Up early to finish packing and loading the van. We had originally only planned on taking the essentials for cruising, but having a van meant we could take a bit more of everything. So with about a third of our possessions we drove up to Sheffield arriving at about 12.30 pm our final stage payment having beaten us to Finesse as planned.
On arriving the first thing was to let Tilly our cat out of her carrier. With a bathroom door closed either side of us I let her out of the carrier and put out some food and some litter. Naturally nervous of the situation Tilly was running around all over and somehow managed to squeeze herself under the door leading into the main cabin. Fortunately the stern doors were closed and I was able to pick her up. A large box was put in front of the gap to save any escapes whilst our belongings came on board.
Most of the jobs had been completed on board ready for our arrival. The TV aerial and hook up cable were on order and not due to arrive until Monday.We were also missing fire extinguishers. The Boat Safety Examiner had said we’d need three large ones due to our boiler being inside the cabin, on most boats the boiler is in the engine bay. Paul one of the carpenters came on board and we found positions for two of them. Both went in the nearest cupboard to the doors, out of sight, they will need a label on the outside of the door. The position of the fire blanket was chosen on the triangular shelves next to the cooker. Here it won’t be in your eye line, but is very handy for swift deployment. We will have to think about the third extinguisher as there is nowhere obvious for it.
On board we now have two 12volt 100AH AGM batteries these will be on loan until our second Lithium battery arrives which should be in a couple of weeks. The original battery has been taken off and will be given a full charge and brought to meet us with the new one. This will mean that both batteries start at the same level of charge as each other.
Our plan was to stay in the basin for the weekend and work our way through NB Oleanna finding any glitches so that we could compile a snagging list. So with hook up possible in the basin we needed a cable. Ricky headed off to pick one up for us locally, whilst we went to the winding hole to wind. I stayed below with Tilly trying to calm the situation as Mick pushed off down the cut. I heard a short blast of the bow thruster and then we were off. At the winding hole Mick turned her without using the girlie button and returned us to the boat yard.
Below I wasn’t aware that the bow thruster had actually stopped working as we pulled out, so Mick hadn’t the option to use it as he turned. After we’d moored up he tried pressing the buttons, but still nothing. Chris and Ricky came to have a look. Ricky first checked the isolation switch in the bowthruster locker, it was off. Turned on, problem solved, phew!
With a hook up cable now on board we could move off to the basin. Except Oleanna wouldn’t start! Ricky returned and started to eliminate causes, she had started every time up to now. Isolation switches were turned off then on, engine board lifted. A look in the electrics cupboard behind all the isolation switches and a bit of waggling of cables. One was loose, a check with a volt meter confirmed it needed re-terminating. Huge bolt cutters were brought in to chop the connector off the cable, then it was re-crimped back on, this time with a crimper that took both Ricky and Chris to operate. Everything back to how it should be the engine started. Switched off and then it wouldn’t start again! Another cable needed re-terminating too. These two cables had been done by the chap who fits the engines and it seems his crimper isn’t up to scratch.
With the engine started we cruised into the basin with me at the helm and Mick operating the swing bridge. Over the weekend we would be unpacking and make a snagging list, then return on Monday to have things sorted and pick up the TV aerial.
After almost five years we were finally cruising with our very own boat built to our spec, admittedly it wasn’t very far. A bottle of bubbly was opened in the evening once we’d found enough room to sit down amongst all our bags and Tilly decided that she should sit all neat and tidy in her new home.