The Wendy is a tired old tub that has been thrashed by hirers for 20 years. She had no headlamp or horn; soaked carpet tiles, which smelt; the galley was clean but the silly little grill pan is fit only for a doll’s house.
Jan kindly let us have the boat from 4:00, even though we had paid to start at 6:00. We had forgotten to bring any tea bags but Jim generously gave us loads for free when I asked him.
Jim gave us a technical tour of the boat, complete with lots of long-winded waffle and anecdotes – we just wanted the facts and to get going. He is a rough diamond with a flippant manner and offended the women in our group by addressing them as “YOUR species”.
Jim’s engine talk was very clear but his boiler talk was a lot to memorise and what we needed was a page in the boat folder that explained it WHEN we needed it. I found the boiler cover with the instructions on it at the back of a cupboard as I was leaving.
The gas bottle ran out but the folder is ambiguous about whether you should change it yourself or call out the boatyard staff. Nor does it mention the left-handed thread – ouch!
The impression I got was of an understaffed yard and boats inadequately maintained. The best thing was the superb laminated map of the canal – unheard of on all my other trips and far better than the Nicholson guide – well done for that.
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