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LondonRascal last won the day on September 15

LondonRascal had the most liked content!

About LondonRascal

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  • Birthday 07/06/79

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    Broadcaster, Blogger and Technology Evangelist from London. Enjoys a good coffee, Ale an boating.

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  1. Tv On Boats

    When I take over a hire boat, first thing is stash the pain in he backside aerial somewhere and leave it there - I don;t do telly and DVDs when I've been on my own, I sort of become a different version of me. Mellow, some wine, classic FM on low, cook, look out the window and everything seems just right with the world. Try doing that at home and I feel thoroughly bored and soon am reaching for the TV remote.
  2. Big Changes Ahead

    Well thanks for the comments and thoughts and advice this has attracted – not a great deal to say today but I am leaning toward the other boat (boat 2) but I have been looking last night into the Yanmar engines. It is fair to say that with engine manufacture you will have the fans and then those who think you must be mad. One thing that always makes me smile is when people refer to engines as being ‘bullet proof’ and not letting them down (insert list shocking but true events) and still the old girl went on smooth as butter they say. Engines for many years now have been developed and manufactured with such fine tolerances and often are derived from other markets before being marinised. As Neil said how far and varied Volvo engines have got, but it also depends on location and what is popular in your country. We don’t see as man pleasure craft here with CATS or Cummins in – yet in America they are everywhere and so many swear by them. Anyway, I was going over some of the photos of boat 1 (CAT engined model) and I can see on both engines there has been some works on the front where what appears to be the oil cooler is (located under the coolant header tank). The paint has been removed around the gasket and nuts, then you can see gasket sealant goo has been forced out as the nuts were then torqued down. This was not removed and once the job was complete the paint was not re-applied. This then is like an ‘open wound’ waiting for corrosion to set in to this area. I think generally this boat suffers from a lot of salt mist getting into her engine bay as many models I see have more corrosion generally than other boats of similar age. There are a number of other things on the first boat that would need attending to some of which are minor and to be expected, but the fact the Copper Coat on the hull was not in the best of shape in 2015 can only have gotten worse now, if I was to opt for this boat that would need addressing. It is a big job and expensive stuff to buy let alone have applied and one would have hoped it last for more than 7 years, but it has begun to peel and crack and there are numerous air bubbles under the surface telling me it was never applied satisfactorily to begin. I understand that Copper Coat would need to be removed if one reverted back to standard anti-foul too. Of course this sort of things can be calculated into to negotiations on price but boat 2 seems a bit more ‘looked after’ in so far as she has a number of expensive improvements but this too might not all be good. In 2012 she had an interested purchaser, had a survey done...So why did they not buy it? An old sailor might take me to one side and tell me how when you buy a boat you cannot expect things to be all right all of the time, and I would agree but this is an awful lot of money to consider spending so I do want to find something decent, or I will perhaps have to consider a smaller type and very different boat perhaps a Broom 44 and spend half as much, but I don’t think I would be as happy. I know it might be a niche taste, but the Traders have such warm and inviting interiors with their lovely woodwork and the large accommodation. I found this interesting report http://www.powerequipment.com.au/yanmar-the-only-engine-to-last-the-distance/ from a Fisherman in New Zeland of the Yanmar (6CXM-GTE2) Engine on Boat 2. out of one boat and into another at 4,000hrs - his previous boat had one with 48,000hrs was taken out and put in a fellow fisherman's boat, regular oil and filter changes seems the secret.
  3. Big Changes Ahead

    I am now chasing two boats - the first I had mentioned, but now a second with a keen seller. Boat number two (identical model but 2002 vintage) has smaller engines at 500HP (less fuel burn which is nice ) but they are Yanmar 6CXM-GTE2 . I need to go looking up these and find out the low down. Thing is, they seem a lot smaller - 7.4 litre compared to the 12 litre CAT's. (no doo doo Sherlock) but I mean actually they are a lot lighter, so much so a second 90 gallon fuel tank is provided midships to keep the center of gravity down. They have only 560Hrs on them, and have been looked after by Barrus in Plymouth - the boat has had two owners, the current for over half the boats life. indeed the boat was out the water for anti-fouling, anode replacements and engine service two months ago. She has a Survey Report I want to get my hands on too, be interesting to compare to the other one in near Southampton. But she has more toys - Satellite Trac Vision for the TV but also a second one for satellite phones - they don't come cheap, has had all the carpeting renewed, all the upholstery internally renewed, with new blinds and curtains has a new washer/dryer and even a dishwasher but the best toy is the Williams 285 Jet Tender which is just a couple of years old and needed a new crane installing with remote operation to get it on and off the upper aft deck. Hmm. HMM! However this broker seems a little too honest for his own good. He has told me how hard these boats are to sell especially since the company that used to build and sell them went bust in 2009 - some have taken up to 5 years and many price reductions to sell. Reading between the lines this one has been on the market a good while too. Since I am not looking to buy, keep for a couple of years, sell and move on it suits me and this also tells me I might be on to something good when it comes to price negotiations.
  4. Big Changes Ahead

    They used to be called Trader Motorboats and the CEO Tony Chappell has been in the UK marine business for over 30 years, selling boats to customers worldwide from their Emsworth base. Tarquin (the company that builds them) have their boats built in Taiwan and China at two separate and independent boat yards which continue to build yachts for other brands, including Monte Fino. in 2009 the business went bust - the boats live on under a new owner and new name 'Explorer' (rather than Trader) and Mr Chappell has a string of creditors from large companies to individuals, not a nice chap it turns out. He cant be a company Director now, so has decided to 'work for' a new company as a Sales Manager the last time I heard. The reason they are 'Trader Yachts is just a brand you know a Motor Yacht sounds better than a Power Boat. Adds an element of style and luxuries a few stations past its own stop.
  5. Big Changes Ahead

    This is rather nice, like an evolving story or diary. So in reply firstly to Jack: You make some good points, so let’s address the first which is cost and the big one that people mention is fuel, but that is only relative to what you use, very much a variable but what is a pretty stable and a known item that must be attended to is servicing. The problem is this the least enjoyable and nice part about boating – or with anything in life. I mean, how many people bother to check under the bonnet of their car once a week and check the belts, the coolant, oil and brake fluid levels and tyre pressure and keep on top of any obvious things and religiously stick to the service regime of the car? Because growing up with my Dad it was the Sunday afternoon habit, and I would help out it would be something I naturally do and a number of issues were nipped in the bud before they grew to be a costly repair that way. Conversely, how many who own a large boat lift up the floor boards and do the same checks on their boat engines – on what is effectively a ‘large toy’? They feel perhaps they should do but only because one day they might sell and encounter a fastidious buyer who wants to know such has been done. On my part I come eyes wide open to this fact and I am fast going off the idea of the boat I like because of a gut feeling – it has been done because it needed to be not because they wanted it done. You know the type of phone call: “Mr Smith we noticed that the exhaust elbow on the port engine is showing some signs of corrosion and this really does need to be replaced” “How much is the part?” “It is £1,700 Mr Smith.” “Can it wait until next season? “Urm, well based on your usage I don’t see too much harm to wait until then” “Ok we will leave it as is.” Next season comes around, by now the port engine exhaust elbow is almost shot and starboard one is well on the way too – port engine one gets done, starboard one is bodged but Mr Smith can say the craft has been serviced annually and all work that was advised carried out – big difference than it actually being perfectly sound. Secondly, I don’t actually agree with wanting to put the throttle down and head out to sea – just because you can. I understand that most owners do this because that is the point of owning a powerful boat – it is the thrill of the speed but it does not appeal to me as much. When I speak of driving, I am told things like: "Oh Robin, one day you’ve got to get a small mid-engine sports car and give it the beans on a twisting A road, through the gears, feeding it into the bends, top down, sun out and really feel the car” I almost embarrassingly have to reply: “I’d prefer to be in a Lexus or a BMW being cosseted along in silence in an heated leather seat.” Oh, the look of partial confusion and disdain I then get. So it is to me the main selling point of new boats – speed and power – ‘the magical 30 knot performance.’ Go to a boat show and you see men almost drooling over new shiny Penta’s and salesmen keen to point out their new craft ‘comfortably cruises at 25 knots but can achieve 33. It is like a peeing contest - I’ll pass thanks. I want to enjoy the act of the passage, the rolling, the sound of the water being parted at the bow, the reassuring growl of the engines. Being able to walk around, or get a drink and not holding on with white knuckles smiling through gritted teeth as the helm reaches for another handful of throttle. Take me to Holland at 9 Knots, sip some good wine and glance down to my fuel flow meter working out the fuel savings are helping buy me a Williams Jet Rib to mess about in. That is my idea of cursing for it is as much about enjoying the journey as the destination. Moving to Pauline: A nice idea but not for me because then I would surely find all the problems and as my mum would roll her eyes to my mantra “It is lovely, but..the only problem is..” and the bubble would be burst, the excitement, it would be like seeing a girl you have a crush on and you’ve only ever seen with her make up on and perfect styled clothes, on a Sunday morning pop out with the rubbish bags. Oh, so that is what she is like really then. The bubble would burst. It is perhaps about value and life. It seems acceptable to have a coffee with friends and announce that you are going to have a new fitted kitchen and conservatory. You go over the idea, the ladies agree reassuringly at how this would bring so much more light in and be a nice extra social space, and to think of how those fancy drawers and cupboards will help with the storage and you just simply cannot wait for the integrated 5 burner hob with double oven. Husband pipes up 'Have you seen those new Smeg oven doors Robert? They fold away flat into the oven after you have opened them'. What really is going on is a expression of reaching a point in life that this can be done - it is countered with the sensible fact doing so will add some extra value to your home. It is like a ladder. Be it in education with the ladder you begin with there: school to collage to university. The you get on another ladder when you begin employment but it does not stop there, there is the housing ladder and even in the world of boating the updates, the upgrades and selling on and moving up. I don't want any ladders - I have successfully dodged them all my life preferring to catch the lift instead. This boat buying has no reason other than a wish. I need not have such a large boat, with such power and as many berths - lets face it 90% of the time it will be me on board from time to time, but it is the freedom and choice to do more, take on that new challenge and it all be on my shoulders. It is also to include others share, debate, invite, learn from etc. Because if it all goes wrong, the worst that can be is I am no worse off that I am as I sit here now and I am rather happy with my seat and life as it is so really, in life you got to feel the fear, but do it anyway.
  6. Big Changes Ahead

    Just a clarification on things as my original post rambled on so long I think it was lost in all the words.. I am not going to live on any boat I buy, it was the original plan when first began to look at options, but matters changed somewhat and I saw some sense (considering damp cold winter days and wondered could I really be happy with such a massive lifestyle change) and decided that no, I would prefer to just live on the land and use the boat as a bolt hole. So, all this thread is about buying a sea boat since that has always been my wish/dream. I like the idea of it being a substantial craft with a nice social layout and berths since frankly I like the idea to bring along different friends and be part of the adventure and cruises and so on, then for the slow, relaxed rivers I'll pop up to Stalham and have the use of B.A. Besides this boaty part of things, I have been looking for a flat in Norwich to live in, which I think I also have found a decent new build in the heart of the city. There are some others too but housing is not a top priority since I can use my dads place in Cambridgeshire fens as a 'stop gap' between moves and itself can be an investment. So one way or the other I won’t be on the streets even if it all goes a bit Pete Tong. Finally, I am going to reduce my hours at work in the coming weeks to allow time to sort the other part of the jigsaw and pass my driving test and pack up things. It sure a great deal all going on all at once and one wonders if I have bitten off more than I can chew but I think somehow it will come right. I have had my eye on another Trader - a year younger and with 500HP Yanmars with only 560hrs on. I am getting the increasing feeling these boats are a bit niche and there are a number on the market at wildly varying prices but do not seem to sell too quickly. It is not a 'cool' boat or a 'young man’s' boat. I am fine with issues on boats and sorting them but I simply do not want to take on engineering problems. Sure somethings do break and cause issues, but I don’t want something that has a number of niggles even if they are not singularly a breakdown causing problem, but combined take away faith and confidence in the boat and leave me chasing faults instead of enjoying the boat.
  7. Big Changes Ahead

    But I was looking at boats previously with 715HP D12 Volvos - these seem a little more tame and drink less since you can cruise at say 10 Knts and be comfy - try than is beam sea with a displacement boat at hull speed, very much a rolling affair. Semi-Displacement seemed the better bet as I would not be wanting to be do 24 odd Knts everywhere Engine hours are 1,900 Hrs. She has seen some work for sure, I have seen imagines of her with finish and Italian courtesy flags. But since most Trader owners tend to be of a certain type and prefer the cruising life, they take it slow - thus save fuel and give engines an easier time. The good news is where she ia laying is 'round the corner' from Finning CAT and that is where she has been serviced so being able to get an oil sample sorted or a get some work done is at least close by compared to if she was in Norfolk .
  8. Big Changes Ahead

    There CATS 660HP (3196 is the model) - not to say underneath is a Cummins base going on. Whatever, there bloody big things. Caterpillar-Owners-Manual.pdf
  9. Big Changes Ahead

    Some good advice. I know I am speaking aloud a lot here, well typing so forgive the long posts and so on but this is a rather big thing to contemplate and spend on so it nice to let things out to fellow boaty types. Here are some photos of the engines - as they go, there not too bad for age and considering the salt environment subject to. The only thing I noted was this the 'green corrosion' around the inlet on the left hand engine in the first image below. It looks as if it has either come 'up' from the pipe or has a crack that is letting liquid seep out. Right hand engine duplicate looks perfect. The Teak deck has a lot of 'meat' left in it, and it just looks like beginning to be the time where some attention is needed (possible sand and seal) since some caulking is maybe 2mm above the surrounding teak on the fore deck area. Upper helm wheel has begun to split: Upper helm seating has a small tear and the cover rubbing in the wind over time has caused the vinyl to crack and wear:
  10. Big Changes Ahead

    I am not one to like estate agents personally, and those working for a certain chain whose offices seem to resemble a Spa come bar with fridges of spring water and fancy lighting are the worst. Boats get Osmosis - though in recent years great lengths have been gone to in resins and gel coats to attempt to stop this being the case. This boat has some, not much mind you but it is present - but I bet you any boat from this manufacture of this age would also have some. The key is twofold: Osmosis tends to be worse in fresh water environemnts Osmosis tends to be less if a boat is wintered out of the water With the above in mind, the fact the boat has been out the water between October and April every year since commission and when in the water has been in salt, then why has she got Osmosis? The hull was Epoxied from new in the factory but before I can get too excited about this and seek further reductions based on this, the price already is very keen compared to others. My personal biggest concern down the road are the engine hours. I was told they were just about 1,800hrs - now I see actual photos of the digital engine hour meters showing 1,900hrs. I know these big lumps, well maintained can go on and on for many many thousands of hours. But they are mechanical and things do and can go wrong and there is this looming concern in my mind that an overhaul would be needed down the road. As an example a boat for £20,000 more of the same model has engines with only 560hrs (albeit a couple of hundred horsepower less) When you add these things up, the higher than average engine hours, that Osmosis, some cosmetic wear internally and externally and then you see the asking price it kind of all makes sense - want something with less well used engines? Pay more. Want something that is in finer fettle externally? Pay more. These exact same points will be going through any perspective purchasers mind - and they will themselves be considering options, offers and what might come down in the future should they be owners. So far as I am concerned my offer I had in mind has been revised downward, but I certainly am not going to get into some kind of bidding war - life is too short for messing about, it is take it or leave it, I've got plenty of time to wait but conversely if it feels right I could move with short notice to. As they say, it is not over until the fat lady sings.
  11. Big Changes Ahead

    James, I am considering a new channel - sort of 'Cruising with Rob' and following all the progress. I am not sure yet, but it is nice to share from the beginning here. The only thing I can see being a hiccup are: Someone else beats me to it. I change my mind suddenly because I find something majorly worrying. The more I can take off the price, of course the better since I could then see that as simple gain and invest the initial saving to spend on the boat. Even £5,000 off the price would pay for the fuel and engine service prior to get her to Lowestoft. Every little helps. Edited to add: I have just had a call from Broker. He says he has shown some clients' around today. Initially I think to myself 'oh no' could this suddenly mean the boat is pulled from under me, but then...Really? All this time on the market, reduced in price back in June, and now just a day after I get all the details from the Broker he is showing new people round. Hmm maybe but I am feeling this could be a tactic to make me jump. I can't anyway, because the funds won't be with me until next Tuesday. Fingers crossed this does not turn out to be a burst bubble of dreams so far as I am concerned.
  12. Big Changes Ahead

    So things are moving and time for an update. I have had a few conversations with the Broker, who while acting as the typical hyperactive ‘estate agent’ character is also reasonable and helpful and not to pushing. He has done a great deal in a short amount of time and things are looking positive. First of all the fact the current owners are getting on in their years and no longer able to manage the boat, and indeed may have to give up boating altogether and not just downsize. This is as good as it gets so far as I am concerned since it was only owned by one couple and they have likely had a number of different boats over the years and this was their big ticket – custom built to their design and taste (which thankfully is neutral and not garish). The fewer people have owned a boat the less ‘tinkering’ goes on and if works have been done and it has been done by a professional it adds to the appeal so far a I am concerned. It has been on the market sometime – April 2016 and had a major price reduction this June. There is a healthy market for these types of boats, but generally people prefer the smaller engine options for increased range and economy – this having the largest engine option is perhaps therefore more niche. I have had it confirmed that the engines have had main agent CAT service history will all relevant paperwork and invoices. Works were carried our annually with anything that was flagged up being attended to. Furthermore, every year between October and April the boat was take out the water for a full underwater check up and kept on the hard over the winter period (nice). I also guess their mooring Contract runs from April to April, and that the yearly out of water time is included in theri mooring. It would be nice if such could be transferred to me, so that I am then in no rush and paying storage fees. The boat had a full survey completed in 2015. I am pleased to say that there is a pretty clean bill of health. I know that things can deteriorate but I am confident that matters should not have become suddenly shockingly bad in two years. The hull had a ‘professional’ mutli coat of Copper Coat anitfoul – but this perhaps was not done as well as could, since throughout the underside of the hull there are small 2mm-4mm blisters. Upon removing many of these it was found to be dry and where the Coppercoat was applied trapping air between the surface of the hull and the Coppercoat. There however were found to be a small number of blisters on the starboard chine at the waterline of an Osmotic nature – being between 4mm-6mm in diameter and when checked did contain liquid. Their number is small, location limited and to be expected with this age of boat. Sixty moisture readings over the hull were taken using a Tramez Moisture Meter varied on a scale of 0-100 to between 5 and 20. It was considered to be in the low range and therefore satisfactory. All sea cocks were tested and found to be free and working, the rudders are stainless steel and in good order along with the props (3 blade 37”) the cutlass bearings where possible to inspect were in good order and no play was found in the shaft, props or rudders. It was noted the hull above waterline is in a good and well maintained and presented conditions especially considering the boats age. Internally the stringers and where inspection was possible bulkheads and were found to be in a good condition. The recommendations where only 3 items in length: It is considered beneficial and good practice to remove the vessel from the water for as long as possible during the winter months in order to allow the underside to dry The condition of the osmotic blistering should be monitored for evidence of any further deterioration. The ongoing maintenance programme should continue. So two of the recommendations are the usual given whenever any sign of Osmosis are found – and since most boats have this I can’t say this report shows anything too bothersome. It certainly does not provide anything that is needed to be carried out and a reduction in price sought on the basis of the boats structure. So where can I get some wiggle room as to price? Well, firstly it’s been on the market for over 17 months, the sellers in this time have used the boat for 20hrs since the engine hours were taken when the boat first came to market. They are older, can’t use the boat and frankly may like to just get this boat of their hands and concentrate on retirement. The engine hours for year are a little higher than I might have liked (1,800hrs) others of similar vintage have between 860hrs and 1250hrs furthermore on the expectation of being sold, they skipped the 2017 service which is now 4 months overdue - it would be nice to have CAT do another prior to me taking the boat away to Norfolk. What I propose to do is take a risk on my part but have large carrot for the seller. I am going to do is go view the boat and I am sure I will be happy – then go in with a low initial offer, not subject to a further survey, and the cash can be in the Brokers account that day. It’s taken off their hands nice and smooth and I hopefully make a good saving on the already low asking price to spend out for some cosmetic works and upgrading of the electronics (already spoken to Broker and he is clearly also keen on this score as it is their yard who would get to do the works). I’ll update more when things begin to move – possibly in the next 10-14 days.
  13. Fuel Tank Recomendations

    Just an idea - have you considered using Tek-Tanks: http://www.tek-tanks.com/boattanks/standard-boat-tanks/standard-fuel-tanks/ I am not sure as to cost, but lighter and just as resistant to deterioration as Stainless and custom made with internal baffles. Being Polyethylene their thermal properties are different so reducing condensation internally. You can also then have super accurate ultrasonic level instruments fitted.
  14. Day Boats In London

    Looks good and local for me, something to consider :)
  15. Changes On Diesel Boats?

    I know things have been hard for high end boat builders in recent years but what seems to happen is any advances in technology so far as engines, efficiency or new thinking does not come from the boat builders. I wonder what may be if an 'outsider' came to the industry with an 'Apple' type vision whereby the boat builder create it all from the engine, to the interior, to the heating etc etc. Let's face it Elon Musk is doing so much and creating change because he brings some excitement and 'distribution' to things and after all it is not his money at risk but investors can't seem to stop funding his ideas. I guess you could say it has even made governments change their views whereby Tesla seems the shining example all others should follow and sweep aside the issues such as the massive impact all these batteries will have on the environment. If there is a range of new large engines in Volvo’s line up this is not because of the marine division suddenly investing in huge R&D on new engines, but further up the supply chain as their plant and lorry engines have had to ‘clean up’ and become more efficient. The fact is, while there are a lot of boats out there in the worlds Marina’s they do an awful lot of going nowhere so collectively their emissions surly would not account for much. What bothers boat owners more than the gases coming out their exhaust is fuel economy. If there was a viable way to reduce this – perhaps though a part electric/diesel drive it would go down a boon – you could have an awful lot of power stored in large format Lithium cells in a boat, and think about this what Marina does not have electric hook up? So perhaps there is room for innovation in this area whereby the average 35ft sports cruiser that sleeps 4 could have a large electric motor to drive the propellers linked to a smaller diesel engine/generator. I say smaller, it would still have to be a few hundred horsepower but it would not have to run constantly and for short fast hops would it be needed at all? If you could get something to do the magic 30Knts that seem to sell faster boats, have a range of say 60 Nm on electric alone would people mind? They could increase range with the engine running, but the point would be for the average short hop the recreational boater does they could arrive at a visitor berth in the Marina they have travelled to, plug in and re-charge their batteries. The real issue is the sheer cost of making this happen, compared to the tried and tested duel ending set up we are all so used to. The only space that is innovating is the outboard motor sector where even larger ‘engines’ are going electric. I think the larger worrying problem is when you have Governments set on making Diesels these horrible, planet destroying machines and setting us on a path to their demise by a set date, it does beg the question what about boats? Imagine if you reach 2040 and it has been an overwhelming success and there are more electric vehicles on the road, more small effect little petrol buzz boxes and the Government says that this should now extend to recreational boats – and by say 2060 only large commercial craft could have Diesel engines and all others either change, scrap or don’t use. I know it sounds farfetched, but I don’t think many would have guessed that a government would be planning to ban diesel cars from cities 30 years ago so you can never say never.

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