Wow this has taken a long time to write. Now I’ve got so much to say, I can’t seem to find the time to say it! Must get more discipline… Not a forte… Anyway, after boat numbers #1&2 and a tour around Holland’s finest boatyard (which was amazing, for a different post though), we were keen to see boat number #3. The owl was a bit depressed at this stage, to think that all we could afford on the strength of the first two might be really too short and need not just a bit but MASSES of work to become even liveable. So the next boat was going to be critical…
Then we went around the corner from the shipyard, and saw Maria Elisabeth. It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but I’m being picky – it was within minutes.
She is 27m long, a late 1920s Luxemotor. She needs some love, but underneath the mostly superficial disrepair, she’s beautiful – and just what we’re looking for; a project boat who needs lots doing but is liveable almost immediately. She has a captain’s cabin with original brass portholes and a gorgeous faceted skylight:
How cool is this?! Only half the space too, as there’s a whole kitchen/dining area immediately in front(before the arch). A little grotty, but original floorboards and the space is perfect. We’ll put more portholes lower down so you can see the water…:
Our vendors may have shocking taste in kitchen colours (orange: I suppose they are Dutch, to be fair), but one of them is/ was some sort of boat designer, hence the massive built in desk in the captain’s cabin, the arch, all the curves and built in cupboards… Which is actually very handy, especially given their work on laying out the (relatively) enormous bathroom:
the curved wall on the left here is the back wall of the shower. Clever, eh?! And the steps are back up out to the wheelhouse (I have disco-ball stairs in mind for these…) anyway, more of the weird but large bathroom:
Nearly there- the main bedroom is through the door next to the oil burning stove at the front of the living room. Currently what appears to be bits of a sofa on top of the built in box bed, but the built in wardrobe is handy, as is the floor space… We might take the bed out for mine but will have to see. The hole in the wall leads through to what we’re affectionately referring to as the priest hole (or: Juliet’s room) as it’s right up in the nose of the boat with barely any headroom…
and there we finally have it, pretty much. A lot of work to be done, but nothing TOO major (survey pending!) – she has a fully replated hull that’s only 5-6yrs old, a 2yr old volvo engine, central heating. The 240v needs a proper install so we can run a fridge, tv, lights etc, we need a black water tank and some kitchen machinery and we’re good to go.
She’s being slipped on the 26th and assuming the survey goes well she’ll be prepped and ready to start the week-long journey down the inland waterways from Friesland to Dunkirk where she’ll cross to Ramsgate and hug the coast around to wherever we’re ending up – the Medway as a backup but ideally right onto our mooring in the Docklands. Assuming its been identified by then, insh’Allah!
I’m still deliberating about whether to go for all or part of the trip; the Owl will join at Ramsgate as he’s got too much work on with the new company.
There are lots of details for later posts – the drama of the offer itself, and we’ve just received our formal marine mortgage offer and the APR on both fixed and variable rate options is OUTRAGEOUS; but for now, farewell!