Saturday, 16 July 2011

I have been floored!

I recently completed the construction of a topbox for storing those items on board that are infrequently used. Now its the turn of the cream shag pile carpet to hit the skip. Cream shag pile is not a good idea on a narrow boat, especially one that has two dogs aboard. So the Memsahib issued an edict, now that I had been given the necessary authority I removed the carpet. I also at the same time removed the built in side fitting sofa/bed. I ended up with a blank canvas that was previously the saloon.

I purchased six metres of interlocking wood laminate flooring and the special silver sided heat/moisture membrane underlay. The floor proved to be a bit of a tricky job to fit, with lots of corners and odd shapes to take into account. The foldaway Black and Decker workmate is a godsend for jobs like this. Two days later, we have our new floor on Rosie.

Floors 2 Go have an excellent selection at reasonable prices.

The Memsahib then issued the next edict. The heating and hot water pipework to and from the calorifier was previously left exposed under the sofa bed. We noticed that the hot water would cool in the calorifier over night. So my next woodworking/plumbing project is to lag all of the pipework and then to box in the exposed pipework in the saloon area. I will also be removing a radiator which is located next to the solid fuel stove. The pipework will then be reused later to pipe heating water through the stove back boiler.

Removing the sofa/bed highlighted that the wood colour in the saloon has darkened where it has been exposed to the sun. Now what was a previously hidden area is going to be exposed to view for the first time. So this calls for a bit of rubbing down and a coat of slightly darker varnish to be applied to bring as close a colour match as possible.

We have just purchased a couple of reclining/swivel chairs with foot stools as replacements for the sofa/bed. This will make watching TV and reading more comfortable of an evening. There are a large number of reclining/swivel chairs on the market. The key factor being to choose those with a width to make it easy to move between and around them.  I have also added a folding table into to the saloon area. Though we do tend to take most of our meals in the pram cover area.

Whilst I had everything stripped out, it was good to be able to check under the floor and view the inside of the hull, just for my peace of mind. The Waxoyl treatment is certainly doing a good job and is still in good condition after seven years. I was unable to find any sign of water ever having entered the bilge area. 

Waxoyl is superb at controlling established rust problems. Waxoyl soaks into rust and is capable of stopping it dead. In doing so even a boat with established rust can have its lifespan extended by many years. The last underfloor job was a squeaky area that was always annoying. After I shaved a small amount of wood off a joint, a rub with a bit of candle fat the squeak has now gone.

Another ongoing project (edict) is fitting a small washing machine. Small it might be, but a very heavy little beast it is. Zanussi make a physically smaller washing machine than normal. The ZWC1300W has a width of 495 mm and a depth of 515 mm and a height of 670 mm. The wash load capacity is only 3Kg, which is smaller than the more normal 4.5Kg or 5Kg machine,  Net weight 54Kg. The washing machine has been fitted onto a small plinth, just to raise it 6 inches above the galley floor level. This leaves room for a drawer underneath and allows the pipework to be routed back into the wet side of the kitchen more easily.

I took the opportunity to move some of the underfloor ballast to bring the trim level with the washing machine standing in its new position in the galley. I am now on the lookout for two or three of the old cast iron 56 pound movable weights to fit under the bed to help trim the level when the pump out tank is ready for emptying. If anyone knows where I can find some suitable weights I would be most interested to know.

The next planned project, will be to build a front cratch frame and then to add a waterproof cover. I will be recycling several solid framed redwood doors that we are replacing at chateau "Wits End". The front cratch area will be used to house our small Monkey Bike and so the dimensions of the cratch frame will have to make for ease of access as well as getting the bike on and off the boat.



  1. Hi Mike, on the cast Iron weights front, theres a few on Ebay, theres a guy in Newark with 150 of them up for sale.


  2. Flat tractor weights may be useful. Normally they fit at the front of a tractor on a rail like a pack of cards. Enquire at a local farm, old ones often on the scap pile!

  3. Hello Paul.

    Made a bid on some as I thought that the £22 each was a bit steep. But then again maybe I am an old skinflint. Someone also emailed me about a load of large sledgehammer blanks.

    Mrs GH.
    That sounds like a good idea, I have quite a few farms located around here. I shall go and ask at one or two. Mind you I expect that a few bits of folding stuff will have to change hands.




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