Sunday, 20 October 2013

Try before you buy...

Two plus years ago one of my coping measures on a really shitty work day was to log into Mercia marinas web cam on my phone. Sad I know but it have me my instant canal fix. Just as frequently Deb used to message me screen shots of the comings and goings. The web cam is somewhere close to the cafe and looks out over the expense of the water over the top of the boats for sale. At the time living on a boat was a distant dream and part of the ten year plan. That was until I woke up one day and said - we're going to do it in the next six months. 

We visited Mercia, amongst others, and whilst we looked at an old trad boat that was a possibility there wasn't much to offer in the sales section. The rest of the marina did impress though. It is huge but well laid out into smaller sections with lots of islands to keep the vista open. The facilities were top notch and the boats were, on the whole, neat and tidy. 

Last years plan was to winter at Mercia but having been forced to stop in Hinckley in the summer we had had enough of marina life for a while. This year we have arranged a winter berth in Birmingham as we fancied a bit of city life but we have decided to have a pit stop at Mercia for a couple of days. The primary reason being to get the summer wardrobe thoroughly cleaned and dried and freshen the winter clothes that have been vac packed in storage, all ready for the chill down. 

The secondary reason was for a bit of 'try before you buy'. Mercia is an acceptably central location with good road and rail communications, great facilities and at a reasonable price, even the leccy is cheap at less than 12p per kWh its a fraction of what it costs to generate on board. The time is fast approaching where we will need to consider stopping for a little longer and earning some money (when will the mortgage interest rates go up? - $64k question). The practicalities of a marina berth with the all important electric hookup probably out way the preference of the pretty off line mooring on the edge of a rural village and the flexibility of paying slightly more but per month or quarter could be of real benefit.

By the time we (possibly) come back for next winter there should be the final part of the development finished. All but three of the new lodges have been sold and the restaurant/retail units are being started next month and will provide some competition for the on site cafe. Of course, that is unless any other plans materialise. Up until now we haven't made a decision until we approach a junction and decide 'left or right?'

A couple of pics of the marina taken from LJ yesterday evening 


  1. Pier Q (Quail) is where we are! So if you want a laugh over winter, that's the place to be :) We're about a quarter of a mile away from the office and shop etc. Think it's all booked up though.

    Takey Tezey Heth.


  2. Hi Heth, looked out for your boat but there are sooooo many there :-) we're in Burton now - will keep an eye open for pier Q when we make it back - cheers James & Debz