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Julynian – A Wide Beam Self Fit Out Part 3

Continued from Part 2

It’s now November 06 and having been on the water for 18 months we decide to take the boat out of the canal and place on dry land. This was mainly due to changes and expansion with our business, but gave an opportunity to re Black the hull and finish all the work off with relative ease having a 240 volt supply and old removal van to store tools and equipment in.

Fitting Oak Trim

This was also the ideal time to fit the Oak trim as it needed routering and sanding and could all be done outside on a bench. So every weekend for countless weeks the trim got fitted.

With most the Oak now fitted, we felt the boat lacked colour, just too much wood. So following a visit to a fellow boaters wide beam who had done this to their boat, we decided to do the same. So we painted all the upper linings to brighten things up a bit.

Originally we tried White but thought it a bit stark, so went for this Yellow.

We also ordered the bespoke Oak porthole liners. These are very expensive but worth it IMO They’ve been in over a year now with no cracking or splitting of the oak.

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We used a paint specifically designed for bathrooms so it would cope better with higher levels of moisture.

The next step would be the bedroom.

Bedroom

The bedroom is 7f/t X 10f/t 6” including walkway. We wanted a large bed so used the entire width of the room for the bed. The mattress was made bespoke using memory foam which we find really comfortable. The bed is raised quite high, just below the gunwale. This allowed for plenty of storage space below.

Firstly we shelved under the bed space on the side we can use. We originally were going to fit drawers but then came up with the idea of wicker baskets. They are much easier to rummage through as you just slide them out lift them on the bad and find what you’re looking for. Rather than getting down on your hands and knees.

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Other advantages are being high up you’re likely to be in warmer air in the winter. You can peek out of the porthole without getting out of bed LOL

Having the baskets at the front edge of the bed leaves a bit space behind. Normally a calorifier of waste tank would be put here. However we came up with this solution. Between the bedroom and engine room we planned a small work room to do odd jobs in and to act as a utility room. We constructed a twin trolley that rolls under the bed and rolls out into the work room.

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The first trolley is the smaller the second one is about 4f/t long they total 7f/t in length and can hold a considerable amount of stuff. They are on heavy duty castors which run in a rail made from off cut Oak faced plywood so the trolley always comes out straight. They are now used for tools and equipment.

The room they roll into is the final room to be finished which will be completed this summer. It will have a large sink fitted with some fitted cabinets and worktop space. This will be like the boot room in a farmhouse where you can clean up a bit and kick off the muddy boots before entering the boat. The floor in here will be dark Green rubber and the walls possibly the plastic T&G like in the bathroom. Or possibly more rubber.

During the past 2 years it’s been increasingly difficult to get to the boat, mostly due to business problems more recently caused by recessionary pressures.

However I do take projects home from time to time.

This lamp was an e-bay purchase, good clean up and works fine.

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My brother restored this Klaxon horn for us.

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I quite often bring removable bits back for painting as well.

My most recent repair and fix though was our pigeon hatch. This was originally constructed with a steel strap hinge. This hinge being left and not used for long periods eventually seized up.

My only option was to completely cut this rusty hinge away and replace with something more conducive to long term reliability.

I purchased a new type of power saw just for this purpose called the Startwin. It basically cuts any material using twin blades that rotate in opposite directions at 9oo rpm. Very impressed with how it performed and will be a useful tool in the future.

This is the bit I had to cut away.

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5 f/t long and 4 to 6mm steel to cut through mostly welds.

Once removed I had to clean up the cut edges prime and repaint. The hatch will eventually be dark Green externally, and Cream internally.
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The Stainless Steel hinges are standard door hinges with an 8mm S/S rod running through the row. The rubber pipe over the S/S rod buts up to the 3mm thick rubber under the hinges so pretty water tight anyway. But a ridge cowl also runs along the hinges to shelter from direct rain. There’s also a inner rail below the hinge that traps any water ingress and diverts it on to the roof.

This job was laborious as I had to mark; centre punch; pre drill; then drill and hand tap all 80 holes LOL But pleased with the finished job.

Coming up…

I’m making a determined effort to get the boat finished this summer. Just the back utility room to finish and painting the boat’s exterior.

Some other small projects I will post on soon. These include.

Glass Splash backs to the kitchen worktops, lit by Blue Led strip.

The original time sclae was 2 years. If it wasn’t for my business partner stepping back to run another business it could have been completed pretty much on time, but I had to spend time back here as I have no one to cover for my absence. We’re not too bothered that it’s probably going to be end of this year for completion, as when we can get to the boat it’s an enjoyable task we enjoy anyway. However 2 years was a reasonable time scale for us to set in the first place.

The problem with working weekends and evenings is it’s difficult to get a lot done in short spaces of time. You end up clearing stuff away more often, cleaning up more often. just locking and securing the boat takes time every time you leave it. We found planning the next stage of the job properly so you know you have all the right tools, right equipment and get set up in such a way thay you get a good rhythm goping then you can get on with certain stuff quite quickly. I found the more time we took to plan ahead the easier it became. Some weekends would be used just for measuring up and preparing things for a certain job.

I think you’re right, It’s probably quite rare that any DIY boat project gets finished on time, or as if you say at all. Newbies embarking on self fit out should calculate a reasonable finish time then double it to be on the safe side

Julynian062A much darker Blue than in the illustration will be what’s fitted though.

Refitting of pigeon hatch.

Fitting of under unit kitchen drawer.

Fitting correct chimney pipe.

Fitting Mirror Glass to cratch and side doors inner panels which will be leaded.

Exterior painting starting with a Cream roof.

The original time sclae was 2 years. If it wasn’t for my business partner stepping back to run another business it could have been completed pretty much on time, but I had to spend time back here as I have no one to cover for my absence. We’re not too bothered that it’s probably going to be end of this year for completion, as when we can get to the boat it’s an enjoyable task we enjoy anyway. However 2 years was a reasonable time scale for us to set in the first place.

The problem with working weekends and evenings is it’s difficult to get a lot done in short spaces of time. You end up clearing stuff away more often, cleaning up more often. just locking and securing the boat takes time every time you leave it. We found planning the next stage of the job properly so you know you have all the right tools, right equipment and get set up in such a way thay you get a good rhythm goping then you can get on with certain stuff quite quickly. I found the more time we took to plan ahead the easier it became. Some weekends would be used just for measuring up and preparing things for a certain job.

I think you’re right, It’s probably quite rare that any DIY boat project gets finished on time, or as if you say at all. Newbies embarking on self fit out should calculate a reasonable finish time then double it to be on the safe side.

WOW 16 March 2009 was the last time I posted on here, time fly’s LOL

Well boat still not finished but nearly there. Will definitely be on the water next March. Reasons for delay, a dammned multitude of them. Recession mainly, not so much shortage of money but time as I’ve had to manage my businesses without the staff I used to rely on and simply couldn’t get away. Family bereavements didn’t help either. Anyway back on course but 4 years late in reality LOL

Had to put lots of things right due to the lack of time spent on the boat, shower packed in due to freezing and a split pipe connector in the central heating system took an age to locate and fitted a new chimney to the bubble stove due to bad corrosion.

Managed to get the glass splashbacks fitted and finished, couple of photo’s below but not great quality better ones will follow.

I’m starting on the back cabin this weekend the last cabin to do that will be our utility room come workroom. This will be fitted with dark Green rubber coin dot flooring incorporating floor hatch to access base plate and some useful cool storage, and plain smooth white rubber wall to the stern bulkhead wall. I’m fitting an all in one freestanding stainless steel sink unit, although it’s free standing in this case it will be secured to the rubber bulkhead wall and boxed in at one end to hide the plumbing. The SS unit is 1.4 metres long so a small twin tub washing machine will sit beneath it and other cleaning equipment.

This is the cabin where the underbed trolly rolls into to access it (see back a few pages). Some other

It’s now November 06 and having been on the water for 18 months we decide to take the boat out of the canal and place on dry land. This was mainly due to changes and expansion with our business, but gave an opportunity to re Black the hull and finish all the work off with relative ease having a 240 volt supply and old removal van to store tools and equipment in.

 

The

Fitting of under unit kitchen drawer.

Fitting correct chimney pipe.

Fitting Mirror Glass to cratch and side doors inner panels which will be leaded.

Exterior painting starting with a Cream roof.

 

The original time sclae was 2 years. If it wasn’t for my business partner stepping back to run another business it could have been completed pretty much on time, but I had to spend time back here as I have no one to cover for my absence. We’re not too bothered that it’s probably going to be end of this year for completion, as when we can get to the boat it’s an enjoyable task we enjoy anyway. However 2 years was a reasonable time scale for us to set in the first place.

The problem with working weekends and evenings is it’s difficult to get a lot done in short spaces of time. You end up clearing stuff away more often, cleaning up more often. just locking and securing the boat takes time every time you leave it. We found planning the next stage of the job properly so you know you have all the right tools, right equipment and get set up in such a way thay you get a good rhythm goping then you can get on with certain stuff quite quickly. I found the more time we took to plan ahead the easier it became. Some weekends would be used just for measuring up and preparing things for a certain job.

I think you’re right, It’s probably quite rare that any DIY boat project gets finished on time, or as if you say at all. Newbies embarking on self fit out should calculate a reasonable finish time then double it to be on the safe side.

 

WOW 16 March 2009 was the last time I posted on here, time fly’s LOL

Well boat still not finished but nearly there. Will definitely be on the water next March. Reasons for delay, a dammned multitude of them. Recession mainly, not so much shortage of money but time as I’ve had to manage my businesses without the staff I used to rely on and simply couldn’t get away. Family bereavements didn’t help either. Anyway back on course but 4 years late in reality LOL

Had to put lots of things right due to the lack of time spent on the boat, shower packed in due to freezing and a split pipe connector in the central heating system took an age to locate and fitted a new chimney to the bubble stove due to bad corrosion.

Managed to get the glass splashbacks fitted and finished, couple of photo’s below but not great quality better ones will follow.

Photo’s not available.

I’m starting on the back cabin this weekend the last cabin to do that will be our utility room come workroom. This will be fitted with dark Green rubber coin dot flooring incorporating floor hatch to access base plate and some useful cool storage, and plain smooth white rubber wall to the stern bulkhead wall. I’m fitting an all in one freestanding stainless steel sink unit, although it’s free standing in this case it will be secured to the rubber bulkhead wall and boxed in at one end to hide the plumbing. The SS unit is 1.4 metres long so a small twin tub washing machine will sit beneath it and other cleaning equipment.

This is the cabin where the underbed trolly rolls into to access it (see back a few pages). Some other fitted shelving will be added under the opposite gunwale but other than that will be kept quite minimal. The paneling to the top sides will be gloss painted oak faced ply with natural hard Oak surround. This cabin has only 2 portholes so needs to be light colours.

10mm Rubber flooring will also be bonded to the cratch floor and same at the stern. Smaller jobs to finish are the 2 hardwood kidney shaped stern seats need to be fitted to the stems, front headlights being a pair of francis search lights from a Green goddess fire engine. A stainless steel bracket to the gas locker lid to support a small rotary washing line and sun parasol. Make and fit 2 Oak doors for toilet and utility room, make and fit inside step to cratch.

Once this back cabin and smaller jobs are done, we just need to paint the exterior, shot blast and re-black underneath. I fortunately re primed and blacked the boat about 3 months before we left it mostly unattended in 2010 a so have hardly any rust to contend with anywhere.

I’ll keep updating as we go from here and with plenty of photo’s. Happy days!

We’re off to the boat tomorrow for a long weekend inc Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully we’ll get most of the back cabin finished, will probably need another weekend though to completely finish. After that there’s a few smaller projects to complete.

Fitting of SS bracket pole holder to gas locker lid to accommodate whirlygig and sun umbrella over cratch.

Refit stern sliding hatch which has been lined with rubber and ply.

Fit kidney shaped stern seats.

Fit Green Goddess Francis searchlights headlights.

Fit 1950’s fire engine Lucas searchlight to stern cabin roof.

Fit genuine Klaxon horn.

I’ll also be posting on how we super-insulated our calorifier. And hopefully have some photos of the back cabins coin dot floor with hatch and free standing stainless steel sink unit.

9 more months and we should be afloat.

Long weekend’s proved productive but damned hot.

Managed to get the back cabin (or utility room as we call it) floored in coin dot rubber flooring tiles and finished the inspection hatch. We used 18×18 inch tiles adhered to the ply floor, after I bought these tiles I found you could buy them with a very clever interlocking system which makes them much easier to lay and not necessarily needing to be adhered. Still I stuck (forgive the pun)with what I had and got them used up. You can also get this flooring in sheet form about a metre wide at any length. It’s very hard wearing and grippy to walk on.

The hatch is just 18mm sheet ply edged with Oak raised 3mm to but level against the tiles, and oak the same to the floor edge. Bit of a fiddly job but the hatch is there as an inspection hatch at the lowest part of the stern, but will also be used for storing my beer in the summer and other drinks, it would make for some good cold storage in the winter also should we not run the fridge.

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Still plenty to do in this cabin though, hopefully get the SS free standing sink made up and in place tomorrow, lot’s of other stuff to do also though.

Super insulating our calorifier

Original fitment.

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On our return to refitting the boat last year following a long break in the fitting out process we came across a few problems.
One was the ceramics in the shower had cracked and weren’t replacable so we had to fit a new shower, another was a spit in a
reducing joint in the central heating system which was caused probably by freezing, what with the boat being left unattended.
The heating system wasn’t full so had no antifreeze additive but we think some water was in the system and trapped in this joint
that split as it was low down.

Anyway after a couple of weekends all these problems were put right, then we noticed the water pump coming on
periodically when no water was being used, we eventually found a leak in the verticle calorifier in the joint where the engine hot water enters the calorifier’s heating coil so yet another thing to put right. On inspecting this leak I wasn’t sure weather the joint above wasn’t leaking either so I decided to remove the calorifier and bring it back we me to Dorset so I could repair all the joints and pressure test it in the comfort of our warehouse. It did turned out both joints had been leaking.

Whilst disconnecting the brass connections some insulation was lost around the 4 vertical joints and there was a pretty large crack in the lower part of the insulation from the centre of the calorifier to the base . I refitted all the joints with new fibre washers and some gunky stuff our local heating engineer suggested we use. Had it pressure tested and all ok.

The lost insulation and the crack in it was niggling me and on further inspection realised that in places the insulation thickness was barely an inch anyway so after some thought I decided it wasn’t good enough and decided to double insulate it.

I cut a disc out of 18mm ply wood 40mm wider than the overal diameter of the calorifier, this gave me a 20mm ply overlap all the way around the unit.

The disc on top had to have another large hole drilled in it to eccept the heating element section on top. The very base of the calorifier was partially hollow at it’s base, so i cut another disc of plywood that fitted snugly inside the copper rim at the base, after filling the void with insulation, I then applied some good quality sealant spread all the way around the ply edge and then screwed the copper edge into the edge of the inserted ply , this now gave me a good solid fixing for the bottom outer disc to fit to. This was cut into a circle with a 45mm overlap all the way around the base.

I then cut 8 x 50mm x 25mm battons to the same length which i then fitted equally all the way around the outer edge of the top ring of ply and then butted the batons to the bottom ply disc and screwed up into the long grain from the bottom ring of ply keeping the front face edge of the baton flush with the face edge of the ply ring. The lengths of baton were measured so the top ring of ply was raised an inch above the existing insulation. I then lined and squared it all up and secured it with blobs of sprayfoam squirted periodically around the casing creating a uniform cylindrical skeleton.

When dried I had a nice rigid frame which would give me an extral 45mm or over 1.5 inches of additional foam insulation over doubling the existing application. I then covered the carcase with some 3mm flexible White Polypropelene sheet which I pre cut to size which wrapped around the frame a treat creating a nice solid cylindar. Polypropelene in it’s self also has insulating properties so a good choice for the casing, looks good and brilliant stuff to work with being easily cut with a stanley knife and flexible.

I left the vertical section with the renewed joints still exposed but situated some baton on either side of these joints which the polypropelene edges were finally screwed to. This created a cavety around the existing spray foam of around 40 to 45mm or 1.5 inch this was then filled with fire proof sprayfoam insulation all around the calorifier. I masked off the top heating element with some large plastic pipe so not to clog it with foam. The small drain plug was also masked with some plastic pipe to ensure it’s future accessability.

For the front vertical section left open containing the main joints I masked over and filled with more spray foam. a raised box cover that slots and screws on to the baton surrounding it is currently being finished. so when the calorifier is fitted into the boat and the pipewrok connected, the boxed area has an additional sheet of 2 inch foam cut to fit around the joints.

The same applies with the element on top of the calorifier using a round plastic top cover and some more foam. so now all the joints on the calorifier can be accessable and can be inspected and replaced if necessary. The extended box section will also cover most of the exiting pipework so further insulating. It’s now all fitted in and working, I just need to further insulate the remaining hot water white pipework and finish the cover. The larger ply base also created a much better fixing to the engine room boxed floor than before. So the whole thing is a lot more sturdy.

We tested it overnight after bringing it up to full temperature, then switching off at midnight. On testing in the morning around 9am and we were very pleasantly surprised, the temperature of the water was dramatically hotter than ever before . Prior to this it was bearly luke warm over 8 to 9 hours but since it has been overhauled it’s definitely much hotter and still warm after lunch if not used for a shower. A tank Jacket would probably have been much cheaper alternative although, saying that the main cost was the poly sheet around 20 quid the rest of the materials used were offcuts lying around and the spray foam I had left over from fitting the porthole liners.

I also got hold of some brand new original SS Jubilee clips from good ole E-bay, just brilliant quality compared to the rubbish you can get today wrapped on original Brown grease proof paper and covered with sticky oil. managed to get enough to replace every Jubilee clip on the boat and some spare.

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Overall though I’m very happy with the result and quite pleased at how it looks also.

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To be continued…

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Julynian – A Wide Beam Self Fit Out Part 2

Continued from Part 1

The boat yard is on the river with steel floating pontoons. We paid to moor the boat here over the winter period. The pontoons were quite large so plenty of room for working outside in the warmer weather and a constant 240 volt supply.

This is when the boat was ballasted, around 14 tons of 2×2 concrete slabs, and 6 pallet loads of paving brick. Took five of us a good day to get it all in place. All the ballast was laid on to plastic strip. This allows air to circulate under the ballast, and also stops ballast scratching the base plate if movement occurs. Plastic strip also protects where ballast touches the bearer sides again allowing good circulation of air.

This now completed the plywood floor was replaced and screwed down.

Pine Ceiling

This is where we began the ceiling in T&G pine. We knew this was going to be a tricky job as the roof insulation would be applied as enough T&G went up to accommodate it.

We ordered the T&G from a local merchant, getting a good deal as we had to order over 400 metres at 15mm thick. This was then all sanded down before applying caustic soda to age the wood as we wanted an antique pine finish.

When the caustic dries it again has to be sanded smooth before applying. Each plank was then offered up drilled screwed then plugged. 2 screws every 2 feet for each plank. This took the best part of 1000 screws and plugs, all plugs were cut on a pillar drill and glued into place. When dry they were all cut off with a Chinese saw and again sanded down prior to staining and 3 coats of varnish.

The whole ceiling and front bulkhead and engine room took around 10 days with Lynn myself and my dad as a helper. The final result though was well worth the effort.

This included the fitting and wiring of ceiling lights which were originally wired for Halogens but have now been replaced with LED MR16 bulbs with 38 individual Led’s in each fitting. Plenty bright enough and these latest bulbs have a nice Yellowish tint that mimic the soft light you get from Halogen bulbs. We also have some Luxeon star Led’s with just 3 super bright Led’s which are also very good but much more expensive.

These are the last pictures taken.

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Next up was the lining out. We ordered Oak faced 9mm ply from a company in Bristol Again a good price for a large order of 40 sheets. This process was quite quick and easy. All the battening was spaced to maximise the 8f/t lengths of ply. They basically needed trimming down width wise and applying with 30mm screws where necessary.

We then had lots of off cuts of Oak ply which we used to do some lining out in the engine room creating cupboard space for the electrics and other equipment.
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This was quite tricky as the sides of the boat curve into the stern and not much to fix to so some clever stud framing was required. A good job to do though during the colder weather and the whole lot done with off cuts.

Next up was the lining out. We ordered Oak faced 9mm ply from a company in Bristol Again a good price for a large order of 40 sheets. This process was quite quick and easy. All the battening was spaced to maximise the 8f/t lengths of ply. They basically needed trimming down width wise and applying with 30mm screws where necessary.

We then had lots of off cuts of Oak ply which we used to do some lining out in the engine room creating cupboard space for the electrics and other equipment.

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On the move

The mooring at Keynsham was pretty expensive, so now the boat was navigable, we moved from Keynsham onto a BW winter mooring in Bath on the K&A at Bathwick in October 2004. My brother also moved from the yard a couple of weeks earlier. He had moored on the River Avon in Bath where we joined him for a few weeks en route to the mooring.

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This location was great as My Mum lives opposite and could see both boats from her flat window. So security was good. We also took the boats up to Bath weir a few times to get used to the handling.

The winter mooring at Bathwick ran from November 04, so we made our way on to the cut. The mooring was ideal just a couple of hundred yards from the main road.

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We continued working most the weekends we could. My dad checked on the boat daily through the winter period as he lived just down the road.

Having the boat lined out and a couple of radiators fitted, it was quite warm and comfortable to live on although very open plan at this stage.

Once the main lining out was completed our next task was to build the galley. We always wanted to keep the living area spacious and open plan. So the entire front 27f/t of the cabin space is a lounge galley diner.

Fitting of Galley

Firstly the galley almost central is constructed using a standard kitchen from Ikea. However some changes to the standard kitchen have been utilised.

The height of the kitchen is about 3 inches higher than a standard kitchen. The reason for this is that preparing food and washing up at a standard kitchen height gives both me and Lynn back ache. So raising this height on the boat has now illuminated this problem.

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Having a higher than standard fitted kitchen created additional usable space under the units, so a drawer has been made to utilise this space. As it’s so low down it’s a good place to store things that require cooler storage. Although you can use this storage space for almost anything we want.

The drawer is about 8 inches high 20″ deep and 38 inches wide, a very useful space. The drawer has been made and fits and slides nicely, just needs the front facia fitted which will match the dark Blue plinth. I’ve used good quality ball bearing sliding rails which lock in the closed position like many modern kitchen unit drawers do now. The rails can take a massive weight so even if full of tinned food or bottled water it’s man enough for the job. I’ll router out finger slots to the front which will add ventilation to the drawer.

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To the Right is a New World cooker purchased from Midland Chandlers. It’s of course LPG with built in oven and grille and hob.

To the Left a Bosch fridge 240 volt A+ rated but with a slight difference to other fridges. This one has a flush flat slim door. The fridge contains 3 sliding shelves that pull out, so no need to bend down scrimmaging around for food. It all appears before you. The lower drawer will take full size bottles of milk and 3litre soft drink bottles. So will store all the stuff any normal fridge would.

Under the fridge are 2 computer cooling fans which draw cold air from the bilge and help keep the back of the fridge cool in the summer.

The U shape of the kitchen could cause wasted space in the 2 corners it creates. We used carousel units so to maximise this space. 2 round shelves that rotate forward bring the equipment you’re looking for to you, so again no bending down searching for things.

The only actual cupboard is the centre door beneath the kitchen sink and drainer. All other units are drawers.

The worktop is also IKEA solid Oak @40mm thick. Their Oak worktops are such a keen price you usually have to order them well in advance. We put a small Blue tiled splash back to the sink area, and plan on some Blue glass splash backs to either side.

The galley is built directly below the pigeon hatch with a porthole over the kitchen sink and opening side doors opposite.

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Stove and hearth

The stove is a Bubble corner stove 5kw as I recall. This was pretty easy to fit also following manufacturers instructions. I did cock up the chimney though by putting 2 kinks in it, however this did affect the way the stove burned so will be replaced by a straight pipe already purchased.

The hearth either side is natural slate about 4mm thick purchased from Walcot Reclamation in Bath.

The lounge floor is natural cherry wood. This was from a tree felled by lightening on an estate in Dorset where we currently live. We seasoned this in out warehouse for over a year before getting it planed up for the floor. Cherry wood has varying colours from Cream to Red with Greens and Orange and even pink is some grain. Really warm looking wood. We had some left over that was used in the bathroom. More on that later.

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The Black and white tiling we think makes the area stand out, we also plan on having some wrought iron steps made up for entry to the cratch. The doors colour is not decided yet, the 2 inner door panels will be filled in with mirror glass which Lynn will adhere some lead design which will contain some coloured sections in the pattern.

The porthole liners have now been fitted and doors painted but not the final colour we think LOL

This is the latest photo’s with the addition of a Schatz barometer & clock & TV

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The Oak faced panel below the door tread is removable by pulling a couple of pins out from the door tread, this releases the panel which allows access to the S/S water tank. The space above and around the tank is very useful for storage. Summer folding chairs fishing rods etc etc.

The dining area is straight forward no fittings cupboards, just the bamboo flooring that runs from the lounge through the kitchen diner bathroom and bedroom.

Bathroom

First thing to get fitted was the double shower, with this being to the side of the boat it had to be completed first. It’s a basic double shower tray but extended a little with some mosaic tiling making the length of the shower just under 5 f/t

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We managed to get some quality sliding shower doors from Karma fortunately avoiding a bespoke order as the size of this shower was designed to the size of the doors.

Next up was the composting toilet. Not to every ones taste it seems but for us ideal. No holding tank. No pump out fees. No smells. Just an efficient toilet that needs emptying about every 6 months. It does need a chimney though, so we thought we would turn this into an advantage rather than a possible eyesore.

Composting toilets need ventilation and composting works at it’s best in warm conditions. So when the heating was fitted a spur off to a small copper coil was fitted so when the heating is on there’s direct heat under the toilet to speed up the composting process. You can buy the toilet with a 12 volt fan, but we simply fitted our own at much less cost using a standard computer cooling fan. This increases air flow which evaporated liquid waste.

There’s an overflow for liquid waste if it gets excessive, we rigged this to overflow into a canister under the floor, to date it’s only needed emptying once.

You might notice that the plinth around the toilet is the left over Cherry wood from the lounge floor. The composting loo by Sun-mar does stand quite high and comes with a flimsy step, the plinth however does a much better job. The flooring is Bamboo but a slightly darker shade than the rest of the bamboo flooring.

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The sink is to the Left as you enter and again some left over Cherry wood made a nice little plinth pedestal cupboard to support it.

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The bathroom walls are covered in a plastic tongue and groove product purchased from B&Q it’s 15mm thick but hollow box sectioned. This stuff is so easy to clean and surprisingly doesn’t condensate. It simply is stapled to the plywood walls I fitted previously.

With the bathroom now finished we have a fully functional boat. My brother suggested we went for a cruise as 2 daughters were on Easter holiday. So end Feb beginning of march we headed off toward Devises hoping to reach the bottom of Caen hill lock which at that time was closed for repair, although there’s no way we would be attempting it.

The cruise went brilliantly well and we reached Devises in time to return with ease. The visits to pubs and other places en route were great, and we could have happily continued on with a half finished boat. Unfortunately reality kicked in and 3 weeks later it was back to work.

We kept the boat on the water through the summer and continued to get work done.

Space was getting tight on the boat and I had to get the Oak trim fitted. The Oak trim is 75mm x 15mm and was all cut and planed to that size by a company in Martock in Somerset who specialise in hardwoods. I think all the oak needed was just under £700 including vat.

It’s now November 06 and having been on the water for 18 months we decide to take the boat out of the canal and place on dry land. This was mainly due to changes and expansion with our business, but gave an opportunity to re Black the hull and finish all the work off with relative ease having a 240 volt supply and old removal van to store tools and equipment in.

 

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Julynian – A Wide Beam Self Fit Out

We initially became interested in boating in 2003 when My younger brother following a divorce, decided to purchase a narrowboat to live on. After talking with him at some length about it Lynn and myself decided to look into it further. We did a lot of research on the internet and subscribed to a couple of narrowboat publications. Soon after we were pretty much hooked. We also walked the canals and spoke to boaters, and hired a boat for the day on a few occasions. It soon became apparent that a narrowboat would be too small for us, so we decided that a wide beam would be the answer but wanted it to resemble a narrowboat rather than a barge type canal boat.

My partner Lynn had some money put by from her divorce settlement, it wasn’t enough to buy even a lined sail away though, so we did the sums and decided to order a bespoke shell from a quality builder and do the rest ourselves.

We did a lot of searching but found a boat builder in Newark called R&D Fabrications. The owners were nice down to earth people, they had been in the business for 25 years + and had a very good reputation. We decided to go for a 60 f/t x 10/6 widebeam with a semi traditional style slipper stern. The boat would be supplied fully primed, wind and water tight, 13 Brass portholes, 5 Brass mushroom vents, 10 fender eyes, pole and plank holders and some extras like, 5 f/t pidgeon box, built in seat lockers, diesel bow tanks, S/S water tank , 6 marine batteries. The total cost including delivery to Keynsham £20,843.71 which included the supply of a Bubble Stove the boat yard ordered for us at trade price.

We placed our order in late 2003 and the build commenced soon after, the boat was completed to the stage required in March 2004 and delivered to us in Keynsham nr Bristol where we had arranged some hard standing to commence work on the boat.

Our initial plans was the fit out would take us 2 to 3 years. We resided in Dorset and would have to travel a 130 mile round trip to do work on the boat. All got off to a good start, we quickly painted the engine room and fitted the 2.5L Perkins diesel engine we had purchased separately and all the running gear. We also had a plywood floor fitted throughout the boat. My brother who’s an engineer assisted with the engine fitting which just took a couple of days. We then began the fit out by applying insulation.

We only had weekends to work on the boat. All went pretty well for the first 3 months, and we had reached a stage where all services were in place, insulated and the boat now needed to go on the water and be ballasted before lining out could begin.

We spent 6 months on a pontoon at the boatyard and then moved off the mooring to save the £80 per week cost. We had a lot of fitting out already done on the water by 2007 but complications with our business meant we couldn’t commit as much time to the boat. Also there was a problem with space. The majority of the boat was lined out and the 25ft long open plan saloon was near complete along with the bathroom so space became very limited. There were far to many tools and too much equipment to store in what little space remained so we decided to get it craned on to dry land to finish the fit out.

Unfortunately other problems then arose. Some family deaths and the recession meant family issues and keeping the business afloat took priority. Visits to the boat were few and far between for a good 3 years and little progress was made. Eventually with the downsizing of the business we got back to regular weekend visits around mid 2010 but it still took until June 2013 to actually complete the fit out and external painting. Part of the reason was with the saloon part of the boat mostly finished it was very comfortable and warm, so we decided to not set a time scale and just plod on at our leisure, it worked well, no pressure and here we are now afloat and absolutely loving it.

Would we do it all again. Definitely. Here’s a diary of our projject.

The boat is 10′ 6” X 60′ wide beam constructed by R&D Fabrications in Newark in 2004.

Construction begins with the Slipper Stern

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Our next visit a few weeks later and much progress has been made.

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We purchased a steel 10/6/4 shell which included all portholes to sides 13 in total all external brass fittings, 5 mushroom vents pole and plank holders. We went for a stainless steel water tank under the bow also. We also had fitted 2 diesel bow tanks 93 litres each which incorporate seat lockers either side of the cratch. The rear diesel tank 300 litres. The main extra was the pigeon hatch 5ft long 3f/t wide opening either side with an additional 4 x 12” Brass portholes.

Boat roof external.

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On completion the boat was delivered to Keynsham, Bristol in March 2004 by A.B Tuckey where it was situated on the back of a lorry trailer due to lack of space for about a month.

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Our first job was to construct the floor all in 18mm plywood on 3 x 2 inch bearers screwed to the steel bearers and treated with wood preserver. Once this was fitted it created a big open space that was mostly filled with tools supplies and equipment for the ongoing fit out.

Engine fitting

As we ordered shell only we had to fit the engine ourselves. The boat builder was given the engine dimensions and had the engine bearers welded correctly in place to accept the engine.

Fortunately having a brother who also purchased his narrow boat from the same company, is a fully qualified diesel engineer as well as an aircraft engineer, so this task was completed to very exacting standards successfully with no hitches.

Perkins 2.5 diesel

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The engine a New Perkins 2.5 marine diesel with 2 x alternators. 50 amp and 90 amp. The 50 amp for engine battery and 90 amp for proposed 6 leisure batteries.

This was fitted in to the engine room previously spray painted cream by ourselves.

Above the engine is a false floor which can be removed in sections to gain full access to the engine and ample storage space around it. The boat builder makes the floor structure from angle iron that slots in across the engine bay secured with Alan bolts, to create a removable structure. We decided in standard decking to use as the floor for this as you can remove as much or as little as needed to access the engine compartment. It’s also nice and sturdy as this is where you stand to pilot the boat.

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Having so much space in this area, it seemed the ideal spot for the Calorifier which is sunken into some plywood floor which levels out the slope of the slipper stern. With the pump and accumulator fitted close by, the installation of this and plumbing to the rest of the boat was pretty straight forward using modern plastic plumbing. The heating system pipe work was also fitted at this stage in readiness for the Bubble stove and radiators.

Then all the wiring was laid for ceiling lights and other 12 and 240 volt outlets. Most of the wiring supply will run under the gunwale and where the wiring is needed to connect to it’s appliance this will be set in place whilst the insulation is being fitted.

Once the engine and basic plumbing and wiring were fitted the next task was the insulation.

Insulation

We considered spray foam, but it was very expensive, especially in the area we were in at the time.

After some investigation into insulation an expert on the subject suggested 50mm Rockwool with a Celotex vapour barrier. Celotex is spray foam but in pre sheeted solid form with aluminium foil backing each side. You can’t normally can’t get Celotex less than 1 inch thick, but manufactures use thinner off cuts from around 10 to 20mm thick to protect their normal sized product when palleted and transported for delivery.

My supplier set aside any 10 to 15mm thick sheets for us until we had enough to insulate the entire boat. With the Rockwool this gave us 60mm insulation of which 15% was Celotex spray foam which also doubles as a vapour barrier. So the battening was done in plywood to obtain the correct depth for the insulation.

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The above photo shows all the Celotex fitted on the Rockwool below the gunwale, this will all be sealed where necessary with aluminium foil tape to seal it as will the top sides. The aluminium tape will also cover and seal in all the battening.

The roof insulation will be left till last. As we will be paneling this in 110mm X 15mm T&G pine As each few strips are applied, the insulation will be fitted in the remaining gap to ensure it fits snugly and making contact against the steel roof. Also the ribbing has been filled with spray foam from DIY cans, this stops the hollow tubing from condensation and corroding from the inside out.
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The porthole areas will not be insulated with Rockwool though, they will be having bespoke Oak liners made which will be screwed to the boat steel sides from the outside. This means removing the Brass portholes to drill through, but whilst doing so additional 6mm holes will be drilled so the porthole area can be injected with spray foam. When the Brass porthole is replaced, non of the holes will show.

All the above work mentioned was completed whilst the boat was on the back of lorry trailer. Fortunately the boatyard owner @ RLL boats let us have access to a forklift when needed. The hull also received another couple of coats of bitumen just for good measure.

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Bubble Stove

After about 6 weeks we were put on the ground and began installing the bubble stove and relevant plumbing. The 2 bow tanks were built in specifically for the stove. They are linked lower down by 10mm copper. But valves have been put in to isolate the bow tanks if necessary. All the pipe work to the rads has all been done just 15mm plastic pipes sticking up where the rads are to be situated.

Having only weekends to get work done, the progress thus far is pretty good. The owner of the boat yard needs space, so were going to be craned on the water shortly. Our next task is lining out.

The boat was put on the water in June 2004 using the site crane.

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Continued in Part 2

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