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Help me out please

Wavey

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26 Jun 2011
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I currently own a Broom 42cl which my wife and I bought in 2011. In 2014 we moved it from the Thames to the Solent and had a fabulous three seasons down there. Sadly my wife passed away in 2017. I’ve persevered with the Broom since and while I’m more than capable of handling it alone it’s way too big for my needs. I want to downsize.

The plan is to replace it with something smaller that I can use in the Solent for a couple of years then move back to the Thames. The replacement boat needs to be suitable for both. Straightforward enough you would think except I want to be able to do the entire Thames, and that means it’s got to be able to get under Osney Bridge. Modifications to allow this would be okay with me as long as it doesn’t mean major structural work.

Any suggestions for something that would fit the bill? Ideally single diesel on shaft, capable of cruising at 10 knots plus, a double berth (ideally a permanent one), a reasonable galley, and costing me not more than (and ideally less than) I’m likely to realise from the sale of the Broom.

The Sheerline 950 with the RCD cat C option would be okay except none were fitted with anything larger than the Nanni 60hp which would be useless in the Solent. The Intercruiser 34 ticks just about every box but they’re rare as hens teeth (just one for sale in Holland currently). These give you a bit of an idea of the sort of thing I had in mind but any suggestions welcome.
 

matt_lake

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10 May 2002
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Oxfordshire
Unfortunately, your desire to get under Osney bridge does seriously limit your options. Val Wyatt Marine have a couple of Intercruiser 29's on brokerage at the moment. Both CAT B, one with D3 170hp and the other with D3 220hp. Have you seen them in the flesh?
 

Wavey

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Thanks Matt. I’ve had a look at the 29‘s but the cockpit is huge with very little accommodation inside. It’s more of a glorified day boat really.

The 31 would be a better bet, as it uses essentially the same hull but with a more conventional cruiser layout. It’s relatively new to the market though so you don’t see any second hand, and the cost new would be well in excess of what I’d get for the Broom.
 

matt_lake

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Wavey, There are about 50 miles of navigable river above Osney. Wouldn't you be better off finding a boat that better suits your needs for the other 90% of your time afloat? If you need to scratch that itch to explore beyond Oxford there are plenty of hire fleets with boats better suited for that. You're going to find it hard enough downsizing from your 42.
 

Viking23

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Shepperton
Wavey, There are about 50 miles of navigable river above Osney. Wouldn't you be better off finding a boat that better suits your needs for the other 90% of your time afloat? If you need to scratch that itch to explore beyond Oxford there are plenty of hire fleets with boats better suited for that. You're going to find it hard enough downsizing from your 42.
Hi Wavy, how about a Viking 22? That should do coastal and the river. Though you will need to lower the canopy for Osney bridge. I know it’s much smaller, but for handling on your own it should be a doddle.
Sadly I’m in the same situation as you, losing my wife in 2017. I find I can handle my Viking ok though and there is enough space and facilities on board. It gets interesting when my dog leaps off at random moments though!😀
 

Wavey

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Wavey, There are about 50 miles of navigable river above Osney. Wouldn't you be better off finding a boat that better suits your needs for the other 90% of your time afloat? If you need to scratch that itch to explore beyond Oxford there are plenty of hire fleets with boats better suited for that. You're going to find it hard enough downsizing from your 42.
Oddly enough I had exactly that conversation with another forum member yesterday evening. If I can find something that allows me to go above Osney then fine. If no such thing exists that also ticks all the other boxes then the air draft will be discounted and that does significantly increase the number of options.

I thought I'd cracked it last night with the Antaris Retro 10, until I realised they're all fitted with the Yanmar BY which is probably the worst marine engine ever designed.
 

Wavey

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Hi Wavy, how about a Viking 22? That should do coastal and the river. Though you will need to lower the canopy for Osney bridge. I know it’s much smaller, but for handling on your own it should be a doddle.
Sadly I’m in the same situation as you, losing my wife in 2017. I find I can handle my Viking ok though and there is enough space and facilities on board. It gets interesting when my dog leaps off at random moments though!😀
Thanks for the idea but 22 feet is too small, and an inboard diesel on shaft is a must.

Sorry to hear about your loss in 2017. That really was a dreadful year.
 

Wavey

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I’ve found a few like that Broesder in Holland and I really like them. Built like tanks and would happily do the entire Thames, and the Kennet and Avon. The Solent where I am now would be doable, sort of. Careful passage planning necessary to ensure you never punched the tide otherwise it would take you ages to get anywhere. Can it be done - certainly. Would it drive me insane - quite possibly.

I’m accustomed to ignoring tides given the Broom cruises at close to 20 knots. The upside is that at cruising speed the Broesder burns a gallon an hour whereas the Broom burns a gallon a mile.

The only real way to find out how I’d get on with it would be to try it, but it would be a big risk.
 

colhel

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9 Jan 2011
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Gillingham(Dorset) Boat East Cowes
We're fairly new to motor boating so can only really comment on what we've got which is a Nmbus 3003 which we keep in East Cowes but before us was on the Broads and the Thames. Single diesel on a shaft, aft cabin and 30FT LOA. This model is knocking on a bit now and the more modern ones don't have the aft cabin as far as I'm aware, but they do have a fairly spacious side berth.
 

Wavey

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Thanks for the suggestions. The Saga 26 isn’t really for me. The later (slightly bigger) ones are nice but more than I want to spend.

Nimbus however are of interest. The 320 coupe ticks lots of boxes. Room to carry the mountain bike which is an added bonus. I need to go and look over one.
 

prof pat pending

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How about something a little older, but spend a bit modernising it?

A freeman 26 twin shaft with a couple of modern Diesel engines could do everything you want.
Also available in single shaft, but you may find the engine quite small for the first couple of years
 
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Wavey

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That brings back fond memories. My dad’s last boat was a Freeman 26 with twin diesels. One of the early ones with the swept back bow. “My Lady May“, last seen many years ago now in a very sorry state on the hard at Medway Bridge Marina. We had some fabulous times on that boat, and did coastal work.

Probably a bit long in the tooth now for my needs. I could easily see myself spending fortunes on it I’d never get back.

I always liked the Freeman 33 Sport. A friend had one for years. I think I need to take off my rose tinted spectacles and come back to the real world 😁.
 

Parabordi

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I always liked the Freeman 33 Sport. A friend had one for years. I think I need to take off my rose tinted spectacles and come back to the real world 😁.
Thats probably your best best, a F33 Sport with 120s and chop the doghouse off for a drop windscreen?
 

ianc1200

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When I first saw this thread I thought of the Freeman 33 Sport without the hard top (I didn't know it's correct name, to me it's the coffee & cream Freeman with a centre cockpit). There's one when lives in the private inlet between Goring & Streatley locks, on the Streatley side, - perhaps called "Four Winds" (?) & I've seen him above Osney a few times, and speaking to him many years ago he said only boat he'd be happy in Lechlade to Southend. With the right engines must be able to move a bit too. edit - remembered I've seen one in Shotley Marina, but overpainted in different colours. But clearly suited in some way to the East Coast.
 

Parabordi

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yes know that one, only has little engines, the ones with the twin 120 ford diesels good for 16knots or more.
 

Flynnbarr

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A chap chopped the wheelhouse about on a Birchwood 33 to lower the height.
There was an article on it in the online motorboat mag a while back.
 

prof pat pending

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There were two Freeman 33’s built specifically for the Thames, the one you’re thinking of is Drum Beat, Four Ferrets is the other one and resides above Radcot at the Anchor boat club.

Mine has been modified in the way described above, it involved a chainsaw

The 26 is still a solid boat and if it’s been looked after, holds its price well.
For example Freeman - 26 for sale in Suffolk, Eastern, United Kingdom | Boatshop24
 
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Wavey

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That Freeman 26 is a nice example and someone has done a fabulous job modernising the galley but still keeping it in character. The heads is very odd. Did they run out of money or inclination to finish it off?

Having thought about it if I was to go for a Freeman it would have to be the 33 Sport.

Sorry Flynnbarr but I’m not a fan of the Birchwood 33. I took one across the Channel years ago and wouldn’t care to do it again. It was absolutely dreadful.
 
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