During our travels last year we were missing a key piece of kit. A gangplank or passerelle.

Yes, last year I jumped onto stinging nettles one too many times and decided we really needed a gangplank. And we found a lovely one at H2O’s shop here in St Jean de Losne. Lovely aluminium with a wood trim. Very pretty in fact. Unfortunately the price was more on the plain side. Ugly really. 500€. I was gobsmacking and thought there must be a cheaper alternative. But this year, having searched an old catalogue the previous owner left on board, we realised that in fact 500€ was one of the cheaper prices. It’s really daylight robbery.

Anyway Alan decided to do give some DIY a go. He’s been shining on the do it yourself front lately so decided to make a gangplank himself.

Here’s what happened…

First we biked to the local Brico (handyman store) where we picked up a cheap ladder and plank of wood, about 2.5m long. Then we rode back along the canal, Alan holding the ladder and plank in one hand. Very precarious but he rode all the way back balancing carefully.


After a trip back to the Brico to get a longer drill bit he threw in a few U bolts… 


Et voila! 

Now tied to the side of the boat awaiting our first wild mooring for a test drive.

 45€ total. So clever. First the bikes and now the passerelle. Who knew he was so handy?

About khodges2013

Alan and I divide our time between our apartment in Christchurch, New Zealand, and our 11.5m Dutch Cruiser, Silver Fern, on the canals in France. We started out hiring and eventually bought our boat in 2014. The two summers lifestyle is wonderful and we feel very lucky!
This entry was posted in Canal boat, France, Holiday 2015, St Jean de Losne, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to DIY…

  1. Kirsten says:

    Classic! Who knew indeed!! Love the photo on the bike 😀


  2. Well done you guys. A man of many talents. Your next project is????


    • khodges2013 says:

      We are thinking we may actually go cruising! Haven’t left the port de plaisance yet. Just waiting on a couple of steel plates to be made and attached on the boat then we are away!


  3. Phil Stevenson says:

    The things one finds out about your partner when they retire!


  4. Graeme and Hills says:

    Awesome, amazing what a stupid price on something can inspire you to do……and so much more satisfying when you do something yourself, well done Alan, and good photography and no doubt supervision from you Karen haha. Maybe some skateboard grip tape in case it gets slippery?


  5. Lauren says:

    Fantastic – petty it took a year to think of it!! and don’t want to hear you stubbed your toe Karen – fore warned is fore armed!!! and no you cannot blame the vino!!! Also loved the photos of Alan riding along xx


  6. Lee Gossett says:

    Knowing Alan, the gangplank needs to be ‘signed off’. Who?? does the first test?? My money is on Karen. Have the vino ready.


    • khodges2013 says:

      I’d say it will be me,being the crew member, after all. We have done a man overboard drill before 🙂


      • Denise Stevens says:

        ahhhh but are you current on your emergency procedures ? ✈️⚓️⚓️🆘🚼
        Loved the ladder journey photos 😃 Many hidden talents Karen ~ what a gem 💃💃💃


      • khodges2013 says:

        I’m assuming Alan is up to date on EPs. He was very helpful getting the baguette crumb out of my eye 😢 Man of many talents.


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