Ravensdale at sunset in Maryport Marina
You know you’ve become totally obsessed with boating when every break and holiday has a boat-related theme.
When we went to visit family in Wales and the south of England earlier this year we ended up visiting marinas and chandleries and the only souvenirs we brought home from our trip were an outboard motor, a life raft and three tins of antifouling paint.
The Northern Boat Show at Salthouse Dock in Liverpool
One of the interesting old sailing ships on display
And our latest break from Ravensdale, the 13.3m Neptunus 133 cruiser that has been our home for almost eight months, was a trip to the Northern Boat Show in Liverpool on Friday.
We travelled down to Merseyside on Thursday evening and stayed in a Travelodge about 16 miles from the city.
After a very filling breakfast at a nearby Little Chef, we set off for Liverpool waterfront.
We had already booked car parking and put the postcode for the car park in the Sat Nav, but it’s a long time since either of us has been in a big city and we had problems finding our way through the traffic.
Once we were safely parked up, we thought things would get easier, but we couldn’t find our way out of the multi-storey car park.
We felt like proper country bumpkins when we had to ask several people how to get out of the building.
The old sailing boats contrast with the modern architecture around the docks
As planned the car park was very close to the show at Salthouse Dock, so we only had to cross the road to get to the stands that had been set up along the waterfront.
There was a good range of exhibitors including yacht brokers, boat builders, chandleries and marinas, including Maryport Marina, along with watersport and training course providers, holiday and caravan companies, National Coastwatch and River Canal Rescue.
The Maryport Marina stand
The show was being held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We chose to attend on Friday assuming it was likely to be the quietest day and it seems we were correct in this assumption.
We took along a long list of things we needed or wanted for Ravensdale, along with the relevant measurements, in the hope some of these items might be available at the show.
We were out of luck with most of the things we had wanted.
However, we ordered a new dinghy to use as a tender that is due to arrive in a few days time.
We also bought a pair of binoculars that include a compass and a bottle of Boat Buddy boat cleaner so we can keep Ravensdale looking spick and span.
I loved all the old sailing ships that were on show, but was a little disappointed that most of the boats that we were able to view from the pontoons were narrowboats.
A quiet start to the Northern Boat Show
A different view of the boat show with the Wheel of Liverpool in the distance
It was very interesting to see how the interiors were laid out in the different widths of narrowboats and the wide beam vessels on show.
However, it would have been nice to have been able to look around more cruisers – not because we’re looking to change our boat, but because it would have given us an opportunity to look for ideas for projects we could undertake on Ravensdale.
Some of the narrowboats on show at the event
Another group of boats on display at the show
Loved the paintwork on this boat but don't think we will be attempting anything like this on ours
It was lovely to meet up with friends from Maryport Marina, who live in Liverpool, at the boat show and we enjoyed a good chat over lunch.
And, at the end of the day, we managed to find our way back to our car - only because I had written down the details of the level and aisle J - and to get out of the city, despite a road closure, which confused the Sat Nav lady almost as much as it confused us.
Looking around other boats provided an interesting break from our own, but it was nice to get back onboard Ravensdale – our home, sweet home - when we returned to Maryport.
The sunset that greeted us on our return home to Maryport