Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Replacing our butty's rotten cabin

Our butty Christina was suffering badly from rotten wooden sides, roof etc.

We tried getting a quote to replace the outer skin of the cabin, without disturbing the features that we love in the cabin. We were quoted around £8,000, when I asked how many of these cabins he had done, he said it was his first. So it was that I decided to do it myself!

Some of the old wood was so bad that I could pull it off with my bare hands!

One of the temporary repairs can be seen on this side, as I posted a while back, we coated the roof using geo tape re-inforced liquid rubber.
The workshop was insulated with polystyrene, but on the rear cabin Rockwool was used.

The first inner panel has been painted blue at some time, the second has an intriguing collage, almost all of this cabin was built from old scrap bits of wood and ply.
The strange collage

Insulation was either polystyrene or Rockwool, this was removed and replaced with Celotex panels.

The remains of a wood bees nest in the old insulation.

It was a very nervous time when I started to rip the panels off.
The first replacement panel was the most difficult, it curves and twists in two directions, and to make matters worse, it has a porthole that had to line up with the inner panels. All this needed to be duplicated using very expensive Bruynzeel Hechthout marine ply, at £135 + VAT a sheet! So we could not afford to buy any spare boards, one mistake would be a big problem.

The cabin front board is offered up.

The starboard side panels fitted after sealing the edge and backs of the boards with two pack marine epoxy.

The boards had to lifted on and off multiple times.

I've cut sections out of the bottom of each board to allow us to walk on the gunwales and the boards have been given a few coats of Le Tonkinois Chinese lacquer.

Time to swap to the port side...

I used this old speaker cover to act as a fly guard over the outlet from our compost toilet.

Then added this nice brass cover.

After five coats of lacquer, the panels are starting to get a shine.

I then started staining the rear panels before lacquering them, the section that was formally painted grey will be coated in plain lacquer to bring out the grain.

The rear doors were hung using marine stainless hinges

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Fed up with crap chimneys!

We bit the bullet and ordered some proper hand made stainless chimneys.
We asked Alan Buckle on fuelboat Bletchley where he got his chimneys made? He told us that they were made by Adrian Brindle

So we decided that after buying several crap chimneys, that were not that cheap, only to have them fall to rusty bits in just over a year, that we would order three new double skin stainless steel chimneys and a new exhaust stack.

Adrian kindly made these, easily removable adaptors to take our existing chimney hats.

Here, one of the adaptors is fitted, minus the hat.

All ready for painting.

Adrian's pricelist.

Our chimneys, along with some for another customer. Sadly, the chimney chains were too expensive for us at this time.

All ready for delivery.

I'll have to order a fresh supply of Brasso!

I may remove the exhaust splitter in favour of blowing smoke rings!

Our previous exhaust stack was always wonky, Adrian managed to correct it from a photo.

Christina, our butty's larger diameter chimney ready for it's chimney hat.

Freyja's taller chimney.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

How to easily remove tarnish from copper & brass

I've been trying various methods to remove the heavy Winter build-up of tarnish on our brass and copper.
It appears that using wirewool dipped in a little white vinegar removes it all very quickly, you then need to quickly neutralise it, dry it and polish as normal.
I made some laminated cardboard masks that fit over the mushroom vent bases, portholes and the pidgeon box portholes, these help keep the cleaning stuff off the boat roof. I just drew around them, cut out the circle, laminated them and re-cut the circle.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

A riverside pub with a compendium of vintage games.

The Cock in Denford is our favourite local pub, the brewery tried to kill it off, selling the car park and running the pub down until it was about to become a house! Tim, the local plumber started opening it up in the evenings and said to the villagers that if they didn't use it, they would lose it, as they had the post office, shop etc. The pub thrived and Jaymee was made manager after the local buider bought the pub. Under Jaymee the pub has become a real community hub and has gone from strength to strength.

                       Northampton skittles
Olly (nb Wandering Snail) tries La Grenoille
       La Grenoille, a very old and unusual game
          Table skittles and shove halfpenny


The new narrowboat paintshop at Lilford Marina.

Tol and Linda used to live on our marina until they headed off to the canals to paint boats, they returned to buy the floating dry dock from our marina, but they encountered a problem as they couldn't get the dry dock under Irthlingborough bridge. After selling it back to Clive at our marina they got one of the farm units at the new Lilford Marina.
Tol supervises the positioning of the hydraulic dolly that Dolph uses to move narrowboats at the marina.

It's a tight fit!

And they're off!

Another boat painted and returned to it's owners.

Turmeric is great, even better from The Herb Boat

When working at the Cropedy Festival I always enjoy wandering down the towpath and chatting with the traders. This is the herb boat and we needed some more tumeric as we use a lot of it.
The spice and pulse rack on Freyja, which I'm going to replace with a different design that will accommodate more jars.

The refill from one boat to another.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Testing a P-Wave

I'm sure most gents have encountered one of these mats in a pub urinal, especially used on waterless systems. I wondered if it would freshen up the cassette toilet? I ordered one with spiced apple aroma at £3.80 inc. postage. It was advertised that it could last up to a month in commercial use, so I figured it would last a lot longer with just two of us. The spiced apple was a little overpowering to start with, but settled down. It actually lasted two and a half months. We replaced it with an ocean mist one which has a more subtle aroma,