This is the story of Wanderlust, a replica Dutch-style barge built by Piper Boats LTD in 2013. To make navigation of this website easier, the topic categories (click Continue reading) can be used to pull up the relevant posts. There are more categories at the very bottom of each page.
The Build: Posts about the building process and the decisions that were made. If you are considering having a barge built look here for the upsides and downsides having a barge built by Piper Boats.
The Troubles: Wanderlust has had more that it’s share of problems. You can find out more about the issues and what has been done about them in this link.
The Thames: Cruising with Wanderlust on England’s River Thames
Wanderlust comes out of the water in Saint Jean de Losne.
Five years after launch, in the summer of 2018, Wanderlust was due to have her bottom blacked. This is a standard maintenance item for most steel inland waterway craft. For Wanderlust, the re-blacking of the hull became more necessary after the paint survey conducted in the summer 2017 showed widespread failure of the underwater coatings. When Wanderlust was out of the water in 2017 swaths of bare steel were visible, particularly in the HAZ or “heat affected zones”, the places where the metal work had removed the shop primer applied during the steel’s manufacture. Continue reading →
Wanderlust on the Saône: Pleasant unserviced moorings such as this one are the reason why live-aboard boats have the ability to function off of the grid.
From launch Wanderlust had issues with the integration of her generator’s electrical power output into the boat’s systems. The problem was debilitating enough that it made us reluctant to spend time off shore power, the main reason to have a generator in the first place. It’s these trials and tribulations with the generator that was the first indication that things would not go smoothly with out new barge.Continue reading →
Wanderlust comes out of the water for work in 2018.
Note: I’ve been slow in following up with the posts on Wanderlust’s story. The 2018 season was lost in entirety to the remedial works that only became possible after the dispute with the builder was settled on February 6. As of 2019 Wanderlust is better than she ever was, though we are still dealing with several issues.Continue reading →
Roughly 9 kilometers from the mooring in Venarey-les-Laumes is Château de Bussy-Rabutin. It is reachable by bike, as are several other notable destinations in the area. We missed this one when Wanderlust transited the Canal de Bourgogne in 2016 and only found it by chance later in August of 2018 when we visited the area by car. Continue reading →
About four kilometers from the pleasure boat port in Tournon-sur-Rhône is one terminus of the Train de l’Ardèche, a historic steam train that runs up the rugged River Doux valley. The train’s lower station is within bike riding range of the water. If we were able to moor in Tournon when we passed by on the Rhône in 2017 we would have ridden our bikes out to ride the train. But the port was silted in at the time and we couldn’t moor in Tournon, so we were left to visit by car when we were again in the area in May of 2018. Continue reading →
With Wanderlust in the paint shed we embarked on a three-country road trip that led in the end to a return stop at Tournon-sur-Rhône in May of 2018. Across the Rhône from Tournon is Tain-l’Hermitage. Near the river on the Tain side is Valrhona’s Cité du Chocolat. Continue reading →
Looking down the River Rhône from Tournon-sur-Rhône
In May of 2018, as the grit blasting and coating of Wanderlust’s bottom was ongoing, we headed out from Saint Jean de Losne. While she was in the paint shed and covered with plastic, there was no way for us to live on board. As long as we were off the boat we might as well head out on a road trip. Continue reading →
Visitors fill their cups at the Celestins tap inside Vichy’s Hall des Sources.
Wanderlust was moved onto the hard in Saint Jean de Losne at the end of March 2018. We lived on board as much as we could as work was being done. It was helpful to be around to monitor progress but living on the hard had some downsides. Continue reading →
Cutting a hole through the hull of a new barge to fix fuel leaks is a drastic measure.
Before we left Saint Jean de Losne for the winter of 2017 and when we returned at the beginning of March in 2018 we had the boatyard H2O cut six large access hatches through the floor in Wanderlust’s living area. These holes were cut so that we could determine where the diesel fuel in her bilge was coming from. It was a drastic approach to resolve a troublesome problem. Continue reading →