Wednesday, October 06, 2010

There is an old saying used by yachtsman to describe their hobby which is that it's like standing under a cold shower tearing up ten pound notes.  Having a narrowboat is similar except that you don't have quite so many cold showers.  I've just been compiling a list of repairs, improvements and routine work that we have done for Herbie since we had her and it's quite revealing.  Here is the list for 2010 (so far)

Strip, treat and paint all exterior above gunwales
Make folding cratch table
Make new side hatch window
New domestic batteries
Reorganise battery cabling and modify battery box
Buy and fit Solar panel and make frame
Window blinds in galley to replace curtains
Replace engine governer screw broken when bleeding fuel (non trivial cost!)
Oil and filter changes
Boat Safety Inspection
New water pump

This year's bill looks like something over £2,000.  That is of course on top of mooring, licence and insurance fees, breakdown cover, and diesel costs too.  It would have been much much more had we not done our own paint job and had we not had kind friends to help us.  Also I have been more self sufficient in making tables and so on.

There is good news and bad news.  The bad news is that over the last five years the list of jobs is longer each year.  The good news is that as time goes on fewer of the jobs are repairs and more of them are general improvements, so we are spending less on rectifying things and more on making Herbie a better boat.

Maybe next year we might not have to spend so much, but I dare say something will crop up.

I would like to think that it all helps to maintain Herbie's resale value although I can't be sure.  I suppose it would make her easier to sell at any rate.

Another thought.  If we had spent another £10k on a boat when we bought one. Would we have eliminated many of the costs we have faced over the last five years?  Would it have been cheaper in the long run?


Andy Tidy said...

There are always improvements to be made no matter how much you pay at the outset! I bet you could pay £120k on a bespoke boat and still spend money correcting the things you wish you has specified at the outset.

Anonymous said...

There's always money to be spent - we've been in our house for about 18 years and there are still things on the to-do list that we made on the day we moved in!

As for Indigo Dream - well, Richard will tell you that for every job he takes off the top of the list he adds two at the bottom!

Sue, Indigo Dream