offerings? To a God? On what basis? Which ethnic group or religion? We now have references Leicestershire as well, any other areas? More please anyone............. cheers Ian
  3. Whilst chugging up and down the Paddington Arm of the GU yesterday I spotted lots of coconuts floating in the water. Not all in one place, but dotted around singularly for a few miles. My son, who commutes between Northolt and Paddington by NB every week says he sees them constantly. Any clues anyone? Cheers Ian
  4. £52? I wouldn't pay more than £40 for a 70 footer. Mine was advertised at £46. I offered 38 and got it for 37 after the survey. I bought this from Alvechurch who were acting as broker for a 2001 ex BP NB who was owned by one person since it was a BP boat. The previous owner had painted the outside and started to attempt a refit but failed miserably. It had most of the bedrooms ripped out but apart from that we spent about 10 k on: New electrics: 3 kw inverter. extra cabling and wall sockets. Extra battery (stll needs another battery and upgraded alternater really but its manageable). New appliances: Fridge-Freezer (240v), oven + hob, fitted kitchen units, washing/dryer machine (240v). lcd wall mounted TV and home cinema system. Furniture: Three used 'Reception' type chairs (re-upolstered), Recovered and upholstered existing tatty fouton, two generous size used desks and drawer units (two students live on it now). New single mattress. three used office chairs. Various shelves and bits and bobs Lots of paint for painting over the tatty melomime (spelling?) Paint for walls. Two new windows New sealant to windows and rear cabin door Tiling to the shower/wc/washroom and sink/cooker area of the kitchen Stripping out existing kitchen unit and appliances. Replaced sections of spongy flooring with marine ply. New wooden floor boarding. New light fittings throughout (halogen 10w thingies with chrome bezzels) New Mattres and privacy curtain to double bed New toilet/pan macerator (its a pumpout) New Porta Potti back-up chemical loo with new wash basin. New window blinds and chrome venetian blids with magnetic tie-backs. Door handles lots of bits and bobs that add up the dosh. That also includes license, survey, blacking, and labour for installing the inverter, a helmsman course and diesel engine mantenance course. Everything else was done by my wife and I. Incidentally, we are fortunate in that my wife is brilliant at tiling and sewing 8/10 for tiling and 10/10 for anything related to fabric and sewing. I rate myself about 7/10 at DIY but we got it done. My 19 yr old son is good with electrics so he re-wired the boat for the lighting. BP boats have a switch for each light whereas he re-wired it so the new lights are controled by light switches per room. The boat is used as a liveaboard on shore-line power at weekends and in central London Mon-Fri. The only real problem is the washing machine drains the batteries very quickly so they only use it at weekends when in the marina on shore-line power. We plan to fit an upgraded alternator, a battery management system and possibly another one or two batteries. We'll see how it goes. We are all totally new to boating of any description. I started looking at boats at the beginning of February and learning about narrowboats and canals, much of it on this brilliant forum. By the middle of June we had found a boat and bought it. By the middle of August, we were taking it down to Engineer's Wharf (a new mooring) in West London. A steep learning curve for the three of us but with focus, determination and plain hard graft... WE DID IT!!! My son and his friend pay me rent which is calculated to cover the moorings, insurance, license and a bit for maintenance. It's done him a world of good; the responsibility ( and a bucketful of cool kudos from his piers) is maturing him before my eyes, and we have acquired a holiday home, a base in London, common ground with my son, and a whole new interest. Love it! Cheers Ian
  5. I bought an ex Black Prince 71'6" NB from Alvechurch in June. Cruised it to Bishopton on the Stratford Upon Avon [narrow] canal. Spent two months re-fitting it then took it down to Engineer's Wharf in London [179 locks, 10 days] down the Grand Union [broad] without a problem. It was a bit tight in one or two locks, I had to keep an eye on the cill, but apart from that no problems. My student son and a fellow student now live on it and take it in and out of London [Paddington Basin] every week. he has been round most of the London canals without any problem. It's not particularly bad to handle [no bow thrusters] they do really well and have coped with everything that they have come across. They have a large dining/tv lounge/kitchen, one fixed double bed room, wc/shower/washroom, large study/lounge which has a double fouton in it, second wc, little washing room, 4 single wardrobes and numerous cubby holes and shelves, a single bedroom and study, plus a cruiser stern that seats six and a nice little bow deck. The space is fantastic... certainly bigger and cheaper than a flat in London and he's acquired a new hobby and is fast becoming a marine engineer. All in all, a big boat has been great for us up to now! In terms of the actual buying process from Alvechurch... they are crap (I don't care sue me!). But I strongly suspect that's boatyards generally. They only respond to pressure to get things done, and heavy pressure! Mr Nice Guy doesn't work. As long as you know that, and you know what you're in for that's fine. I don't know what their own boats are like. Cheers Ian
  6. I bought an ex Black Prince 71'6" NB from Alvechurch in June. Cruised it to Bishopton on the Stratford Upon Avon [narrow] canal. Spent two months re-fitting it then took it down to Engineer's Wharf in London [179 locks, 10 days] down the Grand Union [broad] without a problem. It was a bit tight in one or two locks, I had to keep an eye on the cill, but apart from that no problems. My student son and a fellow student now live on it and take it in and out of London [Paddington Basin] every week. he has been round most of the London canals without any problem. It's not particularly bad to handle [no bow thrusters] they do really well and have coped with everything that they have come across. and they have a large dining/tv lounge kitchen, one fixed double bed room, wc/shower/washroom, large study/lounge which has a double fouton in it, second wc, little washing room, 4 single wardrobes and numerous cubby holes and shelves, a single bedroom and study, plus a cruiser stern that seats six and a nice little bow deck. The space is fantastic... certainly bigger and cheaper than a flat in London and he's acquired a new hobby and is fast becoming a marine engineer. All in all, a big boat has been great for us up to now! Cheers Ian
  7. In August, I took a 71' 6" NB from Bishopton on the Stratford Canal up to the GU at Lapworth and then down to Engineer's Wharf on the Paddington Arm of the GU. 179 Locks (took a comfortable 10 days) without a problem. Can't speak for any other canals at the moment. cheers Ian
  8. '3' www.three.co.uk have just launched a high-speed broadband truly mobile system. Three packages... £10, £15 and £25 per month including a free usb modem. Its currently available (I think) central London, Birmingham and Manchester with a role-out schedule for other areas. I've just ordered it. It looks the answer if you are on the canals in in these areas. cheers Ian
  9. Similar to mine. I've just got a good deal on a BP and like yours there are areas with spongy floors. The compressed woodshavings they used were rubbish (to put it politely). If you are remotely handy (and I am probably about 5 out of 10) you can sort it yourself. I have just hacked the spongy sections out and patched in 3/4" marine ply blockboard and packed them to the right level with treated batons of wood. I will then cover in a rubber floating floor underlay and fit click-in floorboards. Not a difficult job... honest. Loads of grabfil, packing etc with everything treated with good quality varnishy type stuff and the jobs done! The leaking windows are easy to fix by clearing out the drainage channels and fitting new self-adhesive window seal and painting the frames with hammerite metal paint. Your back step has a drainage hole but no doubt, like mine, it will be gunged up.. easy to clean out cheers Ian
  10. I have just bought a 70 ft Black Prince Hire Boat built in 2001. It had one owner between me and BP and he ripped out all the berths and bulkheads, made an absolute mess of it and gave up. He paid 43k for it in 2005 and because he didn't put the work in (for what ever reason... there could be a host of personal reasons) he lost out to the tune of 6k when he sold it to me for 37k. Alvechurch were the brokers and I found the Marina Manager balanced and fair in his dealings with us. In fact, during the first week of gutting the boat he has been excellent with his advice, but very pushed to complete the work I wanted to pay his engineers to complete. The boat had a reasonable survey and its main problem has it has not been looked after for the last 2 years so there are one or two things on the services that need attendion as well as an internal refit. I am also upgrading the electrics. Incidentally, if anyone wants a very good surveyor, with a mind-numbingly attention to detail, then message me and I'll give you the details. The Marina Manager said he spent a full day on the survey, his fee was £455. Well worth it in my view. Our plan is to drive it nearer home from Alvechurch to Stratford upon Avon this weekend, spend the next six weeks fitting it out and then drive it to its new moorings in London... an adventure for us as we are novices. We have spent four months researching though and we (my son and I) will have completed a helmsman's and diesel engine maintenance course. One tip re ex-hireboats from our surveyor: don't take any notice of the hours that the engine has supposed to have run. They don't mean a thing. The hire company engineers frequently whip an engine out on a mid-week morning and replace it with another workinging one rather than look to repair a fault on the boat. So your engine could have done twice or half as much... or any number you can think of. His view of Black Prince was that they generally look after their fleet and the hull on this boat is good and built from a good grade steel. Now, one or two thoughts from you seasoned boaters if you could... my surveyor has measured the boat length (he says excluding fenders) at 71feet. My internet research has produced one 70ft narrow lock on the Stratford Canal, my chats with other boaters on the Stratford Canal has not produced any problems. Again the internet tells me there is a 70ft lock on the Leicester Stretch of the G.U. though as this appears to be a wide lock, I should be able to go in diagonally. I am concerned about hanging he stern on cills and the bow on lock gates. My helmsmans course has dealt with the theory of this but I am about to put this into practise soon so wish me well. Cheers Ian
  11. Hi Daniel, The shoreline has a 32 amp supply. It's a new marina. Ian
  12. Terrific and very helpful response from everyone (I knew it would be!) Many thanks! Cheers Ian
  13. Hi Everyone, If I could pick your brains once more it would be really helpful. I've learnt such a lot on this site... its brilliant. I have just put an offer on a 2001 NB and things are currently looking good. However, I will have to re-jig the electrics and will probably pay a pro to do this job BUT... here is my situation: The boat will be on a residential mooring with a 32 amps shoreline. The existing system is 12v with a 600w inverter and I want to upgrade this to a 240v/12v system with at least a 2.5kw pure sinewaive inverter. Ideally, I would like to run a domestic 240v fridge, separate 240v counter-top freezer, small size 240v washing machine plus all the other bits and bobs like laptops, TV, lighting, possible a cooker hood/extractor etc. The boat will be used as a liveaboard most of the time but I need the option to up-spikes and chug away for a few days/weeks when the fancy takes me. Questions: do the 240v appliances run direct off the land line when I am in the marina. will these appliances run off the inverter when I am cruising will the diesel engine charge the batts? Will the system switch over to inverter/12v batts automatically? Is it possible to fit this system about 1K or am I being too optimistic? Or to put it simply... how will this concept work? I know I am using a pro electrician but I need to be able to ask the right questions and not be bamboozled. Cheers Ian
  14. cheers Bottle, thanks for your comment. Ian
  15. Thanks for your input Allan and Dhuwenda. The boat was built in 2001 and the quoted thicknesses are from the brokers spec so I assume they are the original thicknesses as there is no mention of a recent survey on the brokers details. I must have looked at dozens of boats now and this is the first I have come across that doesn't have a 10mm bottom plate. I would welcome any other views on having it epoxy coated though as doing that once, even though it is expensive, and then forgetting it for ten years really appeals to me. Cheers Ian