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LondonRascal

Your Ultimate Boat...Here is mine

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Does anyone else ever see a boat, and then think about what they could do to improve it – make it better in many ways if they had the chance? Or is this only me I wonder.

I know what is probably unique to me is what I think about making an average river boat reach new levels of comfort and versatility then research how it can be possible and work out how it can be achieved. 

I like the Aquafibre Loweliner 44's and had made plans for what I could do with one, but having hired White Champagne - an Aquafibre Ideal 45 – this has raised the bar to new levels and ideas for what could be achieved and while some dream of expensive sports cars and nice homes, I dream of making a boat become anything but mundane.  

I thought I'd share for a change some of what is in my mind and what I'd like to do if I happened to own the likes of White Champagne and had her sat on chocks and a big smile on my face...

Firstly remove the interior cabin by cabin starting at the bow.  This way things like cleats and deck fittings can easily be seen from the inside as to what state they are in and if any strengthening needs doing – clean and paint all internal fibre glass to give a tidy and clean surface to work with.  Fit insulation to cabin tops and sides, new down lighters would go in and new headlining too.  Instead of carpet or vinyl linings for cabin sides, Suede would be used – a lovely textured warm material to touch, luxurious and inviting to look at. Velvet would be used at certain points to provide further touches and added luxury feel.

Colour selectable accent lighting would be used in various places around trims and a single coloured line would run aft to bow through the boat recessed into the flooring. All lighting would be dimmable. The double berth would go, two singles would be come in their place creating more room and floor space.

Where the forward heads are located currently,  space would be created by their removal and a washer/dryer be installed along with a storage locker, opposite this where there are bunk beds currently these would go to make way for a dinette which can convert to an occasional berth if required and mean everyday eating can be done there without any folding table needed.

Stepping into the Saloon the seating area would go and an ‘L- shaped’ raised seating would be put in so you can sit and see out the windows at the same time.  Where the hob and oven is currently located, this would go and the space be used where a large TV can ‘pop out’ when needed but retract away when not – cupboards and drawers would add to the storage much of this would be free standing units but with their feet hidden with kick boards - this would keep labour costs for making such bespoke cabinetry less and mean every few years units be removed as styles change.

Fridge freezer would come, electric oven  and hob would do away with all gas an associated BSS headaches as to their installation and ventilation requirements. The boats flooring would be somewhere a bold statement can be made, so Leather would be used (yes it exists Google it) this would not only look very warming but also would be nice to walk over with bare feet.

Under the floor a new  150hp engine would be fitted coupled with variable speed bow and stern thrusters capable of 100% duty cycles thus giving her a new lease of life as far as power and handling goes – the boat hull is very substantial and removing the various above water line vents the hull seems peppered with would mean a cruise in the salty stuff be easily achievable. All the flooring would be mounted on mechanical rubber ‘plugs’ used in the building of recording studios to ‘disconnect’ it from vibrations caused from the engine, the engine area would be enclosed in fire retardant sound absorbing insulation boxes with forced air ventilation for the engine area both for heat removal and combustion air provision. Alternators would be of the water cooled variety so they would maintain their output even under heavy loads and high temperatures.  

Heating (and cooing) would be provided throughout the boat.  Heating would come in three systems - waste heat from the engine would be used to heat water which in turn would go thru matrix's in cabins with forced air ventilation to provide 'free' heat when underway.  A second diesel run water heating system would be used and this of course would also heat the domestic water and towel rail in the heads. In addition to these two systems a ducted air conditioning unit would be installed that can supply heat but also cool not only the air but also drinking water system in the summer.

I’d thought an air handling unit for this could be placed under the double berth in the aft cabin, but looking under the floor there is space for it to fit there - dry, warm or cold air to all cabins at the touch of a button. The condenser unit would be placed outside on a strengthened 'swim platform' in a louvered moulded GRP enclosure lined with thick sound absorbing marital along with the generator - this would supply power for the boat's electric hob and oven and other power hungry requirements such as the air conditioning.   Marine air conditioning units cost many thousands of pounds but still need a generator to power them, since the boat has the space a far cheaper more powerful commercial installation would be possible. The large cabin top after of the saloon would have solar panels to supplement the battery system.

New heavily tinted glazing for the boat would be used, with lighter tinting for the two forward windows where the helm is, commercial grade pantograph wipers and window demisting would also feature.

There would only be one heads, this would feature a vacuum flush toilet much like that on modern trains and airlines meaning less water is required for each flush - a large domestic shower and sink unit would be used.

Where there is currently cabin which features an over head single and covetable double this would go to make way for a 'snug' featuring a desk and computer, boat library with wall mounted book shelving and where all the systems could be monitored from or duplicated on screens from the helm. 

Finally the aft cabin would be made slightly larger and feature a double berth storage etc.

A comprehensive audio system, navigation and auto pilot would be installed - mooring would be achievable off the boat through remote control of the rudder, thrusters and engine. 16 channel CCTV would provide security along with aiding navigation and monitoring such things as the engine bay which would be fitted with smoke and heat detectors exhaust heat sensors etc.  Along with normal bilge pumps an electric 2" pump would be installed to cope with larger breaches of the boats hull.

The hull would be prepared and painted in a deep navy blue,  then a vinyl wrap be used over this in same navy blue so any cosmetic scuffing of the vinyl would not show the underlying white hull until a repair could be made. An LED strip lighting system would be installed just under the upper rubbing strake to wash light down around the hull when moored at night.

Various additional features to be added and chosen such as upholstery types and colours . The name? Perhaps Broads Commander would be a suitable but one thing would be sure nobody would be allowed to say the words "That is not going to be possible" now...I just need the time and money :)

 

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Yep Robin, I do that too. My most recent "refit" is on Brinks Admiral, a 48ft centre cockpit beastie. I've often wondered if there are any other 48 footers on the broads, preferably centre cockpit.

I also wonder if there is any wauy it could be modified to get under potter. ahhhhh such castles in the air!

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Well My ideal boat would be 60ft on the inside and 20ft on the outside!!

Sadly this impossible so to my Elysian 27CC, which is actually big enough for the two of us considering we live here.

Get rid of gas I don't like gas, (even though I worked at Bacton for a while)  you can't see it and it goes bang....  Done

I don't like noise, Remove Noisy smelly very unreliable, ancient diesel....  Done.

I understand electricity, Install a Electric Motor and battery pack.... In progress

Install a quiet pack generator....  In progress,

Install shore power, inverter, cabling.... parts ordered.

Install a quiet Heater that is possible to leave on all night while wild mooring.... One of these I think http://www.samphireseastoves.co.uk/

Replace all the leaking windows.... I now know what I'm going to do,

Finish rebuilding the forward Cabin.... The bunks had been replaced by chip board at some point!!! in progress

Finish rebuilding cockpit area.... I'm having to change the design I had thought of, because, A, it didn't work for us, and B, The Engine change.

When the above, is done, rebuild the aft cabin  I have discovered the kitchen area is built with laminate faced chipboard and so is definitely going, also since the gas has gone, It needs fitting out with Microwave, hot plate and kettle. Actually the kettle may come first...

 And Finally after all that is done an exterior removal of many layer of paint, repaint tidy up and fit a flag pole for the NBN flag.

 

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 I don't have much energy for anything these days, it's a real struggle, The above has been going on for 5 years and will probably take another 5 Years. Taking the engine out, fitting the electric motor and battery pack, I've had to commission a boat yard to do as I don't have the lifting gear and she's moored the wrong side of the river to move her with no engine.

Other work

Rebuilding my 18ft sailing boat that I built in the late 1990s, will be 16ft shortly.... weather permitting, it's under a tarpaulin.

Just about finished the exterior of a 54ft X 12ft shed (it's taken 5 years) for my model railway and SWMBOs art studio.

There is  1.5 acres of garden jungle

Finishing rebuilding the Mobile home (double unit) in the garden, (The stairs in the house are too steep for the elderly relatives when they visit). It was 3 bed room, with the living room facing North west, it's now 1 bedroom, with the living room facing south west. I've fitted reversible Air-conditioning so it heats and cools, (therefore you don't waste energy with an electric 3 bar heater fitted inside the a/c.) Work can only be done in the winter, as one year we had 20 weeks of family Visitors...

I definitely need to spend more time working on the house, I'm just about to commission tomorrow, having the chimney stacks rebuilt (there is a crack), I ain't going up there facing the North sea. (1/2 mile but windy!!)

 Oh and SWMBO is officially disabled and can't lift anything, stand for a long time or sit for a long time. She also has hand problems so can only paint on the good days and therefore has to work from photographs. although you wouldn't know that if you met her.

If I hadn't hurt my back ( it doesn't like the twisting, with legs facing across the boat, but upper body trying to face forward to see where I'm going),  I would be sailing every Sunday, the sailing boat above is being rebuilt so I can get back to sailing more often.

 and Also I have a full time Job, luckily no overtime, (except for tomorrow.)

 

..... What's a Holiday?

 

Edited by TheQ

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Robin, do you really need such a substantial engine? There are already too many over engined boats on the Broads offering work to numerous marine engineers! An engine does need to be worked thus I'd suggest that you go smaller.

Personally I'd have an aluminium built Wherry, complete with the comforts of home. 

Edited by JennyMorgan

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 I don't have much energy for anything these days, it's a real struggle, The above has been going on for 5 years and will probably take another 5 Years. Taking the engine out, fitting the electric motor and battery pack, I've had to commission a boat yard to do as I don't have the lifting gear and she's moored the wrong side of the river to move her with no engine.

Other work

Rebuilding my 18ft sailing boat that I built in the late 1990s, will be 16ft shortly.... weather permitting, it's under a tarpaulin.

Just about finished the exterior of a 54ft X 12ft shed (it's taken 5 years) for my model railway and SWMBOs art studio.

There is  1.5 acres of garden jungle

Finishing rebuilding the Mobile home (double unit) in the garden, (The stairs in the house are too steep for the elderly relatives when they visit). It was 3 bed room, with the living room facing North west, it's now 1 bedroom, with the living room facing south west. I've fitted reversible Air-conditioning so it heats and cools, (therefore you don't waste energy with an electric 3 bar heater fitted inside the a/c.) Work can only be done in the winter, as one year we had 20 weeks of family Visitors...

I definitely need to spend more time working on the house, I'm just about to commission tomorrow, having the chimney stacks rebuilt (there is a crack), I ain't going up there facing the North sea. (1/2 mile but windy!!)

 Oh and SWMBO is officially disabled and can't lift anything, stand for a long time or sit for a long time. She also has hand problems so can only paint on the good days and therefore has to work from photographs. although you wouldn't know that if you met her.

If I hadn't hurt my back ( it doesn't like the twisting, with legs facing across the boat, but upper body trying to face forward to see where I'm going),  I would be sailing every Sunday, the sailing boat above is being rebuilt so I can get back to sailing more often.

 and Also I have a full time Job, luckily no overtime, (except for tomorrow.)

 

..... What's a Holiday?

 

I'm exhausted just reading that..........................   :shocked

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Robin, do you really need such a substantial engine? There are already too many over engined boats on the Broads offering work to numerous marine engineers! An engine does need to be worked thus I'd suggest that you go smaller.

I thought that too, Peter, but I'm not sure if Robin didn't mean to power his thrusters from it as well?

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And while your spending all your millions what about fitting a fuel cell instead of the genny? Quieter and more eco friendly I am led to believe. May need a couple though to provide enough power for all those gadgets. Popular in Scandinavia.

Also, you might need to chat to a friendly BSS man - the methanol they run on may not be much safer than gas!!!!

http://www.efoy-comfort.com/benefits?gclid=CO6r47iM-8cCFUeZGwodFnQPnw

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Looking at some of the incidents this year there are a few boats that can now fit under Potter Bridge - You may get wet if it rains though!!

Why not have a 20ft tender you can release from the tender garage and use that for the upper reaches?

Come on, we are dreaming here, a bit more vision please?

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For me it's simple really, a 48ft Centre Cockpit with three en-suite cabins (one with sit down bath), small spare cabin (ok large) for shoe storage and most definitely a wine rack in the galley area. The big aft cabin (which would be mine) with island bed and patio doors leading onto a large deck for wine consumption and fishing. Would tow a flamping type boat to get under Potter and spend some nights on Hickling Broad. Not too much to ask is it lol? Ok, failing that any one of Ricko's Fleet will do :naughty:

Grace

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I thought that too, Peter, but I'm not sure if Robin didn't mean to power his thrusters from it as well?

I'm no engineer, John, so would bow thrusters be hydraulic, powered by take-offs on the main engine or simply be electrically powered? If it be hydraulic then to this simpleton the idea of installing power lifts for wheelchair bound visitors, or some form of shore access equipment,  is an interesting option. Hadn't crossed my mind that the engine would be used for more than just propulsion. Thinking on the hoof, so to speak, perhaps an auxiliary is another option meaning that the main engine could be run at optimum capacity.

Nice to dream, good to speculate, even better if Robin's dream could be sailed, at least off the wind. Something rather wonderful about wind power, a trip on a wherry can be a real eyeopener, the power of that big sail, the lack of engine noise and stench, it's all food for thought. Plus a replica wherry is not limited to the BA's 45 foot restriction. Imagine an aluminium built wherry, 65 foot long, be like a bungalow afloat!

Edited by JennyMorgan

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Do you remember "Doris".

Well a maintenance free. fully fitted replica of "Doris" (For those that don't know "Doris" is a great big, very old, wooden house boat that was once graced by royalty).

That wood do me nicely .... loads of room on top for teak sun loungers, table etc, Loads of room for dancin and maybe a piano.

I'd feel proper swanky poodlin aboat in that.

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I'd definitely want 2 double cabins with en-suites, proper size toilets (not those silly little ones) the biggest fresh and waste water tanks money can buy and 2 efficient fridges with a small freezer for the ice for G&Ts.

As short as possible so it can squeeze into smaller mooring spaces and maybe external airbags (that automatically re-pack at the flick of a switch) triggered by proximity devices for when I (or someone else) gets it wrong.

Defo a decent size engine or maybe 2 x 50hp and bow/stern thrusters with the joystick wireless control.

And a good idea as we become less mobile would be a pasarelle, but wide enough for Scoot or his big brother. 

Fully soundproofed in the cabins, but electric roof to allow lots of air in when it isn't raining.

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Three years ago I was pretty well 100% mobile, now I'm not. We just don't think that old age will come along and kick us up our nether regions. By the time Robin has saved up for his dream boat he might well need to seriously consider mobility and access solutions!

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Do you remember "Doris".

Well a maintenance free. fully fitted replica of "Doris" (For those that don't know "Doris" is a great big, very old, wooden house boat that was once graced by royalty).

That wood do me nicely .... loads of room on top for teak sun loungers, table etc, Loads of room for dancin and maybe a piano.

I'd feel proper swanky poodlin aboat in that.

Smellyloo, apparently, according to local legend, Doris was a 'royal knocking ship', Will you be maintaining the legend?

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Smellyloo, apparently, according to local legend, Doris was a 'royal knocking ship', Will you be maintaining the legend?

I believe tradition/legend should be maintained so in principle I would have no objection.

Like our new opposition leader I think I would desist from singing the national anthem whilst knocking the royalty tho!

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I hope you would manage to do your tie up though -  a little respect please sir!!

I like the idea of "Doris" being a "roll on roll off" sort of boat - now, now I am referring to the boarding issue here.

Now could you claim disability money (sorry no idea what it's called) towards a modified boat rather than a car or house? And what about disabled moorings - could be a floating pontoon with hydraulic width/height adjustment to hold her steady and make boarding easier? 

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a year or so ago my former boss approached me via social media asking for advice about boats. He had decided to spend his retirement cruisng the coastal and inland waterways of the UK, and perhaps parts of the continent and wanted suggestions on brokers, types of boat etc being something of a newbie to all but canal cruising.

Whilst being no expert I offered some opinions, although in truth the wishlist he had already drawn up was quite specifc and little additional input was needed. He ended up buying a Sessa Oyster 42 and I have to admit, that would be pretty much my ideal boat. It's a typical sports cruiser, large open aft cockpit which limits interior space somewhat but the layout is very clever and it does seem remarkably spacious. Of course, in the dream land that my ideal boat would inhabit the sun shines constantly, Potter Heigham bridge is 10 feet high and diesel is still £1 a gallon so the boats high air draft and incredibly thirsty twin 365hp diesels would be no problem, and that large aft cockpit would afford great space to show of my fabulously toned six pack in my extensive range of mankinis.

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