Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Monday, 25 July 2011


Events that I have been aware of for months now have come to the knowledge of the general public this evening. A decent and respectable family, who are visitors to our country, and had enjoyed many a canal hire boat holiday in previous years, had decided, after their retirement to enjoy our canal system in their own boat. They did all their research, took the advice of others who had experience, and eventually ordered their narrowboat to be built to the highest specifications. What they didn't bargain for was meeting what, in my opinion, must be the most despicable behaviour from a "company", (and I use that term loosely), that is (still) operating within our marine industry.

After ordering their boat from Ben Harp Narrowboats, Tom and Jan, who write the blog, NB Waiouru, found that all their careful research came to nothing in the end, when things went very wrong. What they came up against was behaviour that can only be described as criminal. In my own page "Pre-Purchase Information" on this site, I have outlined from day one the need to take all reasonable precautions when giving your hard earned cash to a boat build or purchase. This case brings home the absolute need to follow my advice. Please, all readers who may be considering buying their first boat, take notice of Tom and Jan's story. You can read their blog here:

After many months of legal wrangling and weeks of court hearings Tom finally took possession of his own boat today. This is how he got it back......

View the rest of Tom's album of horror photographs here: NB Waiouru

Tom, we wish you the very best in the successful future completion of your boat, and hope that you can now join us in the very near future cruising our beautiful canal system. We also hope you have the foresight to recognize that not all "Brits" are "tarred with this brush." I take my hat off to you both - you have conducted yourselves magnificently throughout this mess.

Friday, 22 July 2011

The RHS show Tatton Park 2011

One of the highlights of this weekend was to be a visit to the Royal Horticultural Society Tatton Park Show, which we did today. There is nothing that can describe this event better than photographs, so here they are....

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A new interest to keep me occupied!

We haven't visited the boat for the last two weeks, the first was due to me being right in the middle of my hay fever season, and the second was that our daughter, who is currently working in India, had been called back to her company HQ in London for a month, so she took the opportunity to visit us at home for the weekend. I have been on an economy drive though. Part of that, I am sure will be of interest to some who have similar interests in narrowboats, and that is of quality engineering, the kind that you simply don't get any more, in the form of a 20 year old Mercedes Benz 190e...........

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Yet another plumbing leak!

So far this year, amongst other problems such as flaking paint after the winter, and faulty lcd hour meter displays, also after the winter, we have had more than our share of leaks in the plumbing system. I meticulously drain the water system before the winter lay up, so I can't blame the problems on freezing. The first ones I noticed, early on, were identified as loose joints in the HEP 20 fresh water system piping joints. The problem showed up when the water pump started to run, for only a few seconds, every couple of hours, indicating that there had been a drop in pressure. The leaking joints were found under the bathroom floor, and had damp patches under them. I dismantled each joint, checked the components, and re-tightened them, and the floor around them dried up. Then of course we had the leaking Alde central heating boiler, which turned out to be a major job. Last weekend, the water pump started to operate for a few seconds every couple of hours once more. Not again!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

At last! We have a boat again.

Last Thursday we received a call from Nantwich Canal Centre to confirm the boat was ready for collection after its minor refit. We arrived there Friday morning, and were met by Clinton, the company operations director, who arranged for someone to attend at the boat with us, first to approve the job, and second to be shown how all the new equipment operates. I really can't fault this company (other than perhaps the long wait for our initial appointment, due to them being so busy).