OXFORD CRUISERS

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KEI is moored on the Thames at Oxford Cruisers, Eynsham, which is only 4 miles from where we live in Oxford.  This is as far upstream that KEI can proceed as the next lock a Pinkhill is too small to pass through.  The marina is predominaltly occupied by narrow boats and there is also a narrow boat hire fleet, Anglo Welsh, based there.  There are also 2 1920's katwijkers moored, and a delightful 15m luxemotor.  The yard is quite capable of carrying out major work and the bottoms of both 24m katwijkers have been replated this summer.  Lifting the katwijkers out of the water was an evolution and there are a few pictures in the gallery.

Our aim now is to finish the rest of the fit out as quickly as possible.  This is largely building the galley, saloon, bathroom and 2 cabins plus completing the rest of the systems - principally the central heating and installing the generator and battery.  I am hoping that we can complete it by early 07 at the latest.

After the trauma and thrills of the trip from the Netherlands and the trip up the the Thames to Eynsham, it has now come as a hard "check of realization", excuse the George Bushism, to get the tools and saws out and crack on with the interior fit out.  It is somewhat daunting but after chopping up some 8ft  x 4ft 15mm plywood sheets into a few 50mm wide strips with my trusty circular saw and guide to an accuracy of well less than 0.25mm, work is now progressing well, if slowly.

In Nov 05 we witnessed a quite impressive operation to lift one of the 24m katwijkers back into the water after being replated.  A 250 ton crane was hired at 400 per hour, min 10 hours.  This beast arrived with two lorries - one was the actual crane and the second carried around 70 tons of balance weights.  Unfortunately, where the crane had to stand there was insufficient space for the weights lorry to park alongside.  These weights were offloaded into a empty katwijker hull, incidentally for sale if anyone is interested, and moved round to where the crane could offload the weights and assemble itself.  The crane assembly took all morning and the lifting of the 24m back in and 15m luxemotor out was quite quick.  After that it was a repeat of the building operation to dismantle.  All in all quite a spectacle.

Oxford Cruisers gallery


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