Monthly Archives: Feb 2016

No news yet.

Nothing to report as yet. We had communication with Tim on Friday and the chaps have been concentrating on the Northwich hull. But he is hoping to make some progress on Oleanna next week.
We’re looking forward to some photos.

Newcastle 15th February

With a hire car we decided to have a look at a Bubble Stove. They are made at Harworth heating near Doncaster. Two stoves were being put together in the workshop that we could look at. Terry was very helpful.

Corner Bubble nearly complete

Deep firebox also has a fretwork grill at the front
Back boiler

A corner Bubble Stove with a back boiler can be pushed further into a corner of a boat as the back boiler goes around all the back and also extends over the top of the fire box, therefore absorbing much of the heat before it reaches bulkheads. These are built into the stove unlike other brands where they slot into the back. Vermiculite fire bricks surround the fire box, including to the front, where there is a deep lip which should stop hot coals from escaping onto the floor.

They originally designed the stove for Louis and Josha boat builders in Thorne.

Our problems with selecting a stove for Oleanna have been to do with the amount of space the stove needs, how far the BSS says it has to be from bulkheads, the size of hearth surrounding it, the double skin flue and then the lack of space ontop of the stove for kettle and cooking pots. If your stove is alight it is free cooking heat without extra moisture going into the air that LPG cookers give you.

Being a triangular top gives you space for two pans. Inside there is a stainless steel grate

The Bubble has two areas where you can put a kettle, but it seemed to have an up stand around most of the top, which would stop this being possible unless you had small pans. Terry showed us a stove with a cooking rail round it, which would prevent pots sliding off but enable them to overhang the top. We weren’t too keen on that solution as it would be in the way of our bathroom door. We discussed if it was possible not to have a rail at all and Terry said it was and it would not cost any extra, it may even cost less!

Fancy guard

The problem with the double skin flue, Terry has complained to BSS about it. He believes that a guard instead is a much safer and a better looking option. He showed us one which was quite fancy with fretwork and bits of brass, we’d want a plainer one, which is possible.

After turning down the idea of a Bubble Stove with an oven above it, too domineering for Oleanna, we came away quite happy with what we’d seen, only the price tag is quite a bit with a back boiler. Free heat from a stove isn’t quite so free after all!

A Josher and Northwich in the background.

Then we headed across country to Newcastle under Lyme to Tim Tylers workshop. The industrial estate is the same as many, lots of grey units that all look the same. Lucky for us the front doors were open and the bows of two boats were visible, we were in the right place.

The central weld
Mick stood 58ft 6 inches away

The Northwich and Josher were sat in different states of completeness leaving a gap to one side of the workshop. Tim told us that our steel had arrived this morning and the base plate had been laid. There she was 58ft 6in of 10mm steel on the floor. The base plate is made up of two sheets which had already been welded together on the top. At some point they will be raised off the ground and be welded underneath too, the underside will also receive a coat of blacking as a standard part of the build, not many builders do this.

Marking out of the stern and swim

Towards the back of the steel, templates were laid out and the stern curve had been marked out along with the swim. The curve of the swim extends to 13ft from the stern, so a bit further than we’d estimated when at Jonathan’s. We double checked that Tim knew the spec for the hull and he had received my back to front plans.

Tim’s workshop will build the majority of the shell leaving window cut outs and bulkheads until it is in Sheffield for finishing. He suggested that the hull would be more or less done in the next two weeks, this is quick compared to most builders, but it is what they do every day, they build a lot of boats!


NB Oleanna’s steel has come from Tata Steel and there will be around 10 tonnes in the hull. I doubt our one boat will make much difference to the British steel industry, but it’s a small help. Tyler Wilson gets the baseplate steel milled wider than most builders. This gives you what is known as a Birmingham square which means that the floor space in the cabin is wider and the sides of the hull can be upright instead of angled.

Piles of sides
Machined 90 degrees

Alongside our hull were stacks of sheet steel for the hull and cabin sides, some had a 90 deg angle already machined into them. Some of these will be Oleanna’s sides.

As the workshop carried on being very busy and noisy we chatted with Tim (well shouted at each other over the noise). He will send photos of the construction to keep us upto date with the build as the next time we see her it is likely to be in Sheffield.

Very exciting times!!

Version O 9th February

Well we thought we’d settled on our layout. A while ago we’d talked about having the stove on the port side of the boat, therefore less likelihood of the chimney being knocked off while cruising when coming across situations where you have to move to the right whilst passing other boats, over hanging trees, bridges. I’d put Oleanna’s stove on the starboard side. To move it, all we need to do is flip the boat over, a mirror image. So today the tracing paper plans have been rescanned, noted that they are meant to be back to front and sent on to Julia to forward on to the builders to save time.

NB Oleanna will start life at Tim Tyler’s boat yard in Newcastle-under-Lyme and then move to Sheffield to have the shell completed, Phone calls with Julia and Tim suggest that the baseplate will be laid next Monday or Tuesday, confirmation will be later this week.

Things are moving fast all of a sudden. Luckily my plans are good enough for the shell to be started, window positions etc whilst the CAD versions are worked on by someone else with the finer detail. They can flip the boat over on CAD easier than me!

Bubble Corner Stove

We may have found a stove that will fit and work for us. A Bubble Corner Stove with a back boiler can be fitted closer to bulk heads due to it’s wrap around water jacket. It is  a corner stove so the flue is central, but the sides hopefully extend far enough to put a kettle or cast iron pot on. I had a go at drawing up a 1:1 scale version on our table. The website gives you all sorts of dimensions, sadly not quite adding up to what appears in the drawings. But taking the smallest dimensions, adding an inch to the flue for a double skin, it is possible to fit our cooking pot on it with only a small overhang. Our only possible drawback is that it appears to have an up stand around it, which would mean getting much smaller pots to cook in and a new kettle. We have asked the questions and wait to hear back from them, Fingers crossed.

Research on the composting toilet is on going. Our friends Bridget and Storm have the model we are looking at and have very helpfully sent us photographs of their urine tank and storage for it. A 20 and 25 litre tank are available from the suppliers in England which are 140mm deep plus the screw cap. This may be possible to have under the floor, but the gauge wouldn’t be visible in this position.

Meeting 3. 8th February

Ken and Julia braved all that storm Imogen could throw at us to join us on NB Lillyanne for our next meeting.

My plans of version N prompted a couple of questions, but they were soon answered. So the layout is agreed.


A change of orientation for the stove and another look to see if it is going to be possible to use it to cook on, as we do currently. The new BSS regulations with double skinned flues, hearths of specific dimensions and space between the flue and boat all make fitting a stove on a boat very hard if you want to be able to walk past it, sit down, etc. If our galley was smaller then it would be easier, but our current galley is only just big enough for us. Our original thought had been to have a Hobbit stove with the flue coming out from the rear of it, therefore being able to use the whole of the top for cooking. Nothing beats a slow cooked stew on top of a stove and jacket potatoes cooked in the fire itself. The Hobbit is about 2/3 the size of a squirrel, so therefore to be able to fit anything on the top the flue has to come out of the back. But this may not be possible as it would push the whole stove further into the limited space that we have. So thinking caps back on as to regards the stove.

Villa 9010

More research is needed regarding the composting toilet. The one we are hoping to have needs a separate urine tank, which we believe needs to be sourced by ourselves and located somewhere with easy access to be able to empty it. This then led to long discussions as to where to have the tank, how easy it would be to empty it, did we need some sort of pump to an outside outlet that we could empty it from. We are not sure if not knowing all there is to know about the toilet is making things more complicated than it needs to be, or have we struck on a good solution. So a few phone calls are needed to fill in our knowledge gaps.

Discussions over boilers were had. Mick sometime ago had done research on an Alde Gas boiler that needs little electric and if you are hooked up it could run off the mains. This boiler we have discovered since the meeting would only run off a 12volt supply and we were keen on having 24volt. So a rethink there as well.

In the cratch we discussed two or three lockers, a folding down table or not, all things to think about. Glazed stable hardwood doors into the bedroom from the bow. The internal cabin sides and ceiling are going to be cream painted birch ply with a simple oak framework, with an H joint to help with temperature changes. Below the gunnels will be oak faced ply, quite simple as there won’t be much of it on show.

maybe a bit like this

Flooring will be an oak engineered flooring, style still to be decided. In the bathroom we will have either an Amtico or Karndean flooring. The design of this will be decided when fabric and laminate samples arrive. In the bedroom we will add rugs so that we are not stepping out of bed onto a cold floor.

Our home work list includes looking at sinks and taps, cookers, what granite we would like in the galley and bathroom.

Ken and Julia said that there is a strong possibility that Jonathan will be laying the baseplate either later this week or next week as he can slot our hull in between others. This may well mean that the hull will then have to wait to be fitted out, but that is fine with us. We hope to be able to get up to Sheffield for the very start, this may be at quite short notice. Exciting times!!!!