NB Muleless

NB Muleless
Moored at Alrewas Sept 2013

Sunday, 11 November 2012

She is afloat! - but not for long!

At 10 am on Tuesday 6 November we arrived at MGB Boats in Thurmaston, to see our boat shell arrive.

The crane arrived and set up ready.
Although people had been warned of a boat being craned in there were still quite a few cars around.

At 11.30 we had the call from the driver that he was in the village, so we rushed out to the road to get the first glimpse, and of course, it had to start raining.
The entrance to MGM's yard is down a narrow lane, so the driver first has to maneuvre the vehicle so he can drive straight into it. This he does by reversing down the road to the industrial estate opposite the lane.

Then, when he has lined himself up, and waited for a gap in the traffic, off he goes!
Whilst I was behind the lorry, Gary was in front - so between us we documented this momentous occasion!

You could really tell that the driver had done this before! Not one brick was disturbed, but several branches were pushed aside - but weren't big enough to need chopping back first.

We were glad when he emerged into the open and lined himself up by the crane.
Then, after the fastest journey that Muleless will ever take, she also had to fly!!

Up ...
up ...
and away!
Then she was flown over the fence and lowered down into the water!

After a bit of maneuvering away from the mud, the straps were removed - and she was floating on her own!
As you can see, the rain had not let up - in fact it just got harder!

The next phase was to move her around to the poly tunnel, so Gary joined Rachel and Mark on board to "punt" her around. Of course this was not going to be easy as the flow from the river, although helping to begin with, would hinder later.
MGM Boatyard is on an "island", so having gone down river to start with, then a tricky turning at the end to go up river back towards the poly tunnel. Here of course the river flow really did not help!

Momentarily stuck during the turn
Struggling against the flow!
Eventually the bow was at the entrance to the poly tunnel.
Then it was just the "easy job" of getting the stern around (against the flow) to line up fully!
Then she was pulled up and out of the water into the poly tunnel.
And of course, once she was under cover and the hard work was done - it stopped raining! By now everyone was soaked!

There are a couple of jobs to do before she can be moved into the floating dock to be fitted out. There hadn't been time for a second coat of blacking before she was moved from Nick Thorpes yard, and also the prop has to be fitted, which is easier here.

In two weeks time she will be moved into the floating dock when it has been relinquished by the previous occupant! Various other jobs can be started whilst she is waiting in the tunnel such as painting the engine bay, ballasting and battening out, so she wont be idle!!!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

She is beautiful naked!!

On Friday 2 November we made our final visit to Nick Thorpes Boat Building to see Muleless naked for the last time.

The stainless steel water tank had been delivered on Monday, so the work on the bow had been completed, including the lockers.

If this picture looks a bit strange, it is because we are having a lowered well deck!

We were delighted with the semi-trad stern - including the innovation of having removable floors to the lockers to be able to access all areas of the engine bay, and our mooring pin locker integrated into the morse control pillar.

This was the first time we had been able to stand at the stern and were extremely impressed with the view along the roof including our bespoke pigeon boxes.
As you can see, us being in the way didnt stop work - the lads kept working around us.

 Stern with mooring dollies and tiller attachment.

 Rudder - incorporating Nick Thorpes trade mark.
 "Gas locker" cover keeping to traditional looks (water tank below)

The next time we see Muleless will be when she is delivered to MGB Boats in Thurmaston - and she will have been painted with primer then, so this is the last time we will see her naked!