Chris and Jess were happy to allow me aboard and gave up their evening to ply me with food and drink and show me the transformation they had brought about to what had become a very run down boat in urgent need of attention.
Obviously as live-aboards they have very different priorities and the work they have done ("done" not "had done" - i.e. they did it all themselves) has improved her no end. It was an odd experience for me - some things were completely different whilst others were just as I remembered them. They were happy for me to take some photos so you can compare them with some I took when Starcross was put up for sale and see for yourselves:
|The kitchen area (old)|
|Looking back from the front (new)|
|Looking back from the front (old)|
I don't have and "before" shots of the bathroom area, but that has also had a complete makeover. No discussion of a boat would be complete without a reference to the toilet arrangements and Starcross now has a composting loo. This replaces the old Thetford Cassette loo, the emptying of which was usually my job!
|The new loo|
Chris and Jess have kept the old Villager solid-fuel stove but added diesel-powered central heating. They've added solar panels and also removed as much gas as possible, doing away with the troublesome Morco water heater and the gas oven, which we hardly ever used, replacing it with the boaty version of an Aga. They've replaced most of the lighting and painted the old tongue-and-grove wood panelling white, which makes a surprising difference to the ambiance inside the boat. I think I approve of (nearly) everything they've done. They've certainly made it into a lovely home.
It all brought back a lot of memories and although I knew that they have no plans to sell I couldn't help asking, as I left, for "first refusal" if they ever do. . . . . . .