The Boatbreakers team were on the road again this week. We had a call about a boat up north that had recently sunk on her mooring in a marina. The boat was a Norman 23 that was now back afloat at Uplands Marina, Northwich, just south of Liverpool.
Our plan for the job seemed fairly straightforward. We would drive to the Northwich with a trailer and an outboard engine. Once there, the idea would be to simply attach the engine to the boat and motor her to the nearest slipway, where the trailer would be waiting.
Before we had set off we had made some calls to local marinas to see if we could use their slipways. We were told that the slipway at Uplands was too steep to use. And the next marina along the Trent & Mersey canal seemed to be the likely destination.
We made the long drive up from Portsmouth and stayed the night in a hotel close to the marina before attempting our mission the next morning.
In the morning we arrived at the Anderton Marina slipway early to make sure it was suitable. However as we walked down toward where the slipway is it became clear there would be a problem.
Instead of being a nice smooth angle for us to dip the trailer in the slipway had a middle section that was flat. This meant that if we tried to get the boat out and pull her out the chances were that the trailer would break away from our 4×4.
Back to the drawing board! It was frustrating as we always like to prepare well for these long trips to avoid any inconveniences. We had spoken to the marina and they’d assured us the slipway would be fine to use and judging by Google maps street view it all seemed ok. But sometimes in these situations, it’s not until you’re stood at the location that it becomes a problem.
The next move was to head back to Uplands Marina, where the boat was, and ask the staff there if they think we could use their slipway. It was quite a steep angle but there wasn’t any kink half way so it was actually much more useable than the one at Anderton. After some discussion, the staff agreed to let us use the slipway and we left our truck with the trailer attached on the slipway ready for when we had retreaved the boat.
We located the boat in the marina and quick set about fitting the outboard engine ready for the move. We were also quick to make sure that the boat wasn’t taking on any water that might cause another flooding whilst we were on her.
With the engine fixed on to the transom we were ready to go. Instead of making the simple 100 yard journey straight to the slipway we decided that we should visit one of the wonders of the canal world.
On this certain stretch of the Trent & Mersey there’s one of the most impressive pieces of Victorian engineering in the country. The Anderton Boat lift helps boaters swap between the T&M canal and the River Weaver. Her two one million pound hydraulic rams each lift 252 tonnes of Water/Boat. Our team decided that as we had come such a long way and as it was so close, a trip up and down the lift was a must.
The footage of us going up and down the lift will feaute in the second series of Scrap Kings that will be on Quest in early 2019.
After our fantastic detour it was back to work and we made the short journey back to the slipway where our trailer was waiting. To cut a long story a bit shorter what would usually take us about ten minutes to get the boat on actually ended up taking us an hour as part of the winch broke on us.
However with the boat 75% of the way onto the trailer we strapped her down and dragged her out as she was. Then on even ground it was much easier to winch her further onto the trailer and strap her down. We also drilled a number of holes in the hull to drain off the water that was still stuck in her.
With the boat now on the trailer, empty of water and as secure as we could get her, we then set off back for Portsmouth. However as it was now 4:30 and we knew it would be a late one. As we got back into Hampshire it was fast approaching 10pm so we decided to bring the boat back home with us and then deliver her to our yard the next morning.
After what seemed like an endless drive south we made it back and rested up ready for the chop the next day. When we arrived in the yard we had the boat lifted off of the trailer and we quickly removed the steering gear. In our opinion, it was the only thing worth saving on the boat.
We did also find a number holes along the side of the hull where the rub rails would have once been. This may have been a contibuting factor to the sinking a few months back.
Once the boat was stripped down the team in the yard got to work with crushing the boa using our large excavator machine. It took around 5 minutes to crush the boat and the materials were then sent to a recycling plant to be sorted through.
If you have a boat you’d like to dispose of please get in contact or use our Scrap Calculator.