Windows and engine

Visit 28th October

We’ve been busy moving our current boat Lillyanne to be past upcoming stoppages and I’ve also had a few days work, which has meant that getting to Sheffield has been impossible for the past few weeks. So it has been four weeks since we were last at the yard.

Orders have been slow to arrive which has held progress up, but the advantage of not having seen her for weeks is there was lots of new shiny things to look at. There were a few questions as always about positions of speakers and how to fix the composting toilet to the floor. Our choice of worktop was of course the most expensive one in the Silestone range, we can’t help having good taste! This does mean that it is more expensive than the budget, so prices are being sought for our second choice.

The main thing to discuss was the position of the Alde boiler flue. The boiler has been installed under the electrics cupboard and the flue currently comes out onto the gunnel. Long discussions have been had over the phone, email etc over the last few weeks to find a better solution.

Ricky had been in contact with Alde over the matter. One solution had been to have a recessed panel, sinking the flue and surrounding area out of harms way, but as it is a balanced flue Alde would not be happy with this. There are minimum distances from over hangs etc to take into account. Mounting it on the roof is not possible as it would be sited inside the pram cover, be close to us whilst out on the stern and it is too close to the rear hatch, so fumes could enter the cabin.

So we are left with moving the flue up onto the cabin side. In this photo the flue currently goes through the hull just below the shelf that the cables are on, it will now be brought up through the shelf and exit the cabin side where the black dot is (half way up on the spray foam to the left). There is a minimum radius that the curves in the hose can be, so some of the space in the electrics cupboard will be taken up just by the hose.

This will have knock on effects possibly to the inverter. The Victron inverter that we were going to have is quite bulky and needs minimum air gaps around it, which now may have a flue pipe reducing them. Once the pipe is in situ dimensions will be checked to see if a smaller bodied inverter is needed. This is likely to have a cost implication, but may mean that there is an MPPT controller built in that would deal with the solar panel, therefore saving us some money there.

Drawn in the dust on the side of the boat is where the new position of the flue will be. The white plastic will be painted to match the cabin side. This is a better solution, moving the flue out of day to day potential harm. It will not be totally safe in it’s new location, as on larger waterways you can get high overhanging moorings not designed with narrowboats in mind. But at least these are not the norm.

The current hole in the hull will be patched up, the advantage of having Jonathan Wilson only yards away. The paintwork on the gunnels is still to have it’s final coats of Epifanes Multiforte Black so all will be made good.

The lower stripes on the cabin side will be repainted with the red line beneath the cream as originally intended. This is likely to happen over a weekend in the fitout shed as Oleanna is now too heavy to get back into the paintshop.

Andy Russell has been booked to do our sign writing, but as we don’t require much he will also be there to work on another boat. So a meeting will be arranged when all of us are free.

The pump and pipework are all now in place for the urine tank from the toilet. The tank sits below the toilet, all of the pipes and gulper pump are normally concealed behind a removable panel.

Should we need access to the tank in future we will need to remove the vent pipe to the roof, undo the urine pipe at the rear of the toilet and then lift the floor section. Not the easiest thing to get at, but we don’t plan on doing it every week.

Kardean tiles have been laid on the bathroom floor and what we could see of them looked good. They have been covered over with cardboard to help protect them whilst work carries on.

The shower cubicle is now fitted and very shiny indeed. The sink is waiting for it’s quartz top, the sink has been moved to look more central and a new template cut.

The Portholes in the the bathroom have been fitted and are awaiting their chrome liners, then Kim can make the bungs for them from foam and cream waterproofed fabric that I found in a remnant shop in Skipton.

The porthole liner for the bedroom will be oak so that it matches the window opposite.

The starboard side galley window is the only one that slides. This is so that you can give the ducks and fish crumbs from the breadboard before washing it up, it also means we can add more ventilation easily if we want to.

All the other windows are hopper windows. The advantage for us with these is that you can take the glass out to give the channel a good clean. You also can also clean both sides of your windows as and when you want.

The oak liners are on their way, final fitting and sanding before they have lacquer applied.

Why the extensions at top and bottom? These will have the curtain poles attached to them and it means that the curtains will extend past the opening so when they are open they will cover less of the glass.

On the galley windows we will have blue aluminium blinds as the cooker is too close to have curtains. Blind Boutique had sent some samples through and there was a perfect blue that will match the curtains at this end of the boat.

The side hatch glazed doors now have the glass in. There is a swivel catch top and bottom to hold them closed. These at the moment are brass, but as everything else is chrome we are hoping they can be swapped.

The little studs on the bottom of the doors are magnets so when the glazed doors are open they hold back to the cabin side on these.

The bubble stove now has a hearth and the backing is made from a large cream tile surrounded with oak. As the gas pipe runs under the gunnel here some steel will be added as a shield to protect this.

The chrome flue has been fitted and where it meets the ceiling there will be a chrome collar.

The flue is double skinned to meet with the regulations. But luckily we will have space for a cooking pot on both sides of it.

A radiator has gone into the bedroom, under where the pullout for the cross bed sits, we’ll have warm toes.

Then a second larger radiator has been installed by the dinette. Beyond this is where we’ll store the dinette table when the bed is in use.

The table is in on two chrome desmo legs, glazing is in the cupboard at the end of the dinette and all the sockets and cat 5 are finished.

Speaker positions were discussed. If they were to be positioned symmetrically one would be just at head height at the end of the galley, so it will be moved towards the stern to be out of the way.

The radio and CD player is now in. The panel of wood it is fixed to hides the power sockets for the TV.

The PVR and TV will soon be ordered.

The flexible solar panel was in position for us to see. The only space big enough for it was above the bathroom, but this has meant that it can’t be central on the roof because of the shower mushroom vent.

The position will of course affect the power it generates, but we are hoping that when we can afford a smaller second panel we can position that to compensate for it.

Now that we have given the okay for the position it can now be stuck down.

Iroko locker lids have been made for the stern lockers. These can withstand the weather better than oak.

A small scallop will need to be taken out of them so that the cabin back doors can hook back open.

Positions of aerials was discussed. The internet one will sit as high as possible so as to be outside the faraday cage effect that the hull gives.

Just inside the engine bay is the stern gland greaser. This is positioned here for ease of access, so you don’t have to open the engine right up to give it a twist.

Fuel filters and the prop shaft have been installed waiting to be connected to the engine.

An engineer had been booked to start fitting the engine yesterday, but unfortunately the engine arrived at the end of the day. A folk lift had popped it up high out of the way until the engineer can come next.

Ricky opened the box up for us to have a look. All very green and shiny (sorry for the girl comment there!).

Instead of fitting the engine the engineer set to fitting the bow thruster which is now all in along with it’s batteries. At first it was thought that the batteries would have to go in one of the bow lockers, but they have managed to fit them in with the bow thruster.

A chat with Kim regarding how we can cover the front door windows came up with a good solution. Living with a cat, dangly things on blinds are not such a good idea, especially when on doors in your bedroom. I’d got a couple of quotes for roman blinds, but really did not want to spend £100 on each blind. The solution was to have a lined covering for each window that will be poppered onto the surround of each window. During the day they can be rolled up and held in position with a tab. Much neater than blinds and taking up less space than bungs.

One of the lithium batteries has arrived the second one is being shipped over from the States. Luckily the quote Finesse had got for them had a price guarantee of 30 days, so the pound plummeting has not affected the price we will pay for them.

Several prices had been sought for the pram and cratch covers, but as we had put quite a bit of work into this when at Crick we will take over on arranging them. We can get them measured up at the yard and then we will most probably have them finally fitted when Oleanna has been launched. It may mean that we have to cope for some of the winter without covers.

Once her engine has been fitted Oleanna will put her toe in the water in Sheffield to check on ballast and other things close to home. Ricky has suggested that we take her out along the cut to try things out. This will mean that any snagging can be done at the yard before she is transported to the Macclesfield Canal for launch.

Despite Oleanna having had her bottom wet we are going to class the launch near Marple as The Launch, where I suspect there will be some bubbly wine to celebrate. Still a while to wait, so no need to chill the fizz just yet.

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