Saturday, 30 June 2012

55ft Classic by ABC Boats

I can't say it more simply than "I love this hull". From every angle I love the way it looks. And there are many many photos available online. 

I've written about this hull before. The 45ft hull was well received at Crick last year. It is for sale at £27,500  (AUD $43,505) which means for 12 or more months this hull has not been sold .. or fit out for that matter.

Not being in England I can't check out  why this might be. Quality will not be an issue. The market is flat, but boats are being built and sold, just at a slowler rate.

A 45ft length creates a slight design challenge. The cabin length would be approx 31ft, allowing for the extra length the butty style stern requires. Length well spent in my opinion. I'll say more in a moment.

The narrowboat industry does very well at interior design for all lengths. I have been waiting for this hull to be fit out for some time to see what they do do .. if that makes sense.

Anywayyyyy ... I noticed on Apollo Duck that ABC Boats are selling this same hull with an extra 10ft ... making it a more conventional 55ft. The photo shows the 45ft hull , so a 55ft hull may be to order or in manufacture. At £20,594 (AUD $32,580) it looks good value. With a 40hp engine (extra 5hp on 45ft) and primed but not painted, blacked with 2 pack epoxy pitch ... and ... without the portholes and focsules, the cost of this boat will proportionately more expensive to complete. Being 22.22% longer ... expect it to cost 25% more to complete. 

Guessing it will take another £27.5K to fit-out the 45ft ... thennnn ... bringing it to the same level with windows and paint ... add the same again for fit-out ... and you will be just north of £65K (AUD $100K) for a great looking 55ft narrowboat with a professional fit out and a decent list of inclusions suiting liveaboard.

And the aft deck ... what makes this function so well ?? The set back tiller never gets in the way of crew and guests. Nobody needs to reposition themselves because of tiller usage.

There are two (unencumbered) seats either side of the cabin doors.

The two rear wooden seats (rails) integrate well to the functions of steering, aiding access on and off the boat and providing an ideal location for morse controls so that tiller and controls are not impeded at any time, thus making for very comfortable cruising for all concerned.

The cost of 2ft for the longer butty style pointy end ?? .... totally worth it !!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Stern Catacomb 1981 Pinball Machine

This is my fully restored Catacomb pinball (Reg #5702) which was made by Stern in 1981. I consider it one of the better playing machines of it's time. 

I bought it a few years ago in fair condition, requiring some attention to return it to a condition that appeals to serious collectors.

I have attended to all it's (rather minor) ills so that, it operates and plays extremely well (photos are a year or so old ... being prior to some repairs).

It's appearance is nice, with a clean and original cabinet and playfield, as well as a brand new (reproduction) backglass.

For appearance, I use a mix of incandescent and LED globes. The LED's are nice, bright and modern looking, however the warm glow of the old incandescent globes better illuminate some areas.

Overall though, it looks spectacular in a darkened room.

Photo taken before 4th Player display was replaced.
The beauty of this particular machine is it's great original condition.

To a collector of early Stern's, it is the hardest machine to find. And a Catacomb in this kind of condition is virtually impossible to find ANYWHERE in the world.

This is also the most visited page on this entire blog (about boats). So it draws a fair bit of internet attention.

Newly manufactured circuit boards (including a test board) are available. The new boards are technically superior to the boards manufactured 31 years ago.

If the time comes to replace anything, parts are available, though every effort has been made to retain it's originality.

The Pool Room
I get frequent offers ... but honestly, I'm not sure what value could entice me to part with it.

Ok .... that's it for now. Talk (blog) to you later.