Monday, 7 January 2019

The pointy end

The bow will have to be fairly basic, no fancy josher shape this time. With a much shorter boat, the fairly bluff standard Tyler bow should work perfectly well. It means less space in the well deck, but that can’t be helped. Being gas free means that there will be storage in the forepeak, probably with a triangular lid to maximise access. We want a transverse locker again, with the same arrangement as we have on Sanity Again. That is, the deep locker for a bow thruster will be there, but without the bow thruster tube. We haven’t missed one on a 70’ boat so certainly don’t need one on 50. What we get is a good chunk of long term storage, suitable for things like the anchor and chain when not on a river, and the emergency Porta Potti.

As usual, there’ll be a stainless steel water tank under the well deck, with the filler coming up through the gunwale rather than down on the deck getting trodden on.

We’ll still want a cratch with hardwood glazed deck board and a simple cover, just a single zip and no see through panels. Not needing to heave gas cylinders in and out of the bow locker means we probably won’t need doors in the deck board.

That’s about it for the bow. Going back to the last post, we’ve pretty well decided against chromed brightwork, so it’s either stainless steel or painted.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Starting to think it through

I thought it was time to take a break from a frenetic few weeks to think about our thinking about OMDB. Sheila’s come up with yet another suggestion for what the letters stand for: Our Marvellous Dream Boat 😆. It feels like a long time to 2021, but we know that it will creep up on us and then suddenly Jam will be wanting plans and decisions. Incidentally, apparently since we booked our build slot, another two existing Owners have followed in our footsteps, but we’re still the only friends/customers to order a third one.

Some of the basic stuff we have no doubts about. We wouldn’t dream of getting the shell from anyone but Tim Tyler, for example. As to length, 50’ will still have room for the basics and for us to live in comfort on her during extended summer cruising and for the month we have to be out of the lodge in the winter. The saloon will also be the dining area, and much of the stuff in the study bedroom will move up into the lodge. We’ve been doing a lot of weeding of the filing, getting rid of loads of paper we were keeping for no good reason.

As I will keep stressing, the aim this time round is minimum maintenance and minimum effort working the boat. Hence gas free and a diesel stove rather than a multifuel. As full time liveaboards, redundancy of heat sources was the name of the game, but for extended leisure cruising that’s now less important than having to lug bags of coal and cylinders of gas around. In addition, there’s no doubt that burning solid fuel makes more dust and muck than a drip fed diesel stove, so less cleaning to do as well.

When you are on the boat full time, keeping the fire going isn’t difficult, but leaving Sanity Again unoccupied in the cold months means using oil filled radiators to keep the frost out and so having to leave the shoreline on full time. A diesel stove can be left ticking over on minimum with occasional visits to check up on it. Full winterising isn’t feasible for us – just last weekend we were using the boat as overflow accommodation for a family event.

Thinking about the outside, no brass this time. Chrome or stainless steel for the brightwork, then. Sheila was wondering the other day if we could paint the porthole rims to match the breaklines in the livery, probably cream again.

That’s enough for just now, I’ll get onto the bow next time.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

A third Braidbar?

We’ve just booked the late Feb/early March 2021 build slot for our third Braidbar. This blog will cover the planning of the boat as we work on it and then record the build, week by week. But first off, why go to the trouble and expense of yet another boat?

There are three main reasons for doing this. Firstly, tradition demands it. Every time Braidbar changes hands, we let the new folk settle in then order a boat. So, no pressure, James and Donna 😆.

Secondly, Sanity Again is going to need a repaint shortly, so it’s time we changed boats. 🤣

And in the last and chief place, we’re gonna need a smaller boat. It’s beginning to dawn on us that we’re not as young as we were and hauling 70’ and 23 tonnes about is getting to be a bit much.

So the plan is for number 3 to be a shorty, 50’ if we can do it. Electric drive, either hybrid or direct + genny depending on what’s around in nearly three years time, LiFePo4 batteries, gas free, whatever else James dreams up, we’re getting quite excited.

After we’d moved onto Sanity Again, I was chatting to Peter about ideas for our next boat and Sheila said we’d have another one “over my dead body”. Peter’s response was “that can be arranged...”. Turns out I’ve not had to be that drastic, but number 3 will be called OMDB in recognition of that exchange.

Here’s what we’ve put together so far as a design brief for OMDB. I must emphasise this is very much just our thinking at the moment and some of it will undoubtedly be changed over the next two years. But the guiding principles will remain: a minimum maintenance boat representing the best Braidbar can do. So she’ll be a stunner, come what may!


  • Triangular hatch

Well deck

  • Transverse locker
  • Cratch
  • Large water tank under
  • Tank filler through gunwale


  • Free standing furniture
  • no shelving needed, 
  • table hinged to wall, 
  • Reflex bubble stove


  • Electric oven, induction hob
  • Compact washing machine
  • Fridge
  • Extra length
  • Houdini
  • Triflow tap with basic filter

Cross bathroom 

  • Large shower
  • Pump out or even an incinerating toilet
  • Shower fan and light switched separately 


  • Inline bed
  • Inline wardrobe
  • Houdini over space at foot of bed

Engine room

  • Hybrid or electric drive
  • Hospital silencer
  • LiFePo4 batteries
  • Webasto


  • Tyler standard shell, 50’ with maybe 1’ discretion
  • Panelled walls, oak framed ash
  • Panelled ceiling, white painted
  • Portholes throughout
  • Chrome brightwork
  • Glazed sidehatch in saloon with CabinCare type flyscreen (possibly CabinCare blind)
  • CabinCare flyscreens and blinds on Houdinis 
  • Vinyl wood floor Karndean/Amtico/Project
Over the next few weeks, I’ll work through this, section by section, discussing our thinking behind each choice.