Picking up Floydtilla

We were all very excited as we set off from Somerset to go and pick up Floydtilla from the Black Prince base in Stoke Prior. We aimed to get there for around 11:30 am so the rush of the hire customers getting underway would mostly be over.

Inspection and payment

When we arrived at Stoke Prior we could see Floydtilla in her new bright paint work, and we parked up in the yard. We had had the roof painted yellow and in the bright sun it will probably need sunglasses while we get used to it.  Hopefully this will keep the roof cooler, as the normal Black Prince dark blue can become a little hot to the touch.

They were all ready for us so we had a tour around and an in depth explanation of what we needed to know as an owner not a hire customer.

Black Prince Owners manual
Black Prince Owners manual

We got presented with what will become the Bible for Floydtilla which was a folder with all the manuals for the Engine, Gearbox, Heater etc, as well as 37 pages of general information and diagrams of all the systems. This was a gold mine of information and covered all the questions I had in my notes and I am sure many more to come.

In one of the cupboards they had also included two spare engine belts an air filter, fuel filter and oil filter, it is the little extras that make life simple.

Next came the fun with the bank: We had transferred all the money into our current account ready to make payment and informed the bank what was going to happen. They said that we would probably have to call to make such a large transfer as it could trigger the anti fraud limits. Once we were happy, Sonia tried to call the bank. The message on the automated response  let us know that “they have a high level of traffic at the moment” we did start to wonder when they didn’t! After 40 minutes hanging on we got to talk to a person and then a few minutes later we owned a boat.

Off to Droitwich Spa Marina

The Black Prince team had prepared everything, the diesel tank was full, all the beds made up, the boat had all it’s equipment just as we had used it in the summer.

I checked the engine hours (11,588) and then we asked them to help us turn her around and we set off down the Worcester and Birmingham canal towards Droitwich Spa Marina. What a great feeling, it was all finally ours.

We had a lot to learn as we found out a few hours later once we arrived at the marina. We had never moored in a marina before, and while we tried to find our allocated space the weather rained, hailed and blew us about.

Joining the queue at the Hanbury top lock

In a simple mistake we had been given the wrong berth number and when we found it, it was already in use, so we headed in to the next available berth. This took us many attempts and finally after a few four letter words we managed to get the bow in and finally tied up for the night. The office was now closed so we would sort out the correct berth in the morning.

BSS – Boat Safety Scheme Examination and Certificate

BSS – Boat Safety Scheme

Now the boat is complete with the exception of a few minor cosmetic bit, it was time for the BSS (Boat Safety Scheme) examination, this was organised by Black Prince Holidays and carried out by the same person/company as our pre-purchase inspection Tom Keeling of Small Craft services.

As we expected Floydtilla (Chloe) sailed through, so we are now certified until  25th April 2025.

With this complete and the boat insured, we are now ready to get our CRT licence.

Kitchen progress and our special cupboard

After the rush to get the hire boats boat out for the Covid-19 12 April release, our kitchen is now progressing nicely. A few parts are still needed, but it is looking good.

Kitchen surfaces and cupboards
Kitchen surfaces and cupboards

The splash backs and kick boards to go on and maybe a sink? Now you may have noticed that next to were the cooker is going there is a bit of unaccessible space under the work surface, we did not want a cupboard with rotating shelves, they always seem to be a pain and if we made the shelves extend into that space you just fill them with junk you cannot get out. So…

Special cupboard
Special cupboard

… in the dinning area, we have had a new door fitted it give us access to this space. I can see this being used for all the board games and maybe a few extra bottles of wine.

The next upgrade we wanted was a larger 32 inchTV, the old one being moved to the bedroom. The new TV is a Cello C3220 which is little more up to date. The wall mount means it can be stowed against the wall where not in use, and does not take up any space of the cupboard below.

New 32" TV Cello C3220
New 32″ TV Cello C3220

Kitchen Progress

The kitchen on Floydtilla is progressing with the washing machine being in place, still quite a bit of work to complete and with the upcomming hire season starting on the 12th April, there has been a slight delay in finishing our boat.

kitchen progress combined
Kitchen Progress, new cabinets and washing machine fitted

While disappointing, it is very understandable under the circumstances, we understand the need to get the hire boats out with paying customers while they can.