Now What?

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Deciding on a new name (the old owner wanted to keep Kimasut for his next barge) was like choosing a name for a baby. We went through many options, but decided that it had to be an Aussie name. In the end, we decided on Kanumbra, which is the name of the town where one of our tree plantations is located. A bit of searching showed that it is also an Aboriginal word meaning “human spirit”.  We felt this apt, because that was what we were seeking to find on our explorations aboard Kanumbra.

The colour (for me) was much easier. In keeping with the Aussie connection, I thought it should be green, with gold lettering. To test this out, I did a bit of Photoshopping on the Kimasut photo to show the new name and the new colours. As you will see later, this Photoshopped photo is not too far off what has eventuated.

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21 October – 23 October 2010

Having arrived home from Moissac, I then had to do three things:

·      Explain to family and friends what the hell I had just done!

·      Decide on a new name for the barge

·      Decide on a new look for the new barge.

OK, before you say anything, I know it’s supposed to be bad luck to rename and change colours for a boat, but I had broken so many “rules” in buying the barge, why stop there!

In explaining the purchase to one and all, my favourite response was from my son and the staff in our Melbourne office. When I told him I had just “bought a dutch barge”, they all wondered what “buying a dutch barge” was a euphemism for!

24 October – 30 October 2010

Having bought a barge, I soon realised that there some practical issues to deal with fairly quickly. The two main issues were insurance and registration. Kimasut was registered on the UK Small Ships Register (SSR) and insured with Towergate Marden. Initial enquiries showed that I would not be able to continue with these arrangements because I was not a UK citizen and did not have a UK residential address. In any case, I had the feeling that I should put Kanumbra on the Australian Register of Ships (so that I could legally fly the Aussie flag!).

But I knew nothing about whether I could register a Dutch Barge in France on the Australian register, and if it could be done I had no idea how. This turned out to be one of those occasions when the DBA Forum proved very useful. I posted a question on the Forum about Australian registration, and had Aussies coming out of the woodwork offering assistance and advice. Within a few weeks, I had registered Kanumbra on the ARS, although it took many more months to finalise the process as we provided all the necessary bits of evidence. Finally, I believed it was all done when Iain Noble sent a picture of the marking he had done on the Kanumbra hull.

The question of insurance was also initially a bit of a mystery. Having an Australian-owned and registered, English-built Dutch Barge cruising in France was, I thought, likely to cause some problems. So I went to the DBA magazine Blue Flag, and searched the classified ads for Barge Insurers. I found about half a dozen, including the DBA-recommended insurer, and sent emails to them all. Most replied fairly quickly (except for the DBA-recommended insurer, who took several months to respond, and then by snail-mail, with a proposal that was far too late for action), although some were put off by one or more aspects of the Australian / English / Dutch / French combination. In the end, the company that responded best and quickest and who also had the best premium was Euromarine, so I happily went with them. If and when we ever have a problem, I guess we'll find out how they behave at the other end of the business transaction.