Sunday, 26 June 2011

Laying down on the job.

I did it, I started to take the boat to pieces. Well I say started, in reality I struggled to even make a start to take the boat to pieces. Rosie, was put together so very well, far too well to be honest. Three brass screws were used where one or two would have been more than enough. To add to this, a very good quality wood glue that had been used to add additional strength. Then about three coats of varnish. Oh, and every screw hole had been filled and topped of by one of those small wood blanking plates. I would say that quality oozes out of every joint, but in reality every joint could never ooze because of the way its been put together. I am only talking about the seating in the saloon here. 

What is obvious is that the level of craftsmanship and care to detail of the saloon couch/bed speak volumes about the finish on the rest of the boat. Well done to Richards Narrow Boats of Henley in Arden who fitted out Rosie. Seven years on the build quality has withstood the test of time. I had decided to take the couch/bed apart and to store it flat pack style for future use. Now, I have taken out only the necessary fittings to let me remove the seat as one single piece.

Next to be tackled was the flooring, which was made up of white shag pile carpet. (You can imagine how easy that was to keep clean with two dogs on board). removing the carpet tiles let me get down to the floor. I had always wanted to do a visual inspection, just to see what things were like under the floor. I am please to report that everything is actually very dusty and dry. The steelwork has been covered in some sort of bitumen sealant. The ballast is made up of very heavy block pavers, the type used to lay house drives. Now, came an ideal opportunity. Rosie has always had a slight list to port, a bit like me after a Friday night out with the boys. This list gets more pronounced, especially when the pump out tank is half full or higher. To keep a good level, I usually move heavy items around in the roof box to compensate.

So talking advantage of the opportunity, I moved some of the brickwork from the port side to starboard to help settle the trim a bit better. Because the weight being moved was below the waterline, it was a surprise to see that moving a small number of the pavers, had a much more pronounced effect than manipulating a larger weight around in the roof box. I need to look further forward on Rosie to see if I can move some ballast in the same way. So that the change in position of the weight is along the length of the boat rather than just at one end. The bedroom has similar carpets down. I might replace the floor in there as well at some point.

The next task is to identify some suitable floor covering. The galley has Amtico on the floor which is very hard wearing and looks good. The problem with this type of material is the need for it to be glued into place. This means if I need to go under the floor in the galley for any reason.  It will be problematical and would cause a good bit of damage to lift the floor up again.

The other possibility is to use the tongue and groove type of wood effect laminates in the saloon, this should be easier to remove if the need should arrive later. A third alternative is the RhinoFloor Vinyl type of floor covering. So many styles, colours and finishes to choose from. This could take a while to get the right covering in the right pattern and the right colour for the job.

Once the floor is back in place the next job will be to fit a Pullman style diner that also converts into a bed.

Under the seat on one side we want to install a freezer chest.  To give additional long term storage of food. I need to identify the freezer before building the Pullman so that the seats are built to a size sufficient for the freezer unit to fit inside. The other side of the Pullman diner is to be used for general storage.

If you are thinking about a fridge or freezer for your boat. A good source of 12vdc/mains/gas fridges or freezers on-line is Mini-Coolers.


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