A car park on an industrial estate in Biddulph isn’t quite the place for a romantic first-night party, particularly with a large crane and lorry arriving first thing the next morning to take the boat away. We’d found a few things not quite right overnight, and chaps were beavering away trying to fix things right up to departure.
Watching the boat being swung in the air was almost as scary as watching it being towed out and manoeuvred round the car park! Not sure which way the boat went: we followed the SatNav, never saw her, but on arrival at the launch site, she was already there.
A big day… Song & Dance gets pulled out from the workshop into the light of day, and gets moored up in the factory car park, ready for us to spend the night on board checking everything out.
The paint scheme looks quite different in daylight!
The date for completion and tedious things like paying for it. Thought we’d better go up and take a look at how things were progressing. Actually things were looking pretty good, but we’ve known far too many projects where the last 5% takes most of the time.
First chance to see her in all her finery, and with an engine installed, but we couldn’t really investigate inside much as they were laying the flooring.
A tentative plan to exhibit our boat at Crick failed because Pipers couldn’t get the space they needed. Probably a good thing, as it was awfully muddy there: Glastonbury without as much music, but it was nice to catch up with old friend Phil Underwood and his Cajun band Colin and the Crawfish.
Another whizz up the M40 to check what progress if any had been made while everyone’s attention had been elsewhere… like fitting out a house, it’s not always easy to see.
Fran surveying the kitchen, and the view out the kitchen window.
Lots of electrics… but not much by way of an engine yet!
Still, at least it’s suitably primed, and some paint starting to go on makes the boat look much better from the outside, at least. The red paint was sprayed while we were there.
An early Monday morning start: it’s the original “hopeful” delivery date, and things are progressing well if not as quickly as we’d hoped for.
Still, they’ve started putting in the internal partitions, and the bow thruster is installed along with its associated battery and weed hatch.
And, of course, Biggles’ entrance door is under way!
End of April, and another trip to Biddulph to view progress.
The boat clearly has a front end and a back end, and all the steel has been primed and undercoated.
Our bedroom (at the back of the boat) proudly shows off the blue hot water tank/calorifier, and the black water tank (which goes under the bed). That’s right… like many boats, you sleep over unmentionable stuff. Hope it doesn’t leak!
There’s lots of spray-foam insulation to keep everyone warm, and the instructions for the chaps fitting out the inside (if you see what I mean) are on the wall.
The steelwork is apparently complete, so we popped up to the factory to inspect the progress so far.
It’s a bit like building a house, I guess, where the shell goes together pretty quickly, and then everything seems to slow down while all the fiddly bits inside are fitted!
You can see it’s a good shell by the lack of wrinkles in the side panels. Some boat builders (who shall remain nameless) are less conscientious.
Well, we’d paid for the sheets of steel, and the factory said things were coming along. Andrea Piper sent us some pictures of the progress so far… a giant metal bath tub!
We think these pictures must have been taken at lunchtime, because there’s no-one wielding a welding torch.