Rickmansworth and beyond


Zulu Warrior at Croxley Green, Grand UnionThis is almost our first cruising log entry. Day 1 didn’t really count as we only went to Tesco in Rickmansworth, so this weekend will be the first real test for Zulu Warrior. All week I have been trying to contact the various boatyards to see about getting some work done on the boat – dry dock or crane required. I won’t name names but getting in touch with boatyards has proved to be a bit of a problem – most are on voicemail – understandable if the owner is up to his elbows in oil, but unfortunately nobody at all has replied to my messages, not even those left in person.

One boatyard answered the phone instantly, dealt with my questions and called me back first thing next day when they had received a copy of my survey report by post. They then came to visit the boat to preview the work and offered to do start this week.

So far so good then. If all goes according to plan I will let you know how the work goes once it is done – right now I don’t want to tempt fate.

I had a lovely weekend leaving Rickmansworth and heading north at a very leisurely pace. After being used to a modern diesel engine which only ticks over comfortably at around 900 rpm, the old SR3 is a delight, with a slow running speed of, I would guess, 400 rpm which allows for cruising at maybe 1mph; wonderful for passing moored boats and taking in the countryside. Even up to full 3 mph (I don’t think 4 is possible) the engine isn’t labouring too much and she makes hardly any wash at all, which is marvellous compared with most boats I have steered. The boat has been steady as a rock – its possible to pop inside, put the kettle on and return to the tiller without finding the bows running up the nearest bank, and when reverse is required we stop in a straight line. Without knowing the engine history we definitely need an urgent service, but the most important work right now is to get a small amount of plating done to the bows and a pair of new diesel tanks. And even more importantly we got to our destination without any problem at all.

So right now Zulu has an appointment with a crane on Tuesday. I can’t believe how fast this is all happening!

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