Saturday 10 September 2016

Sorting out a Specification

With no boat for the planned trip during the four weeks of August we opted to rent a couple of cottages for the fist two weeks. The Windsor family had already arranged to have their annual week in Cornwall in the second week- we properly keep well clear! On the other hand, we were also going to be looking after two grandchildren for the rest of the month and, for a number of years, a trip on the boat has proved a good way of doing that.

The first week we spent just outside Leek and the next in County Durham. Both cottages were excellent and we did have a pleasant two weeks - albeit with variable weather. We managed a number of walks and to explore areas that we have not been to for a very long time (Peak District) or ever (Durham)

We arranged with Phil Herrington to look at Stamford on Monday 1st August at Sawley Cut. However, we also committed ourselves to making a handover visit to Take Five to meet with the new owners. After driving up from Cornwall on the last Friday in July, we met with them mid afternoon and spent just over an hour answering questions. In some ways, at this stage, it was a relief to be able to leave and not to look back on our decision! Too late anyway.

We continued over to Leek and checked in to the cottage we were renting. On the Saturday we went into Leek itself and then on Sunday afternoon, Andrew came up to stay overnight before we drove down to Sawley on Monday morning.

Martyn, the owner of Stamford was exceptionally accommodating and allowed us plenty of time to look around and to answer almost endless questions about details of the design and layout. Some of his choices flowed from the fact that he does not expect to cruise it much but for it to be a semi-static second home. Our needs will be slightly and subtlety different.

After about an hour, we and Phil adjourned to the coffee shop at the nearby Sawley Marina where, over a couple of cups of coffee each, we went through many details and sketch drawings, we were satisfied that, still keeping largely within his original estimate, we could have a layout that met what we are looking for.

At that stage we introduced our latest idea of moving the main bedroom from the front to the middle, together with a walk-through bathroom between it and the front bedroom which will have two bunks. Drawing on ideas from other designs that Andrew and Christine saw on their visits, both the main bed and one of the bunks will feature a small pull out element so that both can be six inches wider for sleeping than we had on Take Five.

We had a lengthy debate about engine. Phil strongly recommended Vetus as it was offering a much longer warranty package at a slightly lower price than Beta. We are familiar with the latter which, whilst not being technologically exciting, is a solid design with many years of experience behind it. It would have been our engine of choice but we accepted the argument presented to us for Vetus.

By lunchtime we had covered all aspects of the boat and at the end then shook hands on an agreement to commission our boat from Stem to Stern, subject just to agreeing a formal contract. Exciting times ahead.

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