Monday, 28 January 2008

Comet - the survey

Green as grass new boat owners (subject to survey) we had some work to do..... the survey.

I was aware of Streethay as it is was boatyard of choice for Granny Buttons (well for winter 2007) that is. This this was a good enough reference, so I contacted Ray who owns the yard and asked for advice on surveyors. He gave me a name of Mr Balliol Fowden - quality name and quality chap. Paperwork was emailed across and a date was arranged, a quick call to John, the owner, and all was set to take Comet from Hunts lock to Streethay. This was another first for us - the Coventry canal.

We met up with John at Streethay on Sunday 21st January, we left a car there and drove to Fradley. Comet was pointing Alrewas bound so John suggested reversing Comet to Junction lock - I did suggest turning (I am not comfortable with the term winding) Comet below Hunts lock, but he did not think she would turn (we subsequently turned Comet there a few times) We got some strange looks reversing Comet through Fradley junction, John on the tiller and me on manual bow thruster (the pole at the bow.)

I recall it was a lovely cold but sunny day - we had a nice cruise down to Streethay where we moored up and returned to Fradley to collect the car.

24th January 2007 ( so much canal time since then) we had the survey. I was there with my camera, worried sick that they might find something 'bad' .......

Crane ready, boat being brought into position.
Balliol had done much of the inside and engine survey while in the water (not him Comet of course!)

Up she comes - they had a couple of goes to make sure they had the balancing point right

Ray, checking the boat was sitting rights before the crane let go of the strain (or at least I think that is what he was doing, could have been taking the strain himself !!)

It was very cold so the guys were well wrapped for the lift.

You can just see Balliol under Comet ultrasounding the base.

Bottom line was she was in very good condition for her age - basically excellent hull, but future scope limited by the GRP shell.

On review I think we got a good speedy survey. It certainly helped sell Comet later that year - but that is another story....

There was not anything that was a shock and nothing from the survey to fairly use to lower the price. We left Comet at Streethay and had her engine serviced and bottom blacked while she was out of the water.
I met John on a truly wonderful warm winters day at Fradley (I think he was having second thoughts at the time due to the fantastic weather and the setting). I passed a bankers draft over, he gave the paperwork, receipts bills etc, signed a bill of sale and we were canal boat owners on the 2nd of February 2007
Next installment will be the boat clean, boat cruise, and the first costs of boat ownership....

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