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A Day at the Boatshow

Posted by indigodream on 21 January, 2009

Sunday 18th January

We had a leisurely start to the day after waking up to blue skies, cool breezes and bright sunshine. There was not trace of last night’s tempest and, blessedly, no damage done to us or the boat. Blue, in particular, was tired after his disturbing night on board; Lou, of course, is always up for a day in bed. So after a brief walk, we went off to the boatshow with barely a twinge to our collective consciences at leaving the dogs behind.

Excel - bigger than my home village in Wales!

Shadows of ther old dock cranes stalking the vast Excel building

As Adam mentioned, there was very little at the show for the inland boater and it seemed much smaller than two years ago. It was also miraculously quiet considering it was the last day. Even so, it took several hours to walk round the show, research our wish-list of random parts and have a drool at the Bavaria yachts and other expensive toys. Bavaria make something like 2000 yachts every year and it shows in the very clever finishing. Obviously we would not want a plastic narrowboat, but if people like Bavaria were to build narrowboats that could be very interesting.

After a first run round, we went back to the dogs, measured up for a few bits and pieces then went back into the fray. We got some great ‘end of show’ discounts which made it all worthwhile. Richard’s boating DIY list is now that much longer as our search for the self-fitting gadget continues 🙂

As the show was relatively quiet we managed to have a good chat with some of the technical reps. The guys on the Victron stand were very helpful, great combination of good gear and good backup. Webasto was confusing as the new distributers from Kings Lock and the guy from Webasto were not quite singing from the same hymn sheet yet with some prodding both were very helpful – mind you we have found Kings Lock good to deal with in the past.

A miraculously co-ordinated marching band finished the show with a flourish

A miraculously co-ordinated marching band finished the show with a flourish

We were out to buy some new pmr radios but could not find any at all at the show. We talked to Icom about their new digital pmrs, very smart kit but they are simply too big. We went to the Redcar Electronics stand and asked them why no pmrs, got a bit of a tired end of show answer. We explained and told them that we had bought our vhf radio from them in the past. They woke up and offered a combined vhf and pmr portable for a remarkable £69 but again too big.

One top tip if you’re visiting the boatshow – it is terribly hot and stuffy in the exhibition halls. I get caught out every year when I wear warm clothes for the blowy walk to Excel then get faintingly hot in the show itself.

After a successful (and feet achingly long) day in the show, I couldn’t be bothered to wander around the restaurants just to be served another poor meal. The local Spar shop was surprisingly good and I was able to whip up chicken tortillas and finished up with a luscious GU toffee pudding. We also replenished our beer supplies (very important!).

No safety equipment up there, well, apart from the high vis jackets which mean we'll see them when they fall!

No edge protection, no harnesses, dismal lack of safety equipment up there, well, apart from the high vis jackets which mean we'll see them when they fall!

But by now we were starting to think ahead to the morning. We were due to move the boats at 5am but we had forecasts of winds of anywhere from 20 – 40 miles per hour. We didn’t fancy it but we were aware of the fact that we were in a convoy and that we’d likely stay or sink (!) together. We pressed our leader, Andrew Phasey, for a decision as we could nip home and get a day’s work in. But he wouldn’t let us off the 5am start – that’s when the decision would be made.

We’re not morning people so this made us groan and grumble but there was nothing for it. We couldn’t control the morning but we could, and did, decide to end the day with a good meal and slumped contentedly on the sofa with Blue and Lou while we watched Dancing on Ice on the telly – bliss!

5 Responses to “A Day at the Boatshow”

  1. Hi

    Sorry to see you’ve reduced the RSS feed to the first few lines. It’s a real drag ahving to click through to the blog site when I’m on a slow connection like the one here at Tixall!

    Good luck with the run back to Limehouse

    All the best


  2. indigodream said

    Hi Bruce

    Ah, I will have a look this evening as to what has happened and put whatever back to where it was.


  3. indigodream said

    Hi Bruce

    Do you see a full feed now? I don’t from here but then I am not sure if my setup ever showed a full feed never having read our blog through a feed.


  4. Hi Richard

    That’s working fine again now, thanks!

    Great couple of posts today – hope you get the Webasto fixed soon.

    Boats, eh – always something.



  5. indigodream said

    Hi Bruce

    Thanks for the feedback. I was not convinced that I had got that working again as in my browser (firefox 3 + feed sidebar) I only see a summary of our blog irrespective of what I do but do see full posts of say your blog!


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