Thursday, 2 September 2010

Thermal blinds

The saga of the canal side Blackberries crop continues. We now have 7 litres of jam in Kilner jars, so we should be self sufficient in jam for a while! This week I started phase two by home brewing three gallons of Blackberry wine, there is a pleasant bubbling noise through the air traps of the demijohns as I write.

See previous Blackberry post here.

What else have we been up to.....

We met up with a nice couple this last week at the marina. Diana and Ian were there with narrow-boat Katynka. They had previously been boat share owners but had been tempted into owning their own boat.  Now they were cruising the canals with their own boat and enjoying every moment of their retirement. Ian was having a problem with his Ebersp├Ącher central heating system and we were able to render a bit of assistance to get it going again.

This was rounded off by spending a pleasant evening onboard Katynka enjoying a few beers for the boys and a flagon or two of wine for the girls. The layout of Katynka is such that there is a feeling of lots of internal space. So any changes we make to Rosie will have visual space in mind. 

Ian and Diana have a very sobering story (no pun intended) to tell about their encounter with a lock gate which reinforces the need for everyone to take extra care when out on the canal and operating locks. The story can be read in the "Manchester Packet" the newsletter of the Manchester IWA branch which Ian edits.

We hope to be cruising into retirement soon and that we will cross paths with Katynka, Ian and Diana a bit further down the canal.

So what else have I been doing of late apart from brewing and jam making?

For my witterings for this posting I have been looking at thermal blinds. I noticed a mobile home with some sort of reflective sheild on the windows. This started my quest to find out what they were. The idea behind thermal blinds is that in summer, you might use them to help keep your boat cool and in winter use them to help retain internal heat. Thermal blinds are usually made up of a multi layers of insulating material and you tend to see them most often on motor homes and caravans.

I was wondering if they would work as well on a narrow-boat and how cost effective and convenient they might be. They come in two types - internal and external. The only drawback with the external fitting type would be walking along the gunnels to do the actual fitting. Not only that, they would also get wet in day-to-day use.

Internal thermal blinds would be easier to stow away or to deploy so it makes for a much easier choice. So I have already discounted using the external type.

I have found thermal blind products on the internet that are made for caravans and motor homes by :-

  1. Nova Leisure
  2. Hindermann
  3. Isoplair
  4. Fiamme
  5. Milenco

I am sure that some of the above products could be modified to fit the requirements of a typical narrow boat.


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