Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Story So Far!

Captain Hastings The Beginning of Our Adventure

Captain Hastings is a 58ft Dutch Barge style Narrow Boat.  We have owned the boat for a number of years and from April 2016 we will be taking it on a real adventure where we will be boating all the way to Llangollen in north Wales and right down past Oxford.  This trip will take us around seven months and this blog is all about the trials and tribulations of our trip.
Hopefully you will enjoy reading our blog and check up on a daily/weekly basis to see how we are progressing.
We have had a boat on and off for nearly 20 years.  Our first boat was a river cruiser which was called Aquilla, this was great fun but lacked some of the basic things you need on a modern boat, not least a shower!  We then purchased a newish small 26ft steel narrow boat which was a real step up from Aquilla.  We named this boat Miss Marple as we liked some of the characters from Agatha Christie novels.  On this boat we spent quite a few years exploring the canals and on these occasions Emily our daughter also joined us, often accompanied by a friend.  We travelled mostly along the Grand Union canal and even ventured down to Stratford upon Avon and so on. As time moved on we continued to sell and buy other narrow boats which we held onto for two or three years - Chandler Bing (a traditional style NB), Mehitabel (Cruiser Style NB) and finally our current and last ever boat - Captain Hastings which when commissioned to be built cost over £127,000 and was styled with a Dutch barge in mind.  This results in the boat having more living space and the sides straighter giving more width and height room - but still no more than 6ft 7 inches!
Captain Hastings is a stunning boat with all of the mod cons you would expect of a modern boat; It has a high spec electrical control system, which means we run AC electric at all times, just like home.  This means we have a household Bosch Fridge, Bosch Freezer, Miele Washing Machine, power shower and a new Range/AGA cooker which also runs all of the central heating in the boat.  All of the power needed is generated from the engine or the Solar Panels or the 2.6KW generator, which to date has never been required.  At the moment the boat has only done 643 engine hours (April 2016) - this is like a new car having around 2000 miles on the clock!
On board she is a little quirky, as you would expect from a 'Biddle' boat, there are lime green granite kitchen work surfaces and grey shiny cupboards and drawers.  On the boat the side panelling throughout changes for each living space.  Light wood in the saloon area, which consists of a table for 4 (converts into a double bed) and two comfy arm chairs. Silver light blue panelling in the Galley (kitchen) and bathroom – which has a double sized power shower and flushing toilet (no messing around in the ‘sh*t department for us!).  The bedroom is in darker wood and is styled around what you would expect staying on an old fashioned cruise liner!  Like I said – quirky!!  We have all the usual luxuries also, flat screen Smart TV’s, Broadband, digital radio and Bose music system.

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