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Old 05-12-2010, 15:21   #91
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T^his thread is suffering a serious case of "mission creep" Bloody hell, Thames, give us another page or so, and we'll have you pushed towards no less than a 36' aft cabin!
You ever notice a discussion of liveaboard boats never sees anyone urge to someone to go SMALLER?
In my experience, one can live aboard a 23' boat...providing it is the RIGHT boat, and the RIGHT person. Now, when you add a second person and a dog (or two) into the mix the parameters change, sometimes drastically. I still urge you to set aside your shallow draft/beachability requirement- there are lots of seaworthy designs out there with shallow drafts, but i don't think you are going to be scampering up the banks south of Oxford and gleefully pushing off 3-10 TONS of displacement....
Unless you are much more robust than the average Uni student. Really robust, not David Beckham/ Jason Statham robust, definitely not Hugh Grant robust, not Dyaln Winter robust, but The Stig robust.
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Old 05-12-2010, 15:40   #92
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So old Westerly, Hurley etc is it easy to insulate these boats? And is GRP as easy to modify as wood (cold-molded)?

What about fitting a shower? Those of you who've spent weeks aboard a small cruiser, do you just wash, or go ashore or just jump in the sea? In the winter?
This page should tell you all you need to know about insulating your boat... its a pretty good little site actually...
The Frugal Mariner: Insulating your boat
As to modification say moving bulkheads etc.. it can be done just check for load bearers like under the mast (Deckstepped)... there you'd have to put something to compensate like a timber or metal post... the owner of one of my old boats had used scaffold pole with a connecter in the middle for fine adjustment.. plates each end of course..
As for showers etc.. in the sunshine a solar shower is good...
The Virgo and any other boat with an inboard engine will have hot water.. or should.. space inside to do its another matter
What I'd do when I was working in the UK was on my way back to the boat I'd stop of at the local Swimming Baths and pay for a shower there.. not that much different than marina's really.. that was on the hook.. winters I went into the marina.. cheaper berths coz everyone lifts out... and I appreciate the electric
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Old 05-12-2010, 16:34   #93
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That Virgo Voyager is a sweet-looking boat.
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Old 05-12-2010, 17:01   #94
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(one female?? - don't marry her, nor name her on your life insurance )
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This thread is suffering a serious case of "mission creep" Bloody hell, Thames, give us another page or so, and we'll have you pushed towards no less than a 36' aft cabin!
I'm sorry if this is confusing - I want to live on the boat permanently but I'm not expecting my girlfriend to crave the same! There's no way can I afford the cost and maintenance of a boat that makes a woman feel comfortable (if that even exists). She can just visit now and then

Gotta wonder how Shane Acton and Sven Yrvind did it! I remember reading that Yrvind didn't have a bath until he got down to the tropics! He had enough girls on board though...

So I'm looking for the smallest possible boat to keep maintenance, river licences and mooring cheap. I just need to keep myself clean, warm, dry and to cook without having to rely on a home mooring or marina, or paying expensive one-day passes for fitness clubs. I suppose in the Summer, the upper Thames is clean and there's environmentally friendly soap
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Old 05-12-2010, 17:19   #95
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So old Westerly, Hurley etc is it easy to insulate these boats? And is GRP as easy to modify as wood (cold-molded)? What about fitting a shower? Those of you who've spent weeks aboard a small cruiser, do you just wash, or go ashore or just jump in the sea? In the winter?
I suspect what you, the bride and the dog are really after is a houseboat, or a canal boat I think they're called over there. They are set up to liveaboard - showers, heaters, headroom etc - and will always have good resale value. Even if you get a cheapie, addition of those home comforts will probably add value, and you can make your renovations without having to consider issues of naval architecture which, no offence, you don't seem to be up to yet. That is to say, you can't just start making structural modifications to a vessel to suit your living needs and expect it to behave in a seaworthy manner at sea. In small boats especially, the choice is stark: you get a safe passagemaker (like a small Van de Stadt or Maurice Griffiths) or you get a comfortable loungeroom with a stick on top. Go bigger and you can get both but, given your apparent needs, I think a houseboat is the go in the first instance; it will give you the space and time needed to consider your next move in comfort.
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Old 05-12-2010, 18:45   #96
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I'm sorry if this is confusing - I want to live on the boat permanently but I'm not expecting my girlfriend to crave the same! There's no way can I afford the cost and maintenance of a boat that makes a woman feel comfortable (if that even exists). She can just visit now and then
Dude, with all due respect, are you and Jobi the same person?
If not, then the world is a biggest tardfest than I ever suspected. I'lll say the same thing to you that I said to him: Thames, look at your girlfriend. Now, look at your hand. NOW, look at your girlfriend. NOW, look at your hand. Who would you rather spend Friday night with?

I am STILL on a horse.
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Old 05-12-2010, 19:18   #97
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My girlfriend, of course. But if that means working for another two years to save up for a big comfy boat, followed by an expensive life and a heck of a lot of maintenance...maybe my hand will do just fine
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Old 05-12-2010, 22:12   #98
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Dude, with all due respect, are you and Jobi the same person?
If not, then the world is a biggest tardfest than I ever suspected. I'lll say the same thing to you that I said to him: Thames, look at your girlfriend. Now, look at your hand. NOW, look at your girlfriend. NOW, look at your hand. Who would you rather spend Friday night with?

I am STILL on a horse.
; )
bahahahahahaha
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:26   #99
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T^his thread is suffering a serious case of "mission creep" Bloody hell, Thames, give us another page or so, and we'll have you pushed towards no less than a 36' aft cabin!
You ever notice a discussion of liveaboard boats never sees anyone urge to someone to go SMALLER?
Back to plan A me thinks, small 22 foot yacht for cosy weekends away with the GF sailing around the Thames estuary and occasional trips up the river to store safely away over winter. Good location just down stream of Letchlade, large caravan site with lots of moorings in a couple of side streams with moorings too. Used to launch by pushing the 5.5m rib over the edge of the river bank and put it back on the trailer by driving it up the muddy bank too.

However, live ashore in the UK during the winters as a run down flat will be so much more comfortable and dry compared to a small yacht particularly with GF.

The alternative is canal boat for both of you, which is an excellent idea, not cheap but worth considering.

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Old 06-12-2010, 19:45   #100
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What's the biggest boat you've seen propelled by one man?

Thanks for the tips, especially about moorings near Letchlade. Unfortunately I can't afford to haul a boat in the winter and rent a place ashore. I expect to live on my first boat all year round, quite alone, so it can be as small and cheap and rustic as I can handle.

Slightly off topic, but I'm looking at alternative means of propulsion. Has anybody ever seen a human powered houseboat or yacht? The canals and (most of the time) the Thames are so still or slow flowing. In some countries there are massive boats that are punted/poled and rowed along in places like Kerala (in India) and Bangladesh:




Perhaps I could use sails out at sea or when the wind's up and my own muscle when it's calm. Then maybe a backup electric motor for brief sprints, emergencies in strong currents etc. Of course a larger boat powered by a human will be relatively very slow, but I don't care for speed. What's the biggest boat you've seen propelled by one man?
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Old 06-12-2010, 21:40   #101
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Of course a larger boat powered by a human will be relatively very slow, but I don't care for speed. What's the biggest boat you've seen propelled by one man?
I'll bat first on this one. I've propelled 16 tons (my ferro) on my own in the anchorage and could do so I reckon down a slow river in quiet conditions. All you need is a dinghy and a set of oars. It takes a little effort to get things moving but, once it has some inertia, it's just a matter of pointing it in the right direction. But 16 tons is something I wouldn't want to do again. Anything up to about 6 tons is a breeze; do it all the time. The system would work just fine for a canal boat.
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Old 06-12-2010, 23:53   #102
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Hello Thames
My friend had a twenty odd foot boat that he used long sweeps to move around.
Another option would be to rig a single sculling oar like the sampans in Hong Kong use. A little old 90 pound woman there gives people tours around the harbour in a fairly heavy teak boat. The best solution will depend upon the boat. Different cockpit shapes and transoms will require different solutions.
The electric option will work well as an outboard. You can charge a battery ashore or with a solar panel and easily move the boat a reasonable distance if the hull is light and easily driven - which is what you seem to want.
I understand your impatience to get aboard and you are certainly young enough to handle the challenges and seem to understand that it will not be a picnic during the winter. I also understand from what you have written that you cannot anchor in the Thames for free and that the length of your boat determines the fees hence your wish to keep the length down.
If I was in your position I would look for as well insulated and roomy a little bilge keeler as I could afford - that either already has a wood stove or a diesel heater that I could remove and replace with a wood stove - providing that wood is readily available and will not end up costing you as much or more than the diesel will.
One other consideration is that if you will be working and away from the boat for 8 to 10 hours per day - the fire will go out and let things freeze and break.
Of course if you have no water tanks or plumbing and carry each days water with you during cold snaps that will not be a consideration.
Since at the end of your two years of being Thames bound, you can always sell your little boat to someone else with the same dream and, with the money you have saved during the two years you can then buy a boat more suitable in which to sail to South America or anywhere else in the world that you wish to go to.
When we sailed into Hawaii we met a couple that had sailed from South America to Hawaii in a little boat. It had taken them two months and the biggest complaint they had other than the slowness was that they could not stand to cook - they had to kneel! She was some tired of that trip!
I understand that you do not expect your girl to live with you but would she like to go sailing offshore with you later? If yes then you will need a boat capable of carrying enough water and food for two for the longest possible time necessary to get you where you are heading - even if you get dis-masted or suffer some other trip prolonging calamity. Even a reasonable first aid kit for offshore sailing takes up more room than you would expect.
Hope this helps
Fred
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Old 08-12-2010, 17:40   #103
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If not, then the world is a biggest tardfest than I ever suspected. I'lll say the same thing to you that I said to him: Thames, look at your girlfriend. Now, look at your hand. NOW, look at your girlfriend. NOW, look at your hand. Who would you rather spend Friday night with?

I am STILL on a horse.

Well done
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Old 08-12-2010, 23:34   #104
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Lightbulb Plan B

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Since at the end of your two years of being Thames bound, you can always sell your little boat to someone else with the same dream and, with the money you have saved during the two years you can then buy a boat more suitable in which to sail to South America or anywhere else in the world that you wish to go to.
I agree - there's too much for me to learn to build a sea-worthy yacht right now, it's overwhelming! I think I should cut right back to what I need now: a vessel that keeps me warm and dry and floats on a quiet river. If I can successfully build that now, perhaps I can build a sea-worthy boat later.

Thank you, I'm very encouraged to hear about these big heavy boats propelled by hand.

So here's a new plan - a human powered houseboat! Small with sitting headroom - the fun challenge is to strike the balance between having adequate living space and amenities, while keeping the weight down and the hull streamlined. I'm thinking strip-planked for simplicity and sheer beauty. Options for sculling, rowing, punting/poling.

Another option, if I can build a prop-shaft then I can also include pedal-propeller-drive, and an electric emergency motor to get me out of trouble. Did you know that along the upper Thames there are weatherproof mains electric charging points for electric boats?

I can slowly add creature comforts when I've time, like a water tank, wind generator etc one day maybe even fit a small un-stayed collapsible mast and leeboards. It would be fun to see if I can poke my way round to the Norfolk Broads.

Then I'd be well on my way to building the boat of my dreams Of course that will be another boat but I will be more experienced.

I realise it will be slow and this is not everybody's cup of tea. But a major attraction for me to liveaboard is to be environmentally friendly and to get to places under my own steam.

What do you think?
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:20   #105
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What do you think?
Drink less?

If you are looking for cheap and (fairly) easy to build.........I'd go for a pontoon boat. and put a caravan on top or a tent or a Yurt Want more space? - build a butty, and tow it

But whatever boat, for cheap / easy power won't be able to beat a small outboard (won't need a lot on the river) - but experimenting with a scull would probably be the best human power. and simplest to engineer. Or buy a horse.

If you get a Seagull Outboard could use it to keep warm in Winter simply by trying to start it ........
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