Tuesday 15 June 2010

If only....

Not much is happening with AmyJo's progress at the moment  (to think of it nor will it for some time yet).  Chris and I have a much needed holiday coming up soon so thoughts of AmyJo are on hold for now.    I have started a scrap book which seems to be the usual thing to do, got an A3, 40 page, display book so everything we like and want can go into that.

I have though been mulling over about what external colour scheme we would have.  I discussed this with Chris and we quite like the light grey side, black panels and red piping look at the moment, very traditional though don't know how practical from a "keeping it good looking" point of view it is.  I want to avoid the hire boat red and green.  Not that there is anything wrong with that it's just I'm not a red and green person.  I have been involved in sailing for years and green is always seen as unlucky on a boat when going to sea.  I'm thinking something along the line like this tug's colour scheme:-

Have desided to ring Ken and Julia at Fernwood when we get back from holiday to arrange a visit  to their factory.  I'm going to put my thoughts so far to them to see what they think.  I'd also be interested to know what people think about hull builders too.

Who knows if I can get Chris to agree to it I might even take the cheque book with me.  When we last spoke to Julia their build slots were full to August next year.  By now that it is probably much later so we have time to downsize the house etc.

Friday 4 June 2010

Deciding the layout

We sat down last night and gave some thought to AmyJo's layout.  We quite liked  the layout in Derwent6 so we thought we would use that as a basis with some tweaks of our own (hope you don't mind us copying you Del & Al?).  We'll run this by the builders when the time comes so some changes are inevitable.

As for colours and fabrics we have not made the choice yet and will leave that until nearer the build time.  One thing we are sure of the timbers will be of light Oak.  I did think of light Ash but was told this can warp easily whereas Oak does not.  It's also a lot more durable too.

We originally wanted a 58ft boat but seeing the day room area in other Fernwood boats we decided to up the anti and go for 65ft.  This means the day room can convert into another double berth giving us 2 plus two berths for when we have visitors stay with us.  We are an old fashioned family and believe meals should be eaten at a table and not on your lap so the table in the dayroom suits our needs for that too.  For us it's the one place the family comes together and have a good old catch up on each others day or plan events like our infamous annual Bar-b-qs.   As a bonus it can also double as a study for the computer too!

The saloon is still flexible in layout and we have no firm choices for this as yet.  Again Derwnt6's layout worked for us so a variation of this might be the end result.

One area we would like to copy from Derwent6 though is the kitchen.  Chris loves the layout and style Al has in hers and found it looks very practical with oodles of storage.  Al offered much advice on this area and we are greatful to her for that.

Looking at the bathroom area we really love Fernwoods wet room designs and so we hope to have one in AmyJo.  It will have to be a walk through bathroom and I know some people would advise against this but for us the room a wet room gives is more important.

The main bedroom too is pretty well decided.  I'm just shy of 6ft so a cross bed is out for me so this will have to run lengthwise with a pull out section to convert to 5ft.  Chris likes the overhead cupboards running along the side above the port hole rather than at the head of the bed and wardrobes with glass doors to give a feeling of extra room.

So that just leaves the back cabin.  We both want the area to serve as utility room and somewhere to discard the wet muddy clothes after a day out in the rain and often muddy towpath.   We hope to squeeze in a washing machine and tumble drier, bike lockers and a small desk for the laptop and GPS when underway.

One option I am concidering after spending several holidays on hire boats is the problem of needing someone in the bow when cruising as look out for bridges and corners. I thought of having some sort of remote control in the bow for steering and throttle but the "KISS" (Keep It Simple Stupid) principal rules this out.  I like gadgets though so am thinking of having a small CCTV camera mounted on the Cratch board linked to a small 7 inch monitor back at the stern.  This is both easy to install and not much can go wrong with it but will give a pretty good view of whats ahead.

Thursday 3 June 2010

To buy or not to buy that is the question?

We have been contemplating buying a narrow boat for a couple of years now. Our two daughters are in their twenties and are big enough and beautiful enough to look after themselves so what are we waiting for?

Well, like me my wife Chris, is as keen to buy one but making that final step worries her. We have to sell the family home and downsize to release the equity to finance the boat and it's that very fact give Chris the nerves.

Let's face it, it's a big desicion to make. Boats are not cheap and the property we will be buying is going to be a lot smaller than our current home so is it the wise choice?  I beleive so and listening to people like Del and Al on Derwent6 it's the best thing to do.  Del and Al are a great couple we met at Crick boatshow and own a fantastic Fernwood boat.  They are one of the happiest couples I have ever had the priviledge to meet and extremely proud of their boat (rightly so, it's a fantastic boat). They are already living our dream and have not looked back.  It was spending the morning with them on Derwent6 that made our minds up.

I may not post much at first but as we follow the path to ownership I'll try to keep you posted of our progress, I may also ask for your help and views making those important decisions on what to put in the boat and so on.

So far all we have is a name
so called after our two daughters Amy and Joanne. Other than that we have the desire and a preferred builder, Fernwood boats. So we'll take it from there.