... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

At last

I feel I should be writing something really momentous here, but one one hand it just seems like the logical outcome of everything that has gone before; on the other, like an unimaginable achievement. Today Chertsey travelled under its own power for what might be the first tome in a quarter of a century. Yes, we really did it. At last.

The day started so long ago, with Chertsey going back into the water. After all the planning and positioning last night the actual operation (excluding stopping to take photos) took just three minutes - and how lovely it was to see the boat in the water.

Lots of little jobs remained to be done, the most important of which was the final lining up of the engine (which Jim did while I was optimistically out stocking up on provisions). Three big ballast tanks have gone into the hold, and been filled with canal water, plus our freshwater tank.

The plan had been to take a trip into Wheaton Aston to fill up with diesel at Turners, but as usual time ran away from us and by the time we realised, it was too late. Disappointing taht if we leave tomorrow we'll have to fill up somewhere more expensive but not the disaster I'd first feared as at least there are alternatives.

But we went for a trip into Wheaton Aston anyway; effectivly Chertsey's maiden voyage, with this engine and since coming out of retirement. What can I say other than it went wonderfully well. The prop, which we'd feared might be on the small side, seems perfect; the boat stops and reverses really well. It moves through the water and steers beautifully; the engine sounds great (and is very loud!) and touch wood, toush wood, touch wood, there seem to be no major problems. Minor ones are that the throttle needs adjusting (although I was getting used to it anyway) and the regulator on the dynamo may need adjustting too; we couldn't be sure it was charging. (So we'll be taking a spare battery with us in case, courtesy of Tufty.) But what a joy it was to see that boat stretched out in front of me. Toomorrow, then, we leave for Braunston.


  1. Cogratulations Sarah.....

    Fantastic, a wonderful post you must be overjoyed!

    Good Luck! Enjoy Braunston, I know you will!

  2. Congratulations, Sarah and Jim. Excellent news. It seems only very recently that I read of your excitement at getting hold of Chertsey; for you to have done all that work and relaunched it so quickly is a fantastic achievement.

    I'm aiming to be at Braunston on the Sunday, so I hope to see all three of you there.

  3. Bloody marvellous!

    I'm particularly encouraged by the "and is very loud" bit about engine sounds.

    It really does sound blooming good, so lets hope it continues to go that way.

    Are you still planning to take Warrior to Braunston? It's just possible I could do something to help, if Jim not fully sorted with crew, though appreciate he might need someone more agile than I currently am! PM me on CWDF, if there is any possibility.

  4. Blimey very impressed.

    Don't you know historic boat restoration is supposed to take years!

    See you at Braunston. We can have a cup of tea and compare chimneys!

  5. Many congratulations: you've both worked like Trojans. Looking forward to seeing boat and workers alike on Sunday at Braunston.

  6. ;-D

    Lovely news. Lovely post.

  7. Congratulations! I was crossing my fingers last night. Really looking forward to Braunston, and I really hope that everything can continue to come together nicely.

    Well done on all the work that you've both done to get to this stage- Proper Job!

  8. Well done,I heel I know the boat from all that I have read over the past weeks.
    We will also be in Braunston (if I can find a mooring) for the week end so we will search you out, if we all turn up together it will be quite a gathering.

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