Angie & I had an exciting couple of days last week, when we went to Piper Boats Ltd at Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday to watch Steel Away being loaded onto transport then followed her (intermittently) down the M6, M42 and M40.
We stayed overnight at The Catherine Wheel in Henley-on-Thames, a Weatherspoon’s hotel (it was steak night so it would have been rude not to have a steak and a few beers while we were there) and the next morning we were up bright and early to get to the marina ready for the launch.
The truck had arrived overnight and was in a lay-by on the approach to the marina when we arrived. The launch went very smoothly and after leaving the guys from Piper on board for a short while, they had “done their stuff” (checks in the engine room, placing ballast etc. etc.) and were ready to re-fit the wheelhouse which had been removed for transport. They were happy for me to assist which was great as it gave me the opportunity to see how to put it together (and remove it) when we need to do this at some point in the future.
Half an hour later, we were ready to move to our mooring. By 1400hrs we were alongside our mooring and having a cup of tea!
In simple terms, the loading, transport and launch went very smoothly and was a fitting end for the team at Piper Boats Ltd., who have produced a fantastic boat for us in a very short space of time. They have certainly produced a boat that they and we can be proud of.
I have produced a summary video which lasts for 8 minutes which I hope shows the whole launch process from start to finish. I hope you enjoy it!