Bottom Blacking and Dysfunctional Anchors

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

The Generator and the Power Management System

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

Saint Jean de Losne: Reconfiguring Wanderlust’s Fuel Vents

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

Saint Jean de Losne: Fuel Tank Repairs

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

The Table of Issues

Wanderlust cruises the River Rhone.

For most readers this entry will certainly rank as one of the driest and least interesting posts on Barge Wanderlust. Indeed, for regular readers looking to get a glimpse of Wanderlust’s travels, I’d suggest you that you skip on to the next entry. Then again, if you suffer from insomnia, this might well be your cure. Continue reading

Canal de Bourgogne: Fleurey-sur-Ouche to Dijon

Place de la Libération, Dijon

Continuing on from Fleurey-sur-Ouche Wanderlust’s next stop was Dijon. Though we debated stopping in between it seemed that the pull of the biggest city on route was too much to ignore. Continue reading

The Builder: Quality Control and the Build Standards

Wanderlust soon after launch

Wanderlust soon after launch

Building a barge is complicated. With the complexity come the inevitable mistakes and problems. When the bottom of a barge first hits the water neither the customer nor the manufacturer anticipates that every aspect of a new barge will be perfect. Post launch repairs and fixes are simply part of the process. Continue reading

The Build Standards: Are Customers of Barge Builders Really Protected in the UK?

Wanderlust under construction

Wanderlust under construction

Sometime well after we took delivery of Wanderlust her Owner’s Manual arrived on board. As we learned later, the manual is a legal requirement of the build. According to the Recreational Craft Directive or RCD, the boat manufacturers must provide an owner’s manual with their craft. It is an obviously sensible rule. Continue reading