Yesterday we made the trip up to Sheffield to catch up with the build. NB Oleanna was sitting out in the yard with a 2 part epoxy blacking and then a primer coat to protect her from the elements. The shell is finished with all the little twiddly bits. Inside has been painted too to stop any rust and the next stage is for her to be painted, wooden battens added to the interior and then spray foamed.

It is maybe easiest to talk through the photos.

 Looking from the bow. the rubbing strakes follow round the curve of the bow. The base plate has been cut away to shape around the shape of the hull. Rings are visible where the bow fender will be attached.

There are no front doors as these will be made of hard wood and glazed.

The few scratches on the paint work of the bow are from the hull being moved around the yard on fork lifts and will be touched up.

Side view of the bow. You can see how the bow curves upwards. There is a silver coloured sacrificial anode towards the bottom of the hull. There are four of these in all. 2 either side of the bow and two either side of the stern. Next to the anode is the grill at the end of the bow thruster tube. This is to stop objects from being pulled into the propeller inside the tube and fowling the thruster.

This shows the top of the bow and the lid of the gas locker. These are the only fake rivets on Oleanna. The T stud is where the bow line will attach for mooring.

Below here there is space for two 13kg bottles of LPG which we will use to cook with and we will possibly have a gas central heating boiler too.

The cratch board will sit to the furthest right of the photograph, supported by a cross member to the roof of the boat, this will then have a cratch cover attached, covering the well deck.

Curves and mouldings to the steel work add extra interest. The moulding on the right gives water the chance to run off the roof at these points.

On either side of the well deck there is a locker with metal hinged lid. The ends nearest the bow doors have been scalloped so that the doors can open up fully. The hole seen at the bottom of the scallop is so that if water gets into the well deck it can drain back out into the canal. To the left in this photo you can just see the lid of the bowthruster locker. This will give access down to the motors etc, however the battery will be located in one of the side lockers.
This is looking from inside back through the bow door opening. You can see that the floor and it’s cross members have been sprayed black and that the hull sides have been sprayed grey for protection against rust. The cross members will have wooden battens added to them. Between the cross members on the floor is where the ballast will be positioned. The cabin sides will be sprayed with insulating foam stopping the chance of condensation on the inside of the hull.

The next few photos show the inside of the cabin, first looking back to the stern, then the bow. Holes in the ceiling are for the mushroom vents which help prevent us from suffocating when all the doors are closed. You can make out the inside of the stern doors, these are steel, but will be lined with wood.

Around the porthole closest to the bow extra uprights have been welded to the cabin side. These must be so that there are secure fixing points for the cupboards that will be in here.

The pipes coming out from the side of the cabin are for drains from appliances.

The furthest forward is for the washing machine which will be at Mick’s side of the bed, then the shower followed by the bathroom sink. These are all positioned above water level outside, otherwise they would let water in and we’d sink. The shower will require a gulper/pump to suck the water up and over the side.

Looking at the stern doors. Below them is what looks a bit like a letter box. However this will actually be a vent into the galley from the engine bay, this gives enough ventilation without having to have vents in your back doors. The rear cabin steps will sit here centrally.
The pipe coming through the rear bulk head is for cables, water pipes etc. There is a matching one on the other side too.

The low box/cheese wedge is the swim of the hull, this takes up quite a bit of space at the rear of the cabin and stops you from being able to use these areas for appliances.

Three of these are on the exterior gunnel sides and where you can attach fenders. However from past experience we would be very unlikely to attach them here. The temptation to cruise with your fenders down is too great and lifting them a bit of a phaff. This is also the most likely reason that we have over the last couple of years gained several fenders, around our prop, that have been lost by other boats in locks when their fenders were down.  We are more likely to attach fenders to the grab rail by using wooden hooks. These you can position where you need them and then just lift them out of the way completely. So why still have these? They will be very useful when we moor as we could use them to tie additional lines creating what are known as springs.  Having two lines going in opposite directions from the bow and stern mean that you are less likely to move in strong winds or when speeding boaters pass.

View down the starboard side, another boat in the way.

The port side showing the side hatch that will be opposite our dinette, window in the centre of photo will be the galley. The grill on the side of the boat is for ventilation into the engine.

Below the stern you can see the point where the swim has a hole for the prop shaft to come from inside, this will be where the propeller sits. Behind this is the rudder which pivots in a cup that is attached to the swim.

Above on the stern deck is the weed hatch. This on Tyler Wilson hulls is separate to the engine bay totally, so there is no risk of sinking your boat by not tightening the weed hatch up properly. The grooves on either side let water drain off the back deck. Our current boat doesn’t have these and water drains around the opening to the engine into a channel before being diverted off the boat. 
A loop is visible that the back fender will attach to. Also one of the two rear dollies is visible. This is where you tie your stern line to when mooring. The one in view also acts as ventilation to the diesel tank, having a hole in the top. This will have mesh fitted at some point. 
This is our all important Hull number. This is attached near the weed hatch and is unique to Nb Oleanna. It states who built her, in what year and what number boat she is from that builder. This number will be on our contract.
Finally a view across the stern to the stern doors. There are back doors to the semi trad stern. The hole in the metal work on the left is where the throttle control will be. There is then a locker running full length to the back doors, as there also is on the right hand side out of view in the photograph. On the rear bulk head to the left of the doors is a lockable panel. This is where all the gauges to do with the engine will be and the ignition. Our current boat has this and Mick likes being able to see the dials from the helm, quite often they are just inside the rear doors and not that visible.
The large hole in the floor is the engine bay and you can see the letter box ventilation into the main cabin. 
The back doors will only open to just gone 90 degrees, this was to give us more locker storage space at the rear. The sliding hatch is above these.
After having a good look around our hull we then sat down with Ricky, Louis, Julia and Ken and talked through the contract and stage payments. Then in much more detail we talked through engine, wiring, alternators, travel power, the interior allsorts. We still have to make our minds up about various things. Weighing up the pros and cons versus price on various elements to do with the fit out. Wooden window liners or metal, which bow thruster etc. A lot of things still to sort.
But the most important one is what colour we are going for with the exterior paintwork. This is the next job and paint needs ordering. Sadly the colour we would really like doesn’t seem to have a RAL or BS number, we have a choice between two blues. Despite having a RAL chart to look at this still isn’t the exact colour. So we have been given a little bit of time to think it over and see if we can get a reference to the colour we would really like. But as they use 2 part epoxy paint we may not get an exact match as this may only be available in an oil based paint which is not quite so resilient.
We came away with homework to do and awaiting more details on various things. A very exciting day, we have a boat!

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