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Friday, November 23, 2018

Narrow Boat Valerie For Sale

"Acceptance is being in the moment without necessarily agreeing with it. It is about facing reality rather than trying to control it." ~ Anonymous

The death of my husband and my own ill health forces the sale of our lovely home, NB Valerie. Built by Hamilton Bespoke Narrow boats, she went into the water in January 2006. We have been her sole owners as live aboard continuous cruisers for 12 years. NB Valerie is 58 feet long, with a semi-trad stern. Serious inquiries only. All reasonable offers considered. Asking £44,500.00 ONO. I am willing to negotiate with the right buyer. I want NB Valerie to have a new owner or owners who will love her as much we have. E-mail me at Currently cruising in Nantwich, Cheshire. 

  •  33HP  Vetus engine
  • 180 Ltr/40 Gal. diesel fuel tank with two 25 Ltr. metal jerry cans stored in the stern locker for emergency diesel storage with a motor impelled pump to pump the diesel from the cans directly into the tank without having to lift them
  • 650 Ltr./144 Gal. stainless steel water tank with sweet, clean water (100 ft. hose)
  • Pure Sine Wave 3000 watt inverter
  • Candy on board washing machine (piped directly into the boat's hot & cold water to keep from draining the batteries when washing on hot)
  • Shoreline 12 Volt refrigerator with separate freezer compartment
  • 430 watts OnBoard Solar panel system with top of the line MPPT controller installed August 2017
  • Ebispacher on board radiator heating, replaced new in 2015
  • 22 inch HD TV with built in DVD player and Freeview, installed 2016
  • Pioneer radio system with ceiling speakers, installed 2017 
  • 20 inch thick firm Memory foam mattress with Cool Blue technology, new 2017
  • Charging station for two computers simultaneously, and two other stations for other electronics
  • All LED lighting throughout the boat
  • Valar Willow solid fuel stove with new fire bricks and new stainless steel double skinned chimney (and two older replacement chimneys should you need them!)
  • Airhead Marine composting toilet installed in 2012 (new, never used chemical toilet stored in Engine bay)
  • Boat safety certificate good until August 2020
  • Fully licensed and insured
  • Last blacked in January 2017 with all anodes replaced 
  • Dinette folds down to a double bed (extra thick cushions and easy to remove and wash upholstery covers replaced in November 2013)
  • All mooring ropes and fenders were replaced brand new in 2017
  • 6 mooring pins, three hammers, four nappy pins, and one set of mooring chains. Two bow mooring ropes--one on each side, one stern mooring rope and two mid-line ropes--one for each side. 
  • Plank, boat pole and boat hook
  • Loads of storage space
  • Extra parts included: second Shurflo water pump, parts for Ebispacher, 7 oil filters, engine belts, six tubes of stern gland grease etc. 
  • Extensive tools to stay with boat, including five year old Husqvarna 17 inch chain saw and sharpening set; brand new log splitter axe and sharpening stone, hammers, Dremel set, sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc. 
  • Out of the water for a replacement of the cutlass bearing and a new larger prop in January 2018, a marine engineer at Aqueduct Marina examined the hull closely and pronounced it in excellent shape. 
  • She comes with a complete list of all work done and repairs with completion dates,  all past BSC certificates, original boat paperwork, and all instruction manuals for on board appliances and boat parts. 
  • Pots, pans, silverware, dish and glassware, immersion blender, hand blender, cookware and many linens stay with boat. You could simply pick up some groceries, come aboard, turn the key and cruise off just as you do in a hire boat!
We were in the middle of painting NBV when Les received a terminal cancer diagnosis. Like a lovely lady of a certain age, she needs a bit of slap as the Brits call makeup. The paint job needs to be completed and all the paint, white spirit, brushes, rollers, Fertan rust converter, primer, sanding paper and two sanders come with the boat. This is an opportunity for new owners to personalize her or even change her name.  All the crucial bits--the engine, inverter, water tank, hull, etc. are in excellent nick.
A look at the brand new cutlass bearing and waterless stern gland installed in January 2018. 
Close up of the Vetus 33 HP engine. NB Valerie has a freshly cleaned and painted engine bay and brand new aluminium checker plate engine bay cover--easy to lift and is brilliant at keeping water out. The engine bay is always dry. The oil and filters are changed faithfully every 350 hours.  
A new larger prop means NB Valerie is ready to handle both canals and rivers with ease. 
Freshly blacked in January 2017 with brand new sacrificial anodes (4). NBV does have a galvanic isolater. 

Shot of my bike on the newly installed bike rack, January 2017.

We had two additional T Studs mounted on either side of the bow to make it easier for short people like me to moor up. I never could reach the T stud out on the point of the bow!
All mooring ropes, fenders, and fender ropes were replaced in August 2017 and I added mooring cleats to the fender ropes to make it quick and easy to adjust the fenders when mooring up. 
Looking towards the bow from the chairs in the Saloon.  The TV has been replaced with a new 22 inch HD telly with built in DVD player and Freeview. the stereo has been replaced with a new Pioneer stereo. Les built new stairs for my short legs with storage underneath each step, a larger, longer hearth with new tiling so live coals would no longer fall on the floor. There is storage under the hearth for the coal bucket and two spacious closets on the left for shoes, boots, cans of paint, axes, coats, grocery trolley, and outdoor sun umbrella!
It took me four months to design this closet with built in man drawers and it took Les three days to build it! All the tools in the picture stay with the boat. 

A close up view of the new Solar panels installed August 2017. This set up makes it easy to clean and paint underneath and the panels clear the mushrooms vents tilted in either direction. In summer you can go for days without starting the engine. On a sunny day you can turn on the inverter and wash clothes on sunshine without touching the battery charge! In winter you can leave her moored up on the towpath for a few days and come back to find fully charged batteries and an engine that turns over on a dime. 
20 inch thick firm Memory Foam mattress with Cool Blue technology. It is the most comfortable mattress I've ever slept on. It is in pristine condition. It measures 6 foot by 4'6" wide.
The bed all made up, looking from the cabin down the hall past the bathroom and into the galley. The bed has been modified to pull out into a 6 foot by 6 foot cross-bed. 
Standing by the dinette and looking into the galley. 
Airhead Marine Composting toilet! Freedom forever from Elsan and pump outs forever! If you prefer to use the chemical toilet stored in the engine bay, it will take you less than five minutes to unscrew two wing nuts that bolt the composting loo to the floor and lift it out of the bathroom. The chemical toilet will simply sit in its place and require emptying at an Elsan disposal once a week. 
Interior of the roomy medicine cabinet in the bathroom. 
Shower/hip bath combination. 
Lovely Cannon home cooker range. Brilliant and handles anything you can imagine cooking, baking or grilling.
Close up of Shoreline 12 Volt Freezer/fridge on top of the counter! No more squatting down a half dozen times a day or lying on your belly in order to see what is in the fridge! The Candy washing machine is mounted below it and connected directly into the boat's hot and cold water system with knobs to turn to change from one to the other. This decreases the load on the inverter and batteries from 3200 watts to 2600 watts on starting. 
Top and bottom of dish and glassware cupboard Les built which is amazingly streamlined. Dish and glassware stay with the boat. 
Condiments cupboard at the end of the counter on the cooker side of the galley. 
The dinette folds down to a double bed. There are two large drawers underneath the near seat and the farther seat lifts up for storage underneath. The computer charging station is hidden behind those pillows nearest to us. 
This hidden charging station will charge two computers simultaneously. 

   I realize this post might appear to be an abrupt about face in contrast to my previous post titled Never Give Up but I assure you it is rather a continuance of the idea. It has been a very tough two years since my Best Beloved Les died. I had to try life on my own on our boat and give it my best effort. Sadly there were fences, walls, and impediments I could not have foreseen waiting for me.
   In the States I never had trouble finding a job. I have a university degree, twenty five solid years of experience working with students, and excellent references. None of this has made any difference over here in Britain. I've looked for work for a year and the only work I could get was waitressing. Now I don't mind waitressing and I've done it before--when I was 19. But I am 61 now with health issues and a financial need to earn more than minimum wage so sadly it isn't going to work out for me.
   When I married Les and moved here I had two auto immune (AI) diseases: Sarcoidosis and Osteoarthritis. I managed the Sarcoidosis with supplements of melatonin shipped from the States since I could not get it here without a prescription and even then no one would prescribe enough to actually stop Sarcoidosis from progressing. When Les' cancer began to travel and we had to spend hundreds of pounds every month on supplements to fight it, I quietly stopped taking Melatonin as the cost for shipping it from America was ridiculously high and I never told Les. Sarcoidosis has now made my lung tissue brittle and it is harder to breathe. Now I've developed Crohn's disease and all three diseases are adversely impacting each other. They are incurable, chronic, and progressive. The arthritis in the first digits of my index and middle finger on my right hand now make it very difficult and painful to pull on socks, pull up trousers, tie shoes and mooring ropes.
     My children have been worried that I might fall ill over here and end up in a  care home and they would not be able to get me back To the States, near them, so it is time to close this chapter of life, square my shoulders, turn and step forward to rebuild my life anew once more back in the States. I love this boat. It has been my home for over seven years. She brought Les and I together, and his heart and soul is in every bit of her. She was Les' "other" baby. She deserves a new owner who will tart her up and make her shine with love and joy; in return she will give many decades of comfort, security, and freedom to the right buyer.


Elsie said...

Hi Jaq, we will miss you Jaq but we think going back to your family is the best idea you've had. Love Elsie & Eric x

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Thanks Elsie. I will miss you and Eric very much. I will keep in touch via email.

Life has been very, very tough without Les but I had to give it my best and see if I could make it work. It has failed but certainly not because I didn't do my best, give it my all and try my hardest.

I won't miss returning to an empty boat and it will be wonderful to be back among my family.

Love Jaq xxx

Ann said...

Glad to have met you at Hack Green earlier in the year. No one could have tried harder to make things work and you should be proud of yourself. I'm sure being back with your family is a good idea and will enable you to have a healthier life.

Ann NB Bisbigliando

Judith nb Serena said...

Was sorry to hear this when I first started reading but can quite understand your decision. No-one could have tried harder to make the life work but there comes a time when we need our family and in order to do what is right for you, you've made the right decision. Take all your wonderful memories with you, no-one can take them away. You will be missed over here and on your blog. Please let us know when you will be departing so we can say our goodbyes. Love and hugs Judith nb Serena

Kath said...

That’s very sad. But I can understand how your family worry and life will be so much easier with their support. You have been amazing, I’m sorry we only met once, briefly, in a supermarket.
Kath (nb Herbie)

Jennie said...

Whist we will be very sorry to see you go, we both fully understand your decision and know how hard it was to make. You know how much respect we have for you managing to cope as long as you have against almost overwhelming odds. We both hope you find a new owner who will love and cherish nb Valerie as much as you and Les did. We look forward to seeing you next Friday and catching up with you. Love Jennie and Chris xx

Alison said...

I have read this blog for as many years as it has been running. I have never met you or Les but I always looked forward to reading your blog with my morning coffee at work! I will miss your blog. You have been such an inspiration to me since you have been single handing NB Valerie, I salute you. You have to do what is right for you and the most important thing is to look after your health. It will also help being back in the family fold. I wish you all the best but will keep reading until you go.
Best wishes

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Anne,

It was so lovely meeting you as well and I am very thankful for your continued reading of the blog and your support for my writing. I am just finishing up a book manuscript and hope to start marketing it to publishers next month.

I miss my family back in the States desperately. I also need simpler, less complicated life in order to begin healing. It isn't living on a boat and cruising that makes my life difficult; it is being a foreigner in a foreign land and struggling to get by in near poverty. You are correct, I have given it my all and I can face my future with my head up.

I wish you many happy years of cruising.


Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Judith,

It has been a terribly difficult choice but I am sleeping better at night now that I have made it. Boats cost money to maintain and without a decent paying job that simply isn't going to be possible for me. My health has complicated things drastically and you are right: I need my family.

I will definitely let you know when I am ready to leave, and I plan to continue blogging albeit not on this blog. I am also finishing a book manuscript and hope to begin marketing it to publishers next month.

Meeting you and John was such a lovely pleasure. I will always miss the boating community and it is one of the reasons I have hung on as long as I have. The support, kindness, and help of boaters has buoyed me up and literally kept me going.

Love to you both,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Kath,

Oh I so wish we had been able to meet again and spend more time getting to know each other. I am hoping to have some time with George and Carol Palin down on the Thames before I leave. Perhaps we yet be able to meet up, albeit on sad terms. I will continue to follow your marvelous blog and your posts will keep me tethered to the community I he come to know and love so well.

Hugs to you and Neil,

Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Oh Alison I am so very touched by your comment. Thank you so much for following along on our adventures and my gosh what a joy to know you started our days with our posts. Thank you so much for your kind words. It is an honor to touch the lives of others, even though we have never formally met.

With hugs and deep regard,


Cuddlesceridwen said...

Oh Jaq how sad I am to read this. I know you have tried and have given it your very best shot and that is all you can do. Please please keep in touch I will text you my email address. I feel gutted now that I have not been able to get up there to see you before I return to Turkey. You will have your family around you and I know it must have been a very hard decision to make. I wish you all the best in the world, you are always welcome to come to my place anytime you want. Start this new chapter with your head held high, Les will be with you wherever you are. Much love Carol xxx

MikeW said...

Mixed emotions Jaq but I know it's been tough for you. A lesser person, like me, would have given up long ago and buggered off but you gave it a go....and some of it was fun.We Cowroastians were fortunate to be around at a time of need of a lovely couple and I hope the future brings some gold in amongst the compost.Keep in touch.
Good luck with the boat.

Mike and Pam

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Carol,
It is a devastating decision. I love this boat, and I love this life, but I must be able to earn enough money to take of myself and NBV and I need a job that doesn't grind me down physically while keeping me trapped in poverty with minimum wages and part time work.

Thank you for your loving friendship a nd the invite to visit you in Turkey. I may well fetch up there one day!!! We will stay in touch.

Love Jaq xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Thank you Mike. The Cowroastarians blessed me and Les more than words can convey. We felt so loved and cared for in those last 6 months of Les' life and after his death everyone continued to help and look after me as I began life without Les.

Yes it has been grueling but you are correct there have been some wonderful moments and I wil cherish my memories always, and I promise to stay intouch.

Biggs big hugs to you and Pam,

Jaq xxx

Dave,Beryl Bradshaw said...

Hi Jaq a hard decision but the right one for you.Best of luck with your new life back in the States remember England fondly All our Love Beryl Dave Bradshaw Nb Sokai xxxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Dave and Beryl,

Thank you. I could never, ever forget the past seven years or the many, many amazing and wonderful people we met along our way. In fact, I will be writing a book about it titled, The Further Adventures of a Yank on The Cut.

Love and Biggs big hugs,

Jaq xxx

Unknown said...

Best wishes Jaqueline Biggs and thank you for the most interesting story of your life cruising the UK canals.

May you have a wonderful, and restful life on your return to the States.

Enjoy your treasure'd memories.

Pete, Motor cruiser Crown Dancer on the River Medway, Kent, UK.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs