Search This Blog

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stove 2

 With the ice around the boat reminding us of how nice it would be to have a stove, we spent the weekend getting it all sorted.

Simone bent this

Into this

With the help of some friendly people on the other side of the river, and then we set to making a hearth:

Armed with an actual tile cutter, borrowed from another boatfriend, this went a lot more smoothly than the first lot of tiling. After painting the flue, waiting for the paint to dry, and putting all the fire cement etc. in place, we have fire!

All of this means I now have an ongoing excuse to chop wood and use power tools. Pig in the proverbial.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


As we suspected, we've not ended up doing a lot of blogging since we moved on! Loads while we were waiting for the boat to be ready, and then none about the exciting bit. I guess it's a bit like when you were little, you'd write letters to Father Christmas for something to do while you waited for the big day, but then you rarely kept up communication with him during the rest of the year. 

This weekend we decided it was time to buy a stove. We ordered one from the friendly people at Ely Chandlers - who have by far the best price around on Morso stoves, and then set to the business of getting the hearth ready. After rather a lot of this: 

Note to self: Yes, it is worth paying a couple of pounds for a proper tile cutter.
We ended up with this:

The boat safety people have recommendations  about the installation of solid fuel stoves, but nothing very concrete. This is Gyproc fireboard behind tiles, which should hopefully be ok. We'll build a little hearth to go under the stove, too, and tile that.

As if to reward us for the stress of trying to break tiles with a pair of nail scissors and a pointy stick, and sticking tiles to the wall with what may as well have been grease, we woke up to this, which reassured us we had probably made the right decision:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I finished my first commission - a button fender with wings for the front of a neighbour's boat. I need to do some side fenders for a friend, now.


We have some curtains. Wool-lined, no less. We went through dozens of ideas, from roller blinds hidden down under the gunwhale, to traditional curtains, but settled on some lined inserts for the windows which clip into some little hooks in the frames. Wow, a post about curtains. Rock and Roll! 

The fabric is from a fantastic shop in Bath, Country Threads.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


We took a trip to Bath over the weekend and stayed by Pulteney Weir. Whilst there, we saw a Don McCullen exhibition that we'd forgotten was on, which was amazing.

Captain Safety Says...


We have an oven! Imagine!

Simone had become an incredible one-hob chef, but it is a real treat to be able to expand our repetoire a bit!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Antique white, pastel white, Siberian white, cotton white, green white ... we've recently been trying to chose a shade of white for the ceiling.
This is how that's been working out for us:
We go to B&Q, we look at the 50+ choices of white that we are afforded in a modern society and we discuss. That one's too cream, that one's too blue, etc. We hold up off cuts of the white oak (which definitely isn't white), we um and we ah.
We leave with no paint. On returning home and gaining our senses over a drink decide that they're all just white and we should just go and buy one, not letting ourselves be bamboozled by the samples which are so grubby from being pawed that they no longer resemble greys, let alone whites - so we return the next day full of determination and slight embarrassment at our previous indecision over 'white'.
But cotton white really is quite cream, and antique white quite cold ... and we descend into the debate again - before leaving devoid of paint and unsure about what the world is coming to - they are just all white after all...

Monday, September 6, 2010

We went to Barry Island in the rain

Home and Family

By the end of the first day, we'd managed running water and a little temporary sink unit in the kitchen, and my brother and his girlfriend brought some dinner round. Good times!

Painting the Ceiling

To widespread disapproval from neighbours, we're going to paint the ceiling.


Our fitter left all the scrap wood from the build in the boat, which is fantastic because it means anything we build now can be faced off and trimmed in matching oak. Our first project was this little sink unit. 

And then these steps

My jigsaw has a laser sight, which I thought was a gimmick, but is brilliant, and means that it's best used in the dark!


After moving in, we had two weeks of pretty persistently gross weather, but when it finally broke we were able to go on a really nice cruise out to Saltford and back, via this great temporary mooring under the Avon Valley Railway bridge.
It's funny that in all the excitement of moving on to a boat, I'd forget that it was also a boat, that could move around! I love the feeling of being able to go somewhere that feels as though it's in the middle of nowhere, but still make a cup of tea.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bristol and Friends

When we went over to give Bristol Marina some pennies for putting the boat in, they pointed out that we could have a night's stay at the marina for a tiny bit more than we'd pay for our harbour licence, which was included in the mooring, so we had the first night in the centre of Bristol. This meant we could fill up with fuel and water and plug in for the night. We had our first guests - friends came and brought a takeaway.

In the morning, we made our way to our home mooring. Seeing Bristol from the river was fantastic.

We also saw a crocodile in a tree. 

Moving the Boat

A.B. Tuckey moved the boat so smoothly and so professionally. What we'd imagined could be a nerve wracking experience was exciting, but not in the least bit worrying - how they squeezed the boat into and out of the spaces they did is beyond me. To a chorus of predictable and no doubt long-established jokes about windows falling out, and not following the boat in case it slid off like the last one, we said goodbye to the builders and made our way towards Bristol. 

We managed to get just a few minutes ahead of the driver to be able to get up on to a footbridge and watch the boat come down the portway to Bristol Marina.

Now all we had to do was drive the thing!

Old Rope

I find doing stuff with rope profoundly satisfying somehow. Splicing and knotting and whipping and all that. I've come to think of it as a kind of man knitting. It's crafty and relaxing but you get to use a knife.
I've spliced all the mooring and anchor ropes, and made all the fenders. In the end, I did the button and front fenders too - they're not perfect 'cos I was making it up as I went along, but they'll do the job, and for a fraction of the cost of new ones.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


We've been on the boat nearly a week, which is completely unbelievable. The time has absolutely hurtled past. We've just set up our little 3 Mobile Wi-Fi gadget. Well, I say set up; to be honest it was so simple it may as well have just walked through the door, plugged itself in to the wall and made us a cup of tea while it filled in all the forms. Lots of pictures to follow - we've been busy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Yesterday was vanday - we hired a van to take down the majority of the stuff we'll need in the first instance. Between showers of rain, we managed to get everything in, and had our first meal on the boat! Fresh bread, organic houmous, and additive-packed rolo desserts. Good times!


Simone's brother and I cycled to the boat on Thursday, which was about a seventy mile round trip. The way there was characterised by a brutal and persistent headwind, whereas the way back absolutely flew by.

Dominic recorded this little boat tour video whilst I was talking to the fitter.

The boat is now finished! Well, to be fair, it's far from finished. The tricky bits which we asked our fantastic builders and fitter to do are finished. We still have a lot to do. Amongst other things, we now have an inverter, and I for one am looking forward to doing some serious inverting.

Friday, August 6, 2010


These are those out-of-sequence photos. Loads has happened! We now have:
Keys to the marina!

A full set of side fenders!

Beautiful window frames!
Electric wizardy!
Programmable heating!

A loo!
A shower tray!  

The fitter-outer is hoping to finish on Thursday 12th August. Less than a week away! We'll move a vanload of stuff in a couple of days later, before the boat makes its way down to Bristol with A.B. Tuckey at the beginning of the following week. So unbelievably exciting! We have a massive boat!