We have now paid for our barge, but just like buying a house there are a number of other costs, legal requirements and other preparations involved, all of which need to be organised and paid for upfront before you can take your boat away.
First, (before we forked out the full amount for the boat), we needed to have a survey done. This must include a hull report(the insurers will require this). The hull survey will determine the thickness of the metal throughout the hull as corrosion can occur over time. Just as important we needed to make sure that the thickness of the metal conformed to the regulations of the country we intend to use her in (for us the UK). The other thing to keep in mind is that we had to pay to have her lifted out of the water and pay a daily storage fee whilst she is out of the water as well. Anyway, all is well the survey confirmed that she has a thick enough bottom!! The prop. The shaft was rusted through, so that had to be replaced, along with the addition of new anodes and new batteries. We opted for a stainless steel prop. shaft.
Once we had paid the full amount she then had to be de-registered in the Netherlands. Now that this has been completed the mooring fees become our responsibility.
The next job for us is to get some insurance for the boat, and we need to make sure that they know that we will be crossing the English Channel in her. There are a number of other people that we are going to contact prior to crossing the English Channel they are: the Coast Guard (Dover), and the Margate Lifeboat Station. Martin has already contacted The Port of London Authority, they have advised us (as a courtesy) to contact the Thames Barrier on channel 14 to advise them of our intention to go through it (I think we do this once the barrier becomes visible). **
** Update. calling the Thames Barrier is compulsory, not a courtesy as we found out, so make sure you take all the information with you to do this!