Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Buying of Caxton !

We made the decision to buy Caxton on Christmas Eve ... and no, we hadn't had a few !

I have been following the Caxton blog since its inception and have always been impressed by the look and the style of the boat.  I also really liked the stretch that was done on the bow, allowing for a hold to put in crap coal, wood etc and to keep a clean roof area.

Obviously reading the blog you get a good idea of the condition of the boat plus how fastidious the owners are in maintaining the said boat !

When Yarwood started its build I thought "hmmm I can see a cunning plan coming up"!  (Yarwood is the new boat being built by Caxton's current owners, for those not in the know !)

When I was over in the UK in July/August 2011, I arranged to go to Stourport and meet Lesley, Joe and the boys and, of course, to give Caxton the once over !  It was love at first sight !  I must admit I wasn't keen on portholes because I thought the boat would be dark inside but with two houdini hatches and two side hatches plus light coloured paintwork the interior is very bright and airy.  My other reservation was that Caxton had a cross-bed and the thought of dismantling and reassembling a bed every day had always put me off them.  However, when visiting Lesley and Joe, they gave me a quick demonstration on making and un-making the bed and, from memory, I think it took 2.5 minutes !  If I remember correctly, Lesley's words at the time were "if you can't spend 2.5 minutes out of a day, you have a big problem".  Plus of course in a cross-bed there is a lot more room (to accommodate 5 animals plus us !).  The boat is reverse layout - as in the galley is at the stern (rear), followed by the dining room / lounge, walk-through bathroom (large !) and the forward cabin and a very large foredeck (cratch) - just perfect !

We discussed the price at the time and I told Lesley and Joe that I would be very interested and would like first refusal.

Of course, the plan was always to sell the house first and hopefully we would have been in the UK a few weeks before Caxton became available but it was not to be as the housing market in Aus slowed down just as we put our house on the market !

So - back to Christmas Eve - we thought why don't we just buy it and leave it in the capable hands of my brother, Russell - who has hired out many a narrow boat over the years and knows how to handle them !

There were a couple more reasons for buying the boat now (1) we would have somewhere to move straight on to rather than burdening ourselves (and our animals) on relatives plus hiring or buying a car to travel around the country looking for a suitable boat (2) the currency rate is in our favour at the moment is fantastic, so it seemed the right thing to do.

We transferred the funds for the boat plus a few months living expenses (for when we do get there) - and rather than using the bank we used a company called Oz Forex.  We saved approx AUS $6000 (which is 3900 pounds!) by using this company rather than the banks !  We will certainly be using them in future to transfer money across when we need it - it was very, very simple.

So - that's it - we have bought a boat we can't use yet ! (But Russell is very happy with our purchase !)

I would like to thank Lesley and Joe for their never ending help and support (and all based on trust) and also Russell and Tracey for their help with making our dream possible !

We were hoping to get the name changed before we got there but we might wait until we get there to get some ideas.  Any suggestions welcome on how to turn NB Caxton into NB The Manly Ferry !


The Manly Ferry (North Head)


  1. 15 seconds tops! That'show long it takes to make-up or put-away the bed. I would be much more than two and half minutes to put on fresh bedding - we are premier league speed bed makers!!

  2. My memory is fading, now I have bought a tug style boat with a cruiser stern and powered by a Gardner diesel have I not?

  3. Excellent! Now just the house. Wish we could exchange the money for our boat now. Great rate.

  4. Congratulations on buying Caxton, she is indeed a beautiful boat owned by two of the nicest people Lesley and Joe. we look forward to seeing you on the water and saying hi. Jo