Last visit to the factory before launch

We visited Piper Boats yesterday and stayed on board overnight.  This is our last scheduled visit before loading and launching on 28th and 29th March.  All is well, we are both excited ….and I can’t wait! 😀😀😀

We’ll miss our visits, chats and coffees with everyone at Biddulph but look forward to seeing some of them again at Henley in September!

Bespoke Mattress

When we had our narrowboat we replaced the mattress  and were very happy with it even after it had a lot of use.

So when we needed a mattress for Steel Away, we had no hesitation in going back to the same supplier.   Our mattress needed to be “bespoke” in that it is vey slighty shaped at the foot end.

We contacted The Edwardian Bedding Co., at Mexborough, South Yorkshire, sent them a dimensioned plan and once again, they performed admirably.   We wanted a fully sprung pocket spring mattress which was to be of different density on each “half”- firm on one half and medium on the other.   No problem  they said and they even suggested that they could do the opposite on the reverse side so that we could turn the mattress regularly and still have the same comfort level on each half.   We ordered the mattress and top it all, they delivered the mattress 7 working days after we placed the order!

Needless to say, If you are in the market for a mattress for your boat, we thoroughly recommend The Edwardian Bedding Co.


Here is a link to their website   Don’t be put off by the basic website.  Their service more than makes up for that.

We have no connection with this business and make this recommendation purely as a result of the service we have received from them on two occasions.

Happy bunnies!

We spent three nights on board Steel Away over the weekend.   She is sitting in Piper Boats’ yard.   The weather was absolutely atrocious- constant strong wind and lots of torrential rain.  Doesn’t sound very good but, in fact, I’d say it was perfect weather for testing the systems and everything else that is part and parcel of building a new boat.

I’m pleased to say that she passed with flying colours!

Yes, of course we produced a short list of “snags” as they are so called.   But, I know from my career in house building that what we produce was a relatively short list of mainly “nit picking” items.

What was abunduntaly clear was the desire of everyone at Piper to produce a first class finish and an excellent product.  Angie and I both clearly felt this more and more as the weekend progressed and we were able to look more closely at the build. It is also abundantly clear that they want us, as customers, to be happy with our purchase.   We could not have asked for anything more from any of the staff right across the board – directors, office staff, designers, steelworkers,joiners, painters, they have all made us feel welcome.

As a result of the weather, I was unable to fly my drone as I had hoped and there was little point in taking exterior photographs.   However we were as warm as toast with the heating and refleks stove going.   In fact, once the heating had warmed the fabric of the boat, the refleks stove just kept the boat at a nice temperature.  So here’s a few internal shots which, I hope, reflects the warmth and comfort that we were feeling.

Build finished!

We visited our boat builder today and watched Steel Away being brought out from the fit out shop into the yard.

The build is finished and we will stay on board over this coming weekend to try out all systems etc before bringing her to the Thames for launch at the end of March.

Here is a 3 minute video showing the build progress. 21 weeks from start to finish.   I’d say that is pretty impressive.

Another visit to the boat builder

We made another visit to our boat builder, Piper Boats Ltd today and are pleased with how things are turning out.   We’re getting closer to being complete.   This week we have seen the wheelhouse fitted, windows fitted, oak flooring fitted in wheelhouse and living area, sinks and taps fitted, various cabinet doors fitted.   It’s looking like we will be coming out of the fit-out shop and into the yard at the end of this week or on Monday of next week and I am hoping (weather permitting) to get some aerial footage of the move.  So, just a few photographs today and hopefully some video next week.

More fitting out

We made our regular visit to Piper today and once again, they have made great progress.   The engine and generator are in.   Propshaft and prop is in.   Batteries fitted. Galley cabinet carcasses in.  Wheelhouse  timber is dry fitted.   The signwriter was just starting on the stern when we were visiting.   We are getting excited now and looking forward to our next visit.    Hope you like the name!    See post here about the name.