Friday, 20 July 2012

Reflections on a year of ownership.

Sitting here at Christleton having once again had a good meal at the Cheshire Cat, leads one to a period of reflection of the year past.

The journey from being continuous hirers, to owners who have designed and comissioned their own boat is a huge leap. Have we got things right?  Perhaps not entirely, but in the main I think we have, for us anyway.

It helps if you have the right builders. In Beacon we hit it right first time.  They guided us through the whole process and delivered the boat we asked for.  The shell is brilliant,  as is the fit out.  It is gratifying day after day to be told that the boat is stunning, no small part of this being the painting by Mark Clamp of Stem to Stern.  People just do not believe that the boat is hand painted!

So how about living aboard for months on end?

We always intended to live on the boat for the spring/summer and early autumn months.  We never intended the boat as a "liveaboard".  Winter onboard just never appealed.  This was  never part of the design parameter.  That said, this year has certainly be a test of endurance.  A wetter period I have not endured in my lifetime and that is going some!  We have yet to see a full summers week and consequently have endured the damp conditions with fortitude.   The boat has never been what we would call dry throughout though.  Needs a little prolonged dry weather for that!   Still love the life afloat though.

So, what are our main concerns?


  All the systems on the boat require electricity.  As we are on the move continuosly, we usually ensure that the leisure bank is fully charged at the end of a days cruising.  We have a "Smartguage" and find this invaluable as a guide to the state of charge.  That said, I am an imbecile in most things, but in all things electrical !  I really do need guidence in managing and understanding the systems.  We try to keep the State of Charge above 60 % at all times and hope that this is ok.  Time will tell!  On the odd days we do not move, we power up via the " travel power", so that the engine is under load when charging.  Whether we are correct in so doing, I know not.  At some stage we will seek professional help and advice on this.  We always tey to charge up to 100%.  Having a 12v fridge and freezer does help in this, along with all L.E.D. lighting.


We always try to top up the tank at the first opportunity.  We are by no means water misers, but are careful in it's useage.  Water points are not usually a problem, but it is always reccomended to top up whenever possible.


We opted for a cassette system rather than a pump out and we have not regretted this. We have a lot of extra storage and do not go to bed lying over a steel cess pit as a result!  As with water, it does pay to plan ahead. The Shroppie into Chester is not blessed with Elsan points or water.  Having spare cassettes gives us a greater flexibility.

Popping into a marina every month or so for a day allows us to play catch up with washing but more especially drying.  Whilst we have a washer/dryer onboard, every so often it is adventageous to catch up in a marina in order to keep on top of things.  This year, being so dire weather wise, has made this more desirable.  Think when we leave here tomorow, we may have a stop at perhaps Tattenhall.

The boat has been brilliant.  Just a pity the builders see us as "persona non grata" after a glitch at the start of our journey.  In all honesty, their loss.  If I would have one criticism, it would be that  the engineering is a secondary consideration, but I think this is as much my fault as theirs.

Anyway.  Time for a kip. 

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