Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Boat Purchase, Part 1, Our History With Oldtimer, Sea Trial and Haul

We first saw Oldtimer during our last days with Odysseus in 2011.  We were killing time before we moved the barge to the sales dock at H2O at one of our favorite haltes, Santenay on the Canal du Centre.  We went for a bicycle ride up the canal to St. Leger sur Dheune and spotted a really nice boat with an American flag.  It’s so unusual to see one of those we stopped to chat.  It turned out the owners, Eric and Sudi Berg from Aspen, had lived aboard for the previous 5 years but were ready to move on; they had just put the boat up for sale.  We knew Oldtimer would be a great boat for us but we also knew there was no way we were ready for a new one; we still had several years of preparation in the US before we could return to the barging life.
Imagine our surprise and delight when Oldtimer showed up on the H2O website about 4 months ago.  We managed to track down the Bergs from their blog and had a nice talk about the boat.  They had it for sale for about 2 years before a French couple, Loic and Martine, bought it.  It was their first boat but they pretty quickly decided it was not the type they wanted. After just about a year, they found another boat and put Oldtimer up for sale.  And here we are.

The boat maneuvers in to pick us up.

After our return from the trip with Adrian and Jenny, we returned to Cascarot on Monday and spread our stuff about again. Tuesday was sea trial and haul. 

The sea trail went great.  I brought along a small handheld gps to check the speed underway and was a little disappointed when it seemed we could only do 5 at cruising speed until I realized the gps was set for miles per hour instead of kilometers. 8.5 kph was a great upgrade from Odysseus usual 4-5 and that was against the current of the Saone River and not pushing the engine.  Downstream we were cooking along at over 12! The boat was easy to maneuver and docking with the bow thruster was really simple, almost cheating.  To reach the place where the boat is hauled out you have to go through the first lock on the Canal du Burgogne.  It’s an up lock and pretty deep so we had or first lock with Oldtimer under our belt.  And since there was a boat already in the lock coming down we had to do the usual mill around waiting and the boat handled very well.

On the trailer awaiting the fateful water blast.

Next the boat came out of the water and the bottom, just painted with fancy epoxy paint 18 months ago, looked to be in really great condition….until they started to water blast off the accumulated growth and the paint started to come off in sheets. The new paint had not stuck to the old surface and our dreams of a quick in-and-out went down with large flakes of paint. It would be several days before a solution could be found to the problem and we’d be staying at Cascarot longer that we thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All of a sudden I'm getting comment spam. I'll have to use Captcha until it gets under control. Sorry...