When I first mentioned to my Dad that I was thinking of buying a boat to live on, I think he feared for me.
Maybe he had visions of me in an old, but charming vessel, bailing out through the night in my wellies and pyjamas …( it could have been the case! )
And then, once having decided to have a boat built especially for me, to my own spec, I sat down with my parents one hot July afternoon this summer and opened the brochure that Keith ( boatbuilder ) and Ossie ( Marine owner ) had given me.
‘ What engine does she have on board? ‘ My Dad asked me.
‘ She doesn’t know the detail of that kind of thing, Chris!’ Said my kind Mum, who knows me well.
It was sadly true, and as I handed the brochure over to my engrossed father- who is after all, a Marine Engineer and Shipwright and DOES know the detail- I resolved to rectify that.
So this second blog on The Birth Of ANU, is going to be slightly more technical, though I hope no less fun.
After my decision had been made, I sat down with Keith again, and this time, he had just returned from overseeing the start of my build in Great Yarmouth.
I must thank him again, as I know this involved a very long day which began at 5am, and those of you who know me, know I’m not really an early morning person ( it’s the creative, yer see.)
I had asked him to send me a few photos of the hull and how she was beginning to shape up ( see pics )
And I also asked for some info on Anu’s construction, engine and all those vital parts that my father ( and some others, mainly chaps, sorry ladies if I’m being a little sexist, I’m sure there are many of you who may well be engine- inclined! ) had been so interested in.
So here is some of that info- abridged as I see fit, since this is not a manual for a boat – building enthusiast, and I hate manuals anyway – never knowingly read one!
Worry not, readers of the fairer sex, or those not particularly fascinated by engines, I shall return swiftly to the real necessities of life afloat, such as a Cocktail cabinet, space for my little black dresses and three types of Gin.
My boat – Anu- is a Widebeam Barge. She will measure 57′ by 11′ and she will be a luxury one berth boat with all mod cons and built to a very high quality.
The name of the company building her is Alicat, which as I mentioned in my first blog, is project managed and overseen by Cameron Stewart, who also happened to go to school with my daughter Molly.
Keith Bullard is the boatbuilder who designs and ‘ steers’ the whole thing ( pardon the pun) and he has now built 40 boats to similar specs…Anu will be his 41st- a good number!
At the moment, this is all happening in Great Yarmouth, but ANU will be floated down nearer to where I will be moored quite soon.
I chose Shannon Green and Cream for her paintwork, as those are traditional Irish colours and she has an ‘ Irish theme,’ with the Harp logo and Celtic knot design that I chose for her exterior.
Please forgive me, Keith, if I get any of this incorrect, I am still learning and I think always will be, but as I understand it, Anu will have a steel hull, and her engine is a 60 horsepower Canaline, which is a Japanese Marinised engine and the best of its type.
There, that was sexy wasn’t it?!
Canaline engines are very robust and easy to maintain, which is exactly what we want for this sort of vessel , which- after all-will be a home, as well as a boat I will learn to drive and sail.
She will have a fully fitted luxury kitchen, complete with aforementioned wine fridge ( very important ) a Swan Hatch…for saying friendly ‘hellos’ to passing wildlife whilst making your morning Cuppa …and a large breakfast bar / table in stainless steel and glass for feeding the troops – a job I relish and thoroughly enjoy, for I dearly love to have friends and family round my table.
Anu will have a beautiful bathroom on board, complete with shower AND bath, thanks to Keith’s design skill. As I mentioned in the first blog, I dance most days and play a lot of sport, so I do love to come home and get in a nice hot bath with a glass of fizz or something stronger!
I must remember to ask Keith about my on-board music system, as that is another thing in life that I cannot live without, and I often like to partake of a little Michael Buble whilst in the tub ( Molly calls this a ‘ Buble Bath’).
Anu will also have a large main Saloon, complete with a wood burner for extra toastiness, as well as being fully centrally heated- cosy.
The bedroom will be fully fitted with extra wardrobe and shoe space ( thank you Keith ) for the little black dresses and their friends, and there will be a Japanese screen at the foot of the bed, for privacy from passing ducks and to give that rather ‘ James Bond in ‘ You Only Live Twice’ effect.
In fact, for future reference, and if in any doubt Keith, just imagine you are designing and building a boat for Bond, as I have always wanted to be the female equivalent- (except I don’t like pain, so would give in under torture) and am completely obsessed, owning the entire box set…for those rainy nights in front of the log burner.
To conclude the spec ( for now ) outside on the bow, there will be fitted seating for summer drinking, and a little ladder built in, for ease of climbing up onto the roof to enjoy the stunning views that Mother Nature always provides…and a handrail, collapsible for going under low bridges, on the roof itself, to assist with wobbles as you hold onto your Martini ( shaken, not stirred, one olive and a twist for me ).
The stern will have a full, barge – style canopy fitted over it, so that we don’t get wet when pulling off our wellies or damp sports gear and to keep us cosy and act as a sort of porch in the more inclement weather.
So there we are, I think that will suffice for now. Something for everyone, I hope.
During the writing of this blog, I actually had to ring Keith to check I’d got the type of engine right ( I hadn’t ) so I’ve got a lot to learn, I’ve not even scraped the surface yet, the tip of the iceberg, to use yet another boating term…of which there are many.
Perhaps Santa might bring me a book on ‘ Boating for Beginners ‘ in my stocking this year…
And on that note, I’m off to the kitchen that I currently inhabit, here on The Island, to mix this evening’s cocktails…just call me Bond- Amanda Bond.
Down the hatch.
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