Day one condition!



The boat was originally white with an orange top.  It has been painted white to hide the fact the orange has faded, but the paint hasn't stuck to the fibreglass very well.  Luckily the motor has been very well looked after, although the boat itself has spent the last five years on a trailer under a tree.  The hull is in good order, with the usual scratches and dents from 30 odd years of service.   Inside the cabin a lot of the original plywood has got damp and delaminated, the cooker proved to be leaking gas and the upholstery was mouldy. The sink and toilet were simply vile, no other word will suffice.
Currently the boat is half way down the Stratford Canal on its way to our home moorings on the river Avon.  I've already reduced it to a shell and the plan of campaign is to refit it in stages over the summer, with a major paint blitz next winter ( including new windows).  The boat is officially my eldest daughters, and she plans to use it on the river here with her teenage friends.  I anticipate lots of bar-b-que's and party's, which will probably annoy the stern narrow-boating fraternity, but introduce a new generation of boaters to the water.  I reckon that a cheap and cheerful boat like this is an ideal starter boat.  Victoria can bash it into locks without causing too much expensive damage as she learns about the waterways.  Perhaps in years to come she will want a super-duper fancy cruiser, and then she'll know how to look after it and even to drive it on a windy day!
I have a fair bit of experience with boats.  I used to be Technical Editor of Canal & Riverboat magazine and have written four books about boats and canals.  I hadn't really expected to be rebuilding a boat, but you know what it's like with daughters!  Even the eight year old one wants a boat now.