Saturday, August 27, 2011

One more step

On our way to Montgomery yesterday, for a long weekend's break, we stopped off at Yelvertoft Marina to pay our deposit, securing a mooring for the next six months.  This will allow us time to clean Kantara, and get our things in her, learn the various on-board systems, then have a few weeks cruising before mooring her over the winter months.  Come the end of February, then, we'll be hoping for the weather to be good enough for us to cruise again.  One more step towards our dream being realised!

The contract is signed and returned now.  We learned the other day that the new batteries have been fitted, and Trevor, the surveyer, has tested the bowthruster and the inverter, and found them both working fine.  We've taken on a local craftsman to do the various small jobs early next week, Trevor will then check all of the work, and sign a new safety certificate, and we've arranged the hand-over of Kantara at 2:00 pm next Friday.  Nearly there!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Almost there!

Yesterday we took the survey back to ABNB who act on behalf of Kantara's present owner, discussed the various points which had come up in the survey, and agreed a suitable reduction in price to cover the cost of us getting those few jobs done.  Additionally, the owner will have four new batteries installed, so that the inverter and bow-thruster can be checked to be working.  We would have signed the contract yesterday, but time was running short (our trip had been extended by over three hours by a hold-up on the M1 - two lanes and the hard shoulder closed because of roadworks!), so it will be posted to us, and we should receive that on Monday.  Completion should be on Friday, 2nd September.  In the two weeks before then, we will have the various jobs done by a local boatfitter, Trevor will be able to issue the safety certificate, and Kantara will be fully ready to go on that Friday.

We're getting there!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The survey!

The survey arrived by email this morning – a very quick turnaround by Trevor! OK, we have to say it leaves us just a little less excited then we were. Trevor has valued the boat at a couple of thousand pounds lower than we offered for it, largely due to the external paintwork being of an amateur quality, despite the vendor attributing it to a professional. Trevor pointed this out to us on Tuesday, and we had to confess then that we had overlooked the matter when we first saw Kantara. It doesn’t look awful – far from it – but the surface is not as shiny as it ought to be, and it is rough to the touch all over, because the last painting had been done out of doors, with dust and insects in the air. The paint does cover all of the steel well enough, but there are places where brushmarks can be seen, and one or two where previous design elements can be seen faintly under the latest coat. An inexpert eye would probably miss this, but it is something of a downer.

I mentioned the main concerns of the survey in my last post, and these are duly reported on the final document.  A few further minor ones also appear in the report.  I will be chatting with Trevor about these and a few other matters this evening, and then we will need to go back to ABNB to discuss where we go from here.  Will the vendor accept Trevor’s valuation of the boat?  How many of the issues will he be prepared to pay for, in order to resolve them?  Some he has to get done, otherwise the boat will neither be insurable, nor will a safety certificate be issued, thus making the boat unusable.  The rest will be… negotiable.  We wait to find out!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kantara’s survey

Today we went with great confidence and excitement to meet with Trevor Whitling, who was doing an in-depth survey of Kantara.  We arrived at ABNB in Crick just before midday, and Trevor had been with the boat for over two hours by then.  He met us with a big smile on his face, announcing that all had been going very well, and the boat was looking good.  He gave us a run-down on all of his findings so far, then we went off to get some lunch while he finished.

After a good lunch in a nearby restaurant, we returned to find Trevor manoeuvring Kantara out of a crowded marina towards the exit onto the canal.  We hopped on board, and Trevor took the boat along the canal for a mile or so, testing Kantara’s engine, steering and general handling.  All was fine, and he was further impressed by the boat.  Chatting with Trevor, we gathered a number of hints and tips from one who has much greater experience of boats than us, and were given more details of his findings in the survey inspection.  The only matters which merit attention, it turns out, are a couple of batteries which need to be replaced, a fault with the bowthruster – probably another old battery, or perhaps a cabling fault - , some grommets missing where electric cabling passes through metal panels, and something to do with the need for a valve fitted somewhere – a detail which flew over my head faster than a duck.  I realise I still have quite a lot to learn about the systems in canal boats!

On which note, we were pleasantly surprised by the very extensive documentation which has been kept filed in the boat – a complete course in the electrical systems found in boats, a thick folder of instructions specific to Kantara, an historical collection of receipts for what must be every penny spent on the boat over its eleven years, and an eleven year old copy of a magazine which featured Kantara when she was first bought in 2000.  She’s not changed much!

Now we wait for Trevor’s written report, promised by the end of the week.  We then work with the brokers, ABNB, to get any reported issues dealt with by the vendor, and… we buy her!  It felt so good being on the canal on her this afternoon – we just want to get going now.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Has time ever passed so slowly?

Roger writes...
I spoke on the phone yesterday to the guy who is doing the survey on Kantara tomorrow.  He'll be starting the job around 9:30, and we will join him at midday for a test run on the canal, and to hear his verdict.   Until then, since we have so little to say at the moment, here are some more photos!

...and still not actually ours yet!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Time drags!

We are finding the wait just too long - the wait, that is, until we actually take possession of Kantara and sail her away.  Until then, we have to buy all sorts of things, ready for that moment - crockery, cutlery, cooking utensils, bedding and so on.  It makes us feel like newlyweds!

More photos of Kantara...