Friday, 28 May 2010

North Star returns

At last, North Star is back with us. After six months, the boat is ready for us again. The first few months she was at Calcutt Boats where a lot of electrical and engine work was completed, then Phill Abbott and Wharf House Narrowboats took her to pieces to create a 6 berth boat.

What started as modification has become a complete refit: only the engine room remains untouched by Phill. The cross-bed has become a lengthways bed with fitted wardrobes. The bathroom with a cross-bath and lousy shower and a Thetford is now a smaller, neater affair with a shower cabin and a proper toilet and pump-out system. The massive, largely unused, kitchen is now shorter, fresher and there is now a dinette/double berth. The old stove has been replaced by a smaller one and up front are two single berths doubling up as bench sofas. Three new windows replace two small portholes to add light at the front end.

I am a little sad at the loss of the portholes. Although of doubtful historical validity, I love the tug look and even now I look lovingly at tugs moored up (and there's one advertised on ABNB this week).

After arriving at Braunston, T and I head for the Admiral Nelson for dinner. I feel I should like this place more as it has such a history but I always feel there's not enough range of ales and the food is good - but nothing special. I like it, but want to like it more.

The mattress has not been delivered so we have to both use the single berths up front.

It's good to be back.


  1. Mark, talking of tugboats, do you know of this one? It belongs to a friend of ours:
    Apparently it's quite well known!

    And here's some photos of the engine:

    Your boat sounds like it's been transformed to your liking. It's a great feeling when it all turns out right & how you want it to look, took us months to do ours while living aboard but was well worth the effort. I'm good with design, Dave's good with all the difficult stuff, so it works out quite well lol.

    PS: I'm a regular reader of your blog, why no photo's?


  2. PS: We only re-fitted the bathroom & bedroom after completely gutting them. The kitchen & saloon are lovely anyway. The boat is only 3 years old - so far we've spent 15 grand on it - tech spec upgrade, bow thruster fitted back cabin conversion, Victron 3000 inverter & 6 new sealed for life leisure batteries, it's like a new boat!! And people who visit for the first time are overwhelmed with the standard, so it makes all the effort wothwhile, our boat's gone from being "nice" to uniquely outstanding. I'm not one to boast, but can't disagree with folks when they're in awe..
    I've put all before & after photos on my blog inc all the other jobs that suddenly appear when you start on one - which escalates into about 20 others lol


  3. Hi Heth,

    No photos because I am too lazy to post them. I have been incredibly busy at work for some months and have had less time to write, let alone put photos together.

    Phill Abbott and his team has done a wonderful job. What started as a refurbishment has completely changed every inch of the boat. There's still a lot to do though.

  4. There always is lol, good luck...