Saturday 10 September 2016

Signing on the Dotted Line

We arranged to call at Stafford on the day we left our second cottage in Durham, aiming to be there by 3 pm. (We were subsequently staying in a couple of hotels on the way back so that we could be back home in good time on Monday with Joanna and Adrian returning home in the afternoon, leaving Alice and Jess with us for the next two and half weeks)

The first part of the journey went well but traffic on the M6 was less helpful and we took over 90 minutes longer than expected. This meant that we did not have the anticipated lunch break and had to eat on the go.

This was Mike's first visit to the factory unit - no doubt there will be several more before next Easter!

We had already exchanged a number of details and Phil was able to show to us the first CAD drawing of the layout and other details. Of course there was a lot to talk about. Two main changes were agreed. Firstly, we inverted the layout of the main bedroom and the bathroom so that we can sleep the right way around. It seems that all the time we were on Take Five we were the wrong way around -that is, with our feet to the front which can mean that they are higher than our heads. Not that we ever noticed!

The second major change was to the engine. Beta have recently extended their warranty to a similar period to Vetus and they provide a much higher capacity domestic battery alternator. Although there was perhaps still a slight advantage on sound insulation, we preferred to go with what we knew and so Beta it will be.

We have also included a bow thruster tunnel and locker. We do not want a bow thruster but for a relatively small amount extra is seemed sensible to make the provision in case we either change our minds or as a selling feature when it comes time to sell. The tunnel and locker are the harder parts to add as a retrofit. We also added an upgrade to the electrics so that we can also have a washing machine. We do not anticipate great use but on longer trips it is increasingly hard to find launderettes these days and this will reduce the amount of clothing that we have to transport to and fro each trip. We have also added a separate freezer that will be in a pull out drawer underneath the dinette.

Everything agreed, Phil called in his neighbour from the next door factory unit to witness as we signed the contract and the drawings.

The good news also was that Tyler Wilson, Phil's preferred shell builder, can make an immediate start, using their works at Newcastle under Lyme and so a formal completion date of 1st March next year could be put into the contract. It still seems a long way away but there is a lot to be done and no doubt we will have several visits to fit in as the work progresses.

At this stage we were able to let all the other builders know that we had made our choice.

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