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Highbridge grp cruisers

Has anyone got information on the Highbridge Crusader 1983 32ft grp cruisers please?Is there an owner's club?A relative of mine has bought one
and water is getting into the cockpit.Dry dock charges are high on the Kennet and Avon [Bath].Also self employed handymen/engineers hard to find there for things like installing a solid fuel boatstove etc

Asked by: brian james  | 8.05pm, Thursday 16 February

WW says:

As you are probably aware, the boats have not been in production for over 15 years unfortunately; they are generally very heavily built boats and last well. Unfortunately there is not an owners club- although there is a cluster of boats around the northern Shropshire Union Canal, as Venetian Marine used to be the main dealers for Highbridge.
It depends on how the water is getting in- if through a deck fitting, then removing it and replacing with new sealant is easy. If the water is coming through the hull, then it could be general abrasion/ice damage, or it could be the result of advance osmotic blistering (though the latter can only really be detected in a dry dock). However, note that many boatyards will be able to pull out a Highbridge 32 on a trailer, rather than having to use a dry dock (and can often be much cheaper!).
One word of caution- take care installing a solid fuel stove on a GRP boat- especially if you have a petrol outboard (as most Highbridges were so fitted). Petrol vapour, if it escapes, is not conducive to being near a solid fuel stove..!. Also, as most stoves are for bigger spaces, it is easy to overheat the boat. You would also need to consider additional ventilation. A blow-air gas-fired heating system (like a Propex heater) might be a better bet; although electrical consumption is an issue, its very safe, and avoids the cold spots that form at floors with solid fuel stoves. The power consumption on 12V is in the one or two amp range, but this can be easily offset with solar panels to extend battery range. THey are also quite easy to install, though the final gas connections should be done by a qualified LPG engineer.
It would also be quite difficult to meet the Code of Practice for the Installation of Solid Fuel Stoves in inlaand boats when fitting a solid fuel stove to a Highbridge 32; not impossible, but might be financially quite expensive and require some serious surgery to the interior (and not just removing the forward cupboard between the dinette and the port single berth settee.
If you have any specific questions about the Highbridge cruisers, please let us know- or email me on mark.langley@waterwaysworld.com for a more detailed conversation.

Mark Langley  | 8.14AM, Friday 17 February

Readers say:

Thanks Mark for your prompt and very informative reply .
Brian James

brian james  | 7.54PM, Friday 17 February

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