Page updated: 22 January 2021
Back in 2001-2002 I did experiment with a share in a narrowboat. Unlike the sales pitch for such schemes, it felt much more like being an investor in someone else's hire boat than owning your own. On Easter Day 2004 I bought "Imagination", SeaHawk #267. Owning 100% of your own boat feels rather different.
See also the Broads section which includes exploits in my father's SeaHawk during the 1970s.
I refuse to bid in an eBay auction, but buy the boat afterwards when it goes unsold.
Trying to launch a boat for the first time causes problems. The second attempt goes OK!
Brother Mike and I make an attempt on the Three Rivers Race - a 24 hour marathon.
I manage to reach the head of navigation on this most northern tributary of the River Thurne.
I find a fellow SeaHawk owner from Scotland to make my second attempt on the Three Rivers Race.
For my third attempt at the race I finally find a Norfolk-based boat builder to act as crew.
I cruise to Barton Broad to meet Bryn Weightman and try out his Tideway Dinghy. Back in the 1950s he used to skipper a working Thames Sailing Barge.
Imagination is brought home. A strip down is executed before she is moved to a local boatyard.
The plan is to rub her back to the original gel coat, before a full repaint with two-pack paint is executed.
Having moved Imagination to the boatyard a break is taken over December and January.
It's still chilly and the process of stripping the old paint off Imagination for her repaint begins. It's not straight forward! Interruptions, include a lack of hot water at home and sander breakdown.
Having completed sanding the port side of the hull by the end of February sanding continues with the starboard side.
Sander issues continue and on a couple of occasions I have to spend some time baling out the boat.
By the end of March both hull sides had been sanded down to the gel coat and the cockpit benches and cabin roof was done.
This month work starts on the foredeck.
This month sees the completion of sanding back the old paint to the gel coat.
It's not the end of the job however. There's lots of small holes and blemishes to fill and sand before painting can start.
After the completion of sanding last month it takes me another month to fill and sand all the little nicks and blemishes in the gel coat.
July will see her in the paint shop!
I begin to consider part of the refit as the repaint begins. Should I have a wooden strake along the gunwales or rubber? The need for a repair to the bottom half of cabin door is discovered.
And nothing much seems to happen while we are away in Germany!
In spite of appearing nearly done at the end of July, it is the middle of the month before Just 17 comes home.
Now the refit can begin!