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Friday, 10 August 2007

Getting Started

In the Beginning

In 1989 we bought our first narrowboat. Carol told me to come home from work early as we were going to look at this boat. She said I was spending so much time at work it was either get a boat or else she would install a bed down at the factory. A brief test run & we made an offer & just over a week later, having cruised about 100 yards of canal beforehand, we set off to get this first boat back to Debdale Wharf Marina where we had booked a mooring. More of this later, perhaps.

The boat's name.......................Lily Pad

4 years later we had our second boat built to our design, we were hooked. The first boat was 30 feet long and we had greatly improved her over the time we had her. The second boat was 45 feet long and was built at Nimbus Narrowboats at Thurmaston Marina, to where we had moved. In 1993 we took the new boat to the National IWA Festival at Peterborough where she was entered in the best boat competition. She didn't quite win, but it was close.

The boat's name......................Lily Pad

In 2001 the factory died, making knitwear in the UK was almost impossible. We went off on Lily Pad to lick our wounds and spent nearly 6 weeks cruising down the Thames and other waters. By this time we had decided we loved boating so much that we wanted to try living aboard our boat, but this 6 week cruise showed she was not quite right for us for this..................so......................

We sold her in late Summer 2002 and commissioned our next boat.

We had moved back to Debdale Wharf Marina again and started discussions and drawing up designs for the next boat. We wanted her to be 58 feet long so we could cruise anwhere, in the UK all the locks are at least 58 feet long, but we couldn't fit what we wanted in this length. We fiddled around with bits, as most people reckon you can get a 62 foot boat through nearly all locks, but still we could get in what we wanted. Lots of head scratching, and then we said "What the Hell" and went for a full length 70 foot boat, knowing that to cruise some canals we will have to hire or beg/borrow a boat.

The die was cast, the final layout agreed, the finer parts were argued, the order placed, and the people at Debdale started work. It took a long time.................but in the end in September 2003 she had er Boat Safety Certificate test and she was handed over to us for the final soft furnishing fittings. A later sub article will give details of her design and features.

The boat's name.........................................Lily Pad

We believe there are three boats called Lily Pad on the inland waterways network, two of them built for us. We loved our first boat so much and loved her name too and thus there are now three.

Now Ian has retired and we are just about to cast off. We have downsized our home, and have actually let our new home. Everythng is in store. The boat is well loaded, slightly to one side so we have a bit of a list!! On Monday we set off for a gentle three month cruise, the first part of what we hope to be a 5 year sojourn around the waterways of Great Britain. We haven't burnt our boats, we have the option of moving back onto land, but if we don't have a go at this we will always regret it.

Come on the cruise with us, We'll learn how to add photos, give you our thoughs on designs and options and bring you news of things afloat. Things seen will be brought to your attention, ell, you might want to try the life yourselves.

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