Meanders, our 60-foot narrowboat lives in our garden! Every couple of years we repaint it, clean it up and put it in the water for a few months cruising and then put it back in the garden again.
We don't use a crane because it's too expensive, so we get a lorry, jack up the steelwork slowly with friends helping me, then lower it down onto the lorry under it. It’s like giant Meccano, going up a few inches at a time! Then we put it into the water at a boatyard that already has a crane, usually in Warwickshire. There are a couple of pictures of the boat on our website www.meanders.net.
We live in the Mendips so we've just driven here to come for walk along the water this afternoon. We walk the canals quite a lot but I enjoy doing lots of things such as caving, ballooning, and of course narrowboating! We've cruised all over the canals in Meanders - along the Huddersfield Narrow, the Llangollen, to London, and even been on the Anderton Boat Lift. I can see the Canal & River Trust are doing a grand job because the canals are so much better these days.
It's been 18 years since we started boating – we bought a new boat shell from Reeves in 1999 and I've been fitting everything myself. Would you believe it's not finished yet! It's a man's boat, it's got lots of gear such as a hydraulic drive and a hydraulic bow thruster... I just work on it when I want. Yes, we may have a party when it's finished!
Dave & Barbara, Devizes Town Bridge, Devizes, Kennet & Avon Canal