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The building of "Earnest"

Launch

Index | Planning | Fabrication of the steelwork | Fitting out | Paintwork | "Earnest" in detail

Harefield Marina

 

"Earnest" was launched on April fools day 1999, exactly on schedule. R&D's preferred launch spot is Newark Marina , where the River Devon forms part of the navigable route through Newark, missing the River Trent. Neil thought it was handy for any trailing faults to be put right, and it gave us the Easter two weeks to get "Earnest" to Braunston where it would stay until being R&D's showboat at May 1999 Braunston Boat Show. "Earnest" would stay at Braunston until Friday 2nd July 1999, when Braunston would be used as a spring board for going North on the main 1999 holiday (see Tour 99 page "Earnest" Maiden Voyage ). Neil, Linda, Peter and Wendy went up a few days before in the Passat to help out with the final preparations, Linda dropped the car off at Braunston and was given a lift back. Neil slept on the boat, as there was one VERY late night, while Linda and children were put up by one of Sheila's bed and breakfast friends. As with most boats there was a bit of finishing off to do, which was done at Braunston. Two boats were going out that day, the other one was a wide beam barge (that we met at Willowtree Marina just South of Milton Keynes, on the Grand Union). For some reason this had been built in one of the wrong sheds and involved a serious temporary adjustment to the front door frame of the unit! Ray went off to launch the other boat early that morning, in the middle of the Grand Union Stoke Bruerne flight and met up with "Earnest" as it arrived at Newark. The lifting method is shown in the photographs below, using 5 folk lift trucks in a kind of synchronised fork lift ballet. The truck then just slips underneath. The boat left first after having been quickly loaded with all Neil's junk that he had brought up. We quickly caught it up in Andrew's van, Neil has a lot of video of it sedately cruising along at 45 mph. Ray's choice of Newark Marina is easily explained by the splendid 45ton self powered boat lift they have. It was soon in the water and Ray coaxed it into life. Ray moored it up onto a wide beam narrowboat that he knew the owner of, this was just by the road bridge where the River Devon comes out, opposite the rowing club. Ray soon departed to leave us for our first trail, as he and Sheila were coming back later for the "official" launch and naming ceremony.  Ray and Sheila came back in the evening and we had the traditional T.N.C. launch ceremony of drinking the champagne and pouring some lager over the bow. It's first movements the next day was up the Newark dyke alongside the weir and up the River Trent a bit to give it the first taste of some current to battle against. All went well, Neil finding that for a quick turn it was best not to use all of the rudder (Ray subsequently told Neil that he should have mentioned this , apparently it is a result of the slipper stern. We went downstream to Newark Town lock as we wanted to fill up with diesel and water, which is downstream of the Marina Inlet. The next day we set off in a roundabout way to Braunston.          

 


Linda tries out the front cockpit.

Linda, Peter, Neil and Wendy.

The big lift.

The big truck.

Lift off!

Going round A46 roundabout to Newark.

Touchdown! , Ray gets ready to take it out.

Linda, Neil, Shelia, Peter and Ray.

"I name this ship Earnest", using lager as usual!

"Earnest" Index

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