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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Half-a-story is better than...

Half a story is better than no story, to plagiarise a well known song, and, like Yarwood, I am going to leave you hanging on for the finale to yesterday's tale of launch, no launch... maybe launch..

Our day started somewhat earlier than we have become accustomed to we were out of bed by 06.30 and leaving Caxton at 08.00 to drive up to the Barnowl workshop.  The crane had arrived just before us and was preparing Yarwood for the lift onto the lorry. 
The expectations for the day were that Yarwood would be loaded and transported to Alvechurch Boat Centre(ABC)  where the ABC wharf crane would unload the boat and lower her into the canal.  We would then get Yarwood onto her temporary mooring, show family and friends around the boat and then head off for a convivial lunch at a local hostelry.
But, the plans of mice and men etc., it didn't play out as anticipated.

 This crane, this new crane capable of lifting 70tons, soon gets Yarwood balanced and airborne
 Off the ground

 Really off the ground and awaiting the reversing lorry

 Here comes the lorry 


 Ready for the off, it's about 09.20 now and that lorry is 80ft long

Our convoy of Yarwood, followed by Stuart's van followed by Joe and I has driven up the M5 onto the M42 and turned off at Hopwood services at junction 2 and are now wending our way towards the village of Alvechurch.

And in Alvechurch village a VERY tight right hand turn... that took several attempts to get round

 Is he going to make it....without demolishing the shop?

 He did  but what next?

 The access into the Alvechurch wharf is a bit tight for 80' of lorry and tactics are being discussed

 Going for it..

And the next hazard..
We ended up with a multitude of minute manoeuvres, a couple of us hanging on the tree, then the gate, then removing fencing stakes but at last Yarwood is delivered.

Yarwood is strapped up again, this time to the wharf's own and the lift from the lorry begins and then it all stops.  The alarms are going off in the crane, Yarwood is too heavy! 

After much of nothing happening and phone calls to the boss man it is decided that the crane is not up to the job, someone has 'cocked-up' booking Yarwood in.   Stuart has to get another crane in today, or we will be charged a storage charge - this is not going down terribly well as you might imagine.

The wharf crane is used to gently lift Yarwood from the lorry and allow that to go and in the meantime Stuart has asked that the crane we had used to start the day is sent to deal with launching Yarwood.

 Stuart hanging on to Yarwood's stern to stop any swing that will set the alarms in the wharf screaming

 The lorry pulls out from under

And then gently down on some temporary blocks until the other crane arrives in a couple of hours time

Once on the ground were were able to get hold of some steps and provide a tour of Yarwood for my brother Bob and family who had travelled up from Essex and Pip and Roger of nb.Windsong who had joined us from their temporary winter abode on the bank in Corby.
More of which later....


  1. Good pics, very impressive truck driving!

  2. Crickey! I thought you might have trouble with the gusty wind yesterday and fully expected the launch to be aborted but what a shock - your heart must have been in your mouths when the crane was unable to lift Yarwood off! I'm assuming it did eventually happen (hoping that is anyway) and can't wait for the next instalment. best wishes

  3. What a shame... I do hope you get the other crane...
    must be devastating for you (& the bank account)
    after all the work you have put in...
    seemingly my good luck went elsewhere...
    Awaiting the next episode & hope everything goes to plan.
    Best wishes........
    she's one gorgeous boat though... well done !!! ....

  4. OMG what a cock up – the boat yards surely for taking the booking?
    Can’t imagine the stress, ours was loaded onto the back of the lorry and transported from Uxbridge to Croxley. All without too many hiccups and that was stressful enough so hate to think how you both felt.
    Hope it’s sorted soon x

  5. Hi Paul and Elaine
    Thanks. Dave, the lorry driver/owner was incredibly calm and laid back and competent, he didn't seem phased at all.

  6. Hi Carol
    You will have seen that Yarwood did make it after all.

  7. Hi ANON
    You will have seen in later posts that the crane did arrive and Yarwood got launched. The new crane team, the new very experienced crane team, thougfht that the wharf crane was more than capable of getting her in but Elf & safety prevailed..

  8. Hi Julie
    It all got sorted - just our boat builder ended up out of pocket and stressed by the experience..


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