Monday 3 May 2021

Sadly, I've lost my first mate.

I haven't  posted anything for quite a while, due to accidents, time in hospital, lockdown etc.

Much has changed, sadly Glenda decided to go it alone and moved out of Freyja, into my neighbour Pat's boat nb Chelmer, she has now gone on to buy her own boat and I've bought her out of Freyja and am in the process of buying her out of Christina.

This year, I've changed to a gold license and intend to head up onto the canals for the summer, taking only Freyja, as it's not always possible to single man a pair. I would prefer to take Christina with me, as having my full workshop, freezer and washing machine would be very useful.

Sunday 31 March 2019

Moving on to the butty's rotten roof.

An equally rotten roof to remove!

Replacing that horrible polystyrene insulation with modern insulation.
Discombobulating the workshop's large skylight.
A frame within a frame acts as a good seal against the elements.

The first of three overlapping 6mm layers.
Using curved timbers, spacers and ratchet straps to hold the subsequent 6mm layers down, while the Cascamite glue dried.
It seemed like every time that I mixed and spread the glue, the sun would come out and start drying it before I could get the next panel on and clamped.
Looking a lot more solid and straighter.
A nice, triple layer roof, Getting there!
I've left an overlap all the way around, this will be trimmed back after the oak surrounds, cross pieces and handrail mounts have been fitted.

Looking good, and far more practical with the foothold spaces along the gunwales.

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