history of the maggie jean | voyage | mso boatyard | plumbing & electrical | exterior | overall interior stuff | final details

The Restoration of the Maggie Jean - use the links above to read about the various parts of the restoration project of the Maggie Jean, a 48-foot narrowboat moored at Nine Elms Pier, London - sold mid-project (June 2006) to Kirsi Pyy, a lovely Finnish girl who has apparently done a lovely job of finishing everything off, except for a slightly dubious shed on the front. Ah well, at least the old dear is being well looked after.

Given I live in London, the chances of me ever being able to afford an apartment - and a mortgage of £200k, give or take some small change - are basically nil. So I bought a boat instead.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Actually, it seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, albeit just a little bit hare-brained. Since January '04 I have lived on various different boats at Nine Elms Pier, near Battersea Power Station in London. A friend of mine lives here and when one came up for rent last winter he called me up. So I moved on to the Charles William (56-foot humber keel barge), and then when she was sold relocated to the Lagom (35-foot-ish narrowboat). And then, around Christmas, I found out that the Hesperus was for sale, and decided to go for it.

The Hesperus - now the Maggie Jean - was a rotting, rusting old shell, but pretty much a blank canvas as far as narrowboats go, and was available for a decent price. Using the links above you can follow what I have done to get her back on her feet again. A friend of mine, who is a pretty decent photographer has helped document the process, so there are some nice pictures.

The 'history' bit tells you about the Maggie Jean, the condition she was in and a bit about Nine Elms Pier. 'Voyage' is about the trip up to MSO Marine boatyard to get her high-pressure water blasted back to bare metal, and the rest of the sections are largely self explanatory. So if you think it'll be at all interesting, go for it.