Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Monday, 12 November 2012

Slight revisions and additions to the boat spec ...

Thank you to Elly and Mick and Andy for your comments and emails about our 'dream boat'.  We do realise that we may (!) not get exactly what we want - but you never know ...  It's definitely worth putting it out there and seeing what eventuates.

So here's a few revisions/additions:

  • I forgot to say we really want a boat with two bedrooms - at least with a single bunk at the back of the boat for our grandson to have his own 'space'.  So we'd want a fixed double or pull out bed (I've forgotten what they're called), as well as the dinette conversion to a double and the single - five berth
  • A 'good' inverter (Barry says around 2 to 3,000 watts)
  • macerator pump out loo or vacuum flush 
Keep your eyes out and ears peeled everyone - we believe it's out there somewhere, just waiting for us to come and buy it.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Be careful what you wish for ...

That's how the saying goes.  So we're wishing for our 'perfect' boat, and choosing thoughtfully what's on our list! It's all about what you give your energy to, as we're constantly discovering as our  'to do' list shrinks each time we focus on one aspect of it during our return journey to the waterways, so now we're testing it out on the blog.

Having worked as a recruitment and retention specialist during 2002 to 2005, I believe finding the best person for a job involves knowing who you are looking for - otherwise how will you know when you find them?   It's always worth investing time putting together a 'person specification'.

So here's our 'boat specification' - a list of essentials and desirables for our 'dream boat':

  • Up to 65' long - preferably 60' to 62' so we can travel the whole system
  • Traditional - but we'd accept semi-traditional if it had other essential features
  • A pump out toilet - absolutely NON-negotiable!
  • Mostly or all windows - we'd accept a few portholes at the rear, but much prefer windows
  • Spray foam insulation
  • Stainless steel water tank
  • Solid fuel stove and radiators
  • Engine NOT in an engine room on the boat
  • Side hatch/es
  • Inverter
  • L-shaped seating rather than single chairs
  • Lots of storage space
  • Less than 10 years old
  • A washing machine (this is actually essential, but we're aware we could put one in, so there must be room available)
  • Prefer not to have a walk through bathroom
  • A boat name we can live with - some of them are just so off-putting! (By the way, can anyone tell me why it's 'bad luck' to re-name a boat?)
There's no rush at this stage.  We have money in UK to put a cash deposit down and our house sale settlement date is the end of January 2013, so we're cash buyers which should prove an advantage. We very much feel we'll know when we find the right boat, and hope to be ready to jump in - but we do need willing and able volunteers in UK to check out any boats for us if possible?  We'd much prefer to have bought before we arrive.

So there it is, down on paper so to speak - we'll be visualising living aboard and focussing on finding her in the next few months ...

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The cat and the house ...

The sale and purchase agreement has safely arrived at our lawyers, so it's just a case of getting there next week to check and sign.

One of the many great things about the smooth and simple sale of our house, is that the future owners want to keep our beautiful cat Suki-Lou - how wonderful!  They even tried to list her as a 'chattel', but their lawyer said it wasn't possible, just in case anything happens to her between signing the agreement and taking possession, hilarious!

She adores where she lives and it'll be fantastic to be able to just leave her there, knowing she's going to be extremely well cared for.  She may get a few shocks though, as she's not really used to dealing with young children, but she's the softest and gentlest cat I've ever known and has never, ever, bitten or scratched anyone in anger.  She may love people too much, but that's her only problem - oh yes! and she's rather overweight and on a diet!  But apart from that ...

Here she is chilling in the lounge recently on a sunny day ...

What a lucky cat she is.