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

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Canal de Bourgogne: Troubles in Ancy-le-Franc

The courtyard of Château d'Ancy-le-Franc

The courtyard of Château d’Ancy-le-Franc

From Tanlay, Ancy-le-Franc, Wanderlust’s next stop, is a day’s cruise. In Ancy we planned to tour the Château d’Ancy-le-Franc. The chateau sits 500 meters of so from the port on the Canal de Bourgogne. Unless the chateau happened to be closed for one of the many French holidays that always seem to catch us by surprise or as a result of a force majeure, we would pay nine Euros each to see the inside. Continue reading

Wanderlust Wanders: Auxerre to Migennes

For Gigi delays mean more shore leave.

For Gigi delays mean more shore leave.

On June 29th 2016, after a series of delays, it was finally time for Wanderlust to leave her winter mooring. In April, two and a half months earlier, Becky, myself, and our dog Gigi returned from California to Auxerre France. Wanderlust spent its second winter in Auxerre’s attractive port de plaisance. Normally we’d return to the barge, spend a week or so getting things set, and then head off onto the inland waterways. But that would not be the case in 2016. Continue reading

Small Leaks, Big Problems

A hotel barge making maneuvers at the start of the season in Auxerre

A hotel barge making maneuvers at the start of the season in Auxerre

When we arrived back in France on April 13th of 2016 it was clear that the builder would not be fixing Wanderlust’s many build related faults anytime soon. Indeed, it seemed they might just try to pay us some small sum of money to go away. It was time for us to find a boatyard to do the repair work. In fact we might have to find a few yards; identifying a single yard with all of the capabilities needed to complete the full scope of the repair work would be a challenge. 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

Fuel Blowback

Wanderlust leaves Caversham on the way to her first fuel fill.

Wanderlust leaves Caversham on the way to her first fuel fill.

At the end of the 2015 we documented Wanderlust’s fuel blowback problem using the pump at the fuel depot in St. Mammes on the Seine. Carefully timing the gauge on the fuel pump with a stopwatch we observed a steady filling rate of 23L/min. As usual we shut off the pump at the first sound coming up from the fill pipe. Seconds later, also as usual, a foaming mass of diesel emerged from the filling port. Continue reading