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Monday, 20 January 2014

Boat Fix.

We left home for the boat in torrential rain but I had great faith in the forecast of bright with sunny periods. By the time we arrived at the marina I was relieved to be correct.

Quite a colourful scene in the marina.

I checked the electricity meter and was surprised to see that the consumption had increased a fair bit, but I suppose that we have got into a bit colder weather. It certainly gives peace of mind to know that the boat wont freeze. Checking the thermometer inside the coolest it has been in the boat is 2 deg so I'm happy with that. The rate per unit isn't bad at all either. 

I then started up the Hurricane heating and it fired up straightaway and the boat was warmed through within 30 minutes. All the radiators were working fully and didn't need bleeding so looks like no leaks there, and the header tank was at the same level too. I then looked down the engine hole. There was a bit of water in there to mop out and dry off. I gave the glow plugs a good 10 secs and she started up straightaway and with very little smoke either. All good encouraging stuff.

The next job was to put up some rail over hour hatch. Helen had run up some curtains to put over to limit any draughts there may be. The idea is that in the summer we will also be able to put muslin over them so that we can keep the side hatch open put maintain a little privacy. I got the got the short end stops so that they don't protrude into the passageway too much and they don't at all. 

New side hatch curtains in situ with Helen undertaking vital work over a cup of tea, transferring dates to the new calendar.

The next job was to fit up the curtains at the after end. This is also to limit any drafts from the doors and hatch. It isn't too bad but will also help to keep the heat in the boat. We will also replace these in the summer with muslin that worked very well last year to keep flies out but allow  a breeze in during those lovely hot days we had. (I'm already dreaming of the same again). We need to attach a ring and cup hook just to seal the curtains to the sides and close the gap at each cupboard.

 New hatch and door curtain. On the work top to the right is the thermostatic heater that I leave on to maintain a 2 deg in the boat.

I then measured up the engine hole hatch as I am going to buy some seals to go all round the 'I' beams with the hope that it will make a better sound seal to the deck boards and also mean that the boards fit more snugly as at the moment there is a little height difference between the side and the removable cross beams. If you just get stood in the wrong place the deck boards can lift a little. Whilst down the 'hole' I checked over everything and all appeared well. I mopped out the small pool of water. I was not surprised as some of the deluges there has been must have overwhelmed the drainage and it had cascaded over the side of the channel bar and into the engine space. One task I have once we are away again is to de-rust the engine deck and then coat with anti rust and paint. One side is good but the side where the water collects must have had standing water all the time it was awaiting sale in a marina, a whole year!

Meanwhile, her work done Helen was found reading. I got this book for Christmas and almost read it in one sitting. It is 'The Accidental Apprentice' by Vikas Swarup who was the Author of  Q & A that became the film Slumdog Millionaire. This book is similar and wont take much to make into a cracking film so watch this space I would say. I wasn't going to get much more out of Helen now!

I had to measure up the bed and the kitchen deck as we thought we would buy a roll of rubber backed coir matting. On the bed I thought it would make a nice barrier to prevent condensation over night. You can buy expensive matting to do the same but all you need is something to maintain an air gap and I reckon that the hairs on the matting wouldn't all be crushed at the same time so do the job for much cheaper. It may even make the mattress softer too. The same stuff could be used in the galley area as a carpet come extra door mat to prevent any excess coming into the body of the boat.

I spent the rest of the time going round the exterior of the boat touching up any rust spots that I found to stop them growing. It was doing okay on the whole. It was great to be back on the boat as we both realised how comfortable we both feel on her and it always makes me want to let go and steam off. Before leaving I turned the water off from the tank, turned the gas off at the bottles and turned the Hurricane heater off. I had been turning all the electrics off too but thought that I would leave the breaker in for the bilge pump as you never know if it may be needed. The moorings were fine with very little wear and tear at the rings. As we shut up the boat it was with hope that we will be back soon and she will be okay in the meantime. We spent the journey home discussing plans for the next season away. I can't wait.


  1. Whenever I read your blog I find it hard to believe that this is the same Tony I've known for years..... you are a different person. You and Helen need to get onto your boat as soon as you can, you are at your happiest when you are there and travelling around exploring Britain. As much as we'll miss you it's your perfect retirement home!

  2. That's what I keep telling Helen!