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Viking 23 'Adagio' - Ron Teague - River Lee







My plans to have a narrowboat built were scuppered when the company went bust after telling a pack of lies. My problems were featured on Watchdog on BBC1. As I Live in tied accommodation, the narrowboat was to be my home upon retirement. So I was in a real mess. I was facing up to ten years of debt, paying nearly half of my take home pay on a narrowboat I did not have. I had to try and do something positive to restore my sanity. I was contacted by a solicitor acting for a couple who were also victims of the narrowboat builders collapse. We agreed she would act for me also and the three of us would share the costs. We then had to obtain a High court order to remove the partly constructed narrowboats. I had now run out of money, I was only able to proceed this far with the help of my partner and her family. I had to sell the hull for about a quarter of what I had paid out. I then worked out if I rescheduled my debts, I could buy a second hand cruiser. At least I would be able to get on the waterways, the debt would actually purchase a boat and I would have something at the end of the payments. That is how I came by ADAGIO who was built in 1997. The Watchdog programme also featured Trevor Whitling a marine surveyor, he pointed out to the viewers the defects in what work the narrowboat builders had done on the boats and how to avoid getting into the same distressing situation as we were in! Trevor restored my faith in human nature. Trevor very kindly surveyed ADAGIO free of charge. He could not have been more helpful, if only I had engaged his services when I first thought of having a narrowboat built. Initial handling problems with ADAGIO were improved by fitting a hydroplane to the 15hp, 4 stroke Honda outboard and putting two bags of builders ballast under the water tank in the bow. Heating was provided by means of a portable gas heater, that runs on the same butane canisters as blow torches and last about four hours. ADAGIO is not what I planned, but at least I have a boat; perhaps I should have renamed her PHOENIX! If there is one lesson to be learned from my misfortune it is, NEVER BUY OR HAVE BUILT ANY TYPE OF BOAT WITHOUT FIRST SECURING THE SERVICES OF A REPUTABLE MARINE SURVEYOR.