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JetMeg1 – the beginning of a new life.

In the Steel yard

In the Steel yard

 

IMG_1167I was reading a blog about a couple who had sold their house & bought a liveaboard, following the husband’s brush with cancer. I could have written it myself!

In February 2011, Chris had (we were told later) 48 hours before a tumour on his spine severed his spinal chord, which would have led to his demise. It seemed so unfair; after fighting rheumatoid arthritis for a number of years, he was finally in remission – only to be hit by the big C. It’s true what everyone says. Surviving something like this is a life changing experience. We were living in a lovely country cottage.. but on the top of the Pennines.. & it was built over 4 floors. Too much for Chris. When we bought the house in 1993 we had a choice between that & a narrowboat. So we just reverted to Plan B.

After 2 years of angst selling the house, our boat – JetMeg1 (named after our 2 late border collies) – is currently in the build stage & hopefully we will be able to move onto her early December. She is 58′ x 13′, & you can see the hull in the attached photo. We are living in a caravan at the moment & can’t wait to start our new life.

 We looked at used boats & decided that, as this was going to be our home, we wanted our own build. We visited a few boat builders & Burscough Boats offered us what we wanted. “It’s your boat – you tell us what you want”!
So here’s the technical bit:
JetMeg1 will have hydraulic steering,  provision for tiller;  bow & stern bow thrusters; the jury is still out on whether we have Vetus 65 or Barrus Shire 70 . .. the latter has more torque at tickover, but the Vetus would use slightly more revs (better for the engine); both engines have ample power for the boat when on rivers. She will have a 3KW Victron inverter, 4 1×35 amp leisure batteries, 1 starter battery & bow thruster batteries. Pump out toilet, 1 bedroom, Morrso Squirrel stove, & Webatso diesel heating; Kingspan insulation, Dog Box & she will be  reverse layout.

Also still under consideration is Sonos wireless stereo system & Gomax satellite system. If anyone has experience of these, we would be very interested in your comments. After reading other boater’s blogs on here, we have plumped for 3MiFi.. & in the caravan it is currently working brilliantly, where TMobile & o2 dongles were useless.

Initially we will moor at Scarisbrick Marina, & intend from Spring 2014 to cruise wherever we fancy, whilst we can, & when we want. We are open to advice, help, support & more importantly – making new friends………

Chris & Vivien H

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vchells
 

Retired, waiting to cruise!

Alan - Sunday,20 October, 2013

Congratulations to both of you.  I am sure you will enjoy your new life afloat and you will certainly meet lots of friendly folk and make lasting relationships.  Banters are a great way to meet old and and new friends.  There is one at Buckby next weekend and Loughborough on 28 December.  I will be at both and there are nearby hotels.

 

deckhand - Thursday,24 October, 2013

COngratulations to you both.  We have just got our new boat onto the water, different reasons, but for the new way of life. It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was posting photos like yours. Time will soon go by and you too will be there, floating, enjoying your new home.  Good Luck. ;) )

 

vchells - Friday,25 October, 2013

Thanks Deckhand, we visited the boatyard this week & she is progressing.. now has a layer of KingSpan & the beginnings of internal layout!Can’t waitSmile)

 

deckhand - Tuesday,29 October, 2013

It is really nice to see it all come together. Especially when you see some internal bits go in. We were amazed at how all the final touches (which there seemed to be loads left to do) in the last couple of weeks all seemed to fall into place so quickly.

Keep taking pictures too, because it all takes shape day by day that there is always something different to see.

Smile

 

vchells - Monday,25 November, 2013

Well, we’re about 3 weeks away now from launching Jetmeg1, & after over 2 years in the planning are now beginning to get excited! I think once we started looking for bedding & curtain fabric (sorry guys), it became more real. We have to vacate the caravan by 7th December, as the site closes shortly after that, we will decamp to our son’s for a week & then hopefully get aboard on the weekend of the 14th December. We read Kim Wainwrights blog with interest, as we will moor at Scarisbrick over the winter (until May if Paul’s quote from the Daily Express is to be believed!!!). This will give us chance to get to know Jetmeg1, how she works, how we should look after her, & get into a living routine before venturing out. Many of our friends & family are in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, where next July, Le Grand Depart cuts through. IF we can plan it & find a space to moor (apparently all B&B’s & hotels are already booked up, so I guess the canal system will be the same) it could be our first adventure. I am feeling scared again although very excited, Chris is just plain excited! I will be happy when we have negotiated our way from Liverpool Marina to Scarisbrick, in the middle of December, in a new boat. A couple of assisted locks, but plenty of bridges. We will be visiting the builders again this week & will update photo’s as we can. 

 

Can’t wait

Vivien H

 

 

 

 

Paul Smith - Monday,25 November, 2013

Exciting times indeed. So, you’ll be on board for Christmas? Will you be cooking a full Christmas dinner? I can’t do that because our oven isn’t quite full size. I could probably manage a roast quail and a roast potato each.

Please upload some photo’s when you can. It’s great to see a new boat almost ready to hit the water.

 

pearley - Monday,25 November, 2013

Have you booked your passage up the Liverpool Link?

I ask because we are moored in Salthouse Dock having booked a 3 month mooring. We came down on Friday but had terrible trouble actually booking the passage with Wigan office. Several times we were offered our money back. And when we got to the assisted bit we had to wait 2 hours for someone to arrive and that was only after 2 phone calls.

It is actually 6 locks, all done for you, and 8 swing bridges of which they do 2.

We stayed a week at Scarisbrick Marina on the way down. A good choice for a marina although you do need to check the weather forecast before you enter to make sure there will be no great wind as it is very exposed. Danny is a very pleasant and friendly chap.

 

Regards

Pete

 

deckhand - Monday,25 November, 2013

Yeah, soon coming around. So exciting. Enjoy it.  Let us know how you get on. ;) ))

 

vchells - Friday,29 November, 2013

Thanks Pete.. please can I ask you how long it took for you to cruise from Scarisbrick to Liverpool & did you moor up anywhere? It looks like the launch date will be between 16th-18th December; passage outwards would hopefully be the 19th December. We have been in touch with Wigan & got the paperwork, but until we know definite dates we are stuck. We just need to ensure we have time to go up the Liverpool link & moor before dark. Are we being over optimistic??Confused

Went to see the boat today & she’s looking good…..KissKiss

Thanks.

 

Vivien

 

Paul Smith - Friday,29 November, 2013

vchells said

Went to see the boat today & she’s looking good…..KissKiss

Where are the photo’s then?

 

vchells - Friday,29 November, 2013

Paul.. I’m struggling with photo’s. If I add them to the blog they’re huge! If I edit the blog & add them there it fails! What am I doing wrong??

Yell

 

Paul Smith - Friday,29 November, 2013

vchells said
Paul.. I’m struggling with photo’s. If I add them to the blog they’re huge! If I edit the blog & add them there it fails! What am I doing wrong??

Yell

Send me one of the larger photo’s you’re trying to upload and I’ll see where you’re going wrong.

 

 

pearley - Saturday,30 November, 2013

vchells said
Thanks Pete.. please can I ask you how long it took for you to cruise from Scarisbrick to Liverpool & did you moor up anywhere? It looks like the launch date will be between 16th-18th December; passage outwards would hopefully be the 19th December. We have been in touch with Wigan & got the paperwork, but until we know definite dates we are stuck. We just need to ensure we have time to go up the Liverpool link & moor before dark. Are we being over optimistic??Confused

Went to see the boat today & she’s looking good…..KissKiss

Thanks.

 

Vivien

Without checking I would think you will have to get up the link no later than 20 December, this being the last normal working day for CRT until 6 January by which time the stoppage at Dicconsons Bridge will start. From my experience and conversations with other boaters, communication between Wigan and their operational staff is not brilliant so when you have your date a drive over to Litherland to chat with the ground staff might be a good idea.

It will take you about 5 hours to get from Salthouse to Bridge 9 so assuming you get away at 9.30 you should get to the top in daylight but we and others have had long delays waiting for staff to turn up. If you do get away late, tell the staff you want to overnight at Litherland.

When you leave the locks at Mann Island and travel through the long straight narrow section alongside what used to be Waterloo Dock, keep over to the right hand side, that is near the upright wall rather than the sloping left hand side otherwise you run the risk of grounding.

Once past bridge 9 you have 5 hours or so to Scarisbrick. You could stay overnight at bridge 9 or go on another half hour or so to clear bridge 10. You will need a handcuff key for this. Your next swing bridge is number 12 and I would recommend one of your crew walks from here until you have cleared bridge 16 taking a BW key and handcuff key with him. The alternative is continual stopping to drop off and pick up, not so easy if it is windy. 

If you want to break the journey up there are sheltered visitor moorings at Lydiate between bridge 17A and 18. Bridge 20 is fully electric but very exposed and bridge 21 is left open.

Enjoy the trip and hope for no wind.

 

Regards

Pete

Joanie M

 

vchells - Sunday,1 December, 2013

Thanks a lot Pete.. we have sent off an email to CRT to check dates. If it is that the last passage out (sounds like Lawrence of Arabia!!) is the 19th & we’re struggling to get in the water until the 18th, we may just ask for delaying the launch until January.. but then we’re into real winter! Anyway, what will be, we’ll work it one way or another. Maybe we can ask Burscough to launch us somewhere else… maybe not because that will add to the expense.

 

You have given us a lot of valuable advice Pete.. really appreciate it. We do have a little experience of cruising, but when it’s your home, new & bigger than anything you’ve sailed before it’s daunting.. but very exciting. We’re sat in the caravan with lists & questions – which strangely enough all begin with “what if….”

 

Cheers

Vivien H

 

pearley - Tuesday,3 December, 2013

It looks from the latest Boaters Update from CRT that you will have a bit of leeway. They say office closed from 24 Dec to 2 Jan so presume that applies to operational staff as well.

I imagine Burscough use Liverpool Marina to crane boats in as they have a certified pad. Wherever they crane in has to capable of standing up to around 30 ton. It shouldn’t add much to the expense wherever it is craned in, with the crane hire cost being the major bit.

 

Regards

Pete

 

Our Nige - Tuesday,3 December, 2013

Well hope it all goes well and look forward to seeing the pics and reading the blog.

NigeSmileSmile

 

vchells - Monday,23 December, 2013

Well, we launched on Friday, after a few hitches & delays.. it was really last push with Burscough. Anyway we are now in Salthouse, Liverpool until the 2nd January, as we missed the last passage out by a day. Having said that, there are much wore places to spend Christmas. Albert Dock looks lovely with the lights on the rigging on the Tall Ships!. Can’t say it went without hitch. We were told we had at least 40 litres of diesel in the tank – however, we ran out just as we were reversing into moor up! As it was the afternoon of the office party at L’pool Marina, we had to buy some at a local petrol station, & another 20 litres from the marina the day after. Mobile tanker coming to us tomorrow!! Also although we have a hob, we have no gas to the cooker; plus a few minor things which is to be expected. Having said that, JetMeg1 is lovely. We have stoked up the fire, put up the Christmas lights, & had a couple of wee drams! Tomorrow we have to manouvre her to diesel up. I’m sure we’ll be fine & if we mess it up then hey! it’s a learning curve. We have met Pete (LONB blogger) – & a few other boaters. Its true what they say, boating folk are friendly & generous. Our son & family came up from Lincolnshire yesterday — the 3 g/children want to spend all there holidays with us now…………! But they were all impressed & pleased for us. Chris & I are tired, broke, & jaded with all the unpacking. Add on the time of year & you get the drift. However, we are more than happy & now have time to consolidate, reflect, enjoy, relax & do what the hell we want to do. This is the beginning of our time. It’s been a long slog, & if anyone wants any advice on commissioning a new build, please just ask. We would do it differently if we were (heaven forbid) ever to do it again… KissKissLaughLaughCoolCool

 

deckhand - Monday,23 December, 2013

SmileCongratulations to you and long may you enjoy your life afloat.

It seems like these things are sent to try us (and to teach us a lesson too, lol) but like you say, its the beginning of your time. 

Hope you have a very Happy Christmas and New Year and hope that 2014 is kind to us all.

 

 

 

Paul Smith - Tuesday,24 December, 2013

Congratulations and welcome to the waterways. Where are the photo’s then? Let us all see this lovely new boat of yours!

 

Paul Smith - Tuesday,24 December, 2013

Ah. I didn’t see your email before making my last post. Here are the photo’s you sent me to upload…

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Alan - Tuesday,24 December, 2013

Well done and welcome to life afloat.

 

Snow Goose - Tuesday,24 December, 2013

You’re about 6 months ahead of us. We’re hoping to be on the water and living aboard around May time. Best wishes for your life on the water.

Dave & Jen

 

vchells - Tuesday,24 December, 2013

Thanks to everyone for your postings, & to Pete & Jeannette for their help this morning in gusting wind moving the boat for refuelling… & to you Paul for adding the photo’s. The weather is appalling but you know what? I don’t care.

 

Have a fab Christmas everyone.

 

Vivien H

 

Our Nige - Tuesday,24 December, 2013

Congratulations and Merry Christmas. Lots to learn and enjoy so the New Year will be something special. More wee drams to come.

NigeSmileSmile

 

deckhand - Wednesday,25 December, 2013

Merry Christmas, she looks a beauty,Smile

 

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