Great progress

We visited Nick Thorpe’s steelyard today to find great progress with the construction of Froth. The side panels and roof are on! The boat now looks like a boat, and the main remaining tasks are cutting the windows and doors and other detailed features. Here are several photographs and videos to illustrate the fabulous work they have been doing.

First: a pan shot along the side of the boat as it looks today. 

The sides were laid out on the floor, then lifted into position with a forklift before being welded together.

[Click pictures for larger images]




two sides


Frames were put in place all the way down the hull ready for the roof.


Here is the roof, laid out on the floor…


…and in position, being measured to ensure consistent dimensions all the length of the boat.


Here are a couple of shots of the finished article. Notice how the sides lean inwards, allowing you to walk down the outside gunwale without being pushed into the water by the boat.



And finally, here some videos shot during our visit this morning. First, a walk along the boat, noting the markings which show where the rooms will be.

And here is a shot of the bows.

We were also very keen to have a curly upright bar either side of the cratch area, so that we have something to hold onto when getting on and off the boat. Also, it looks stylish! Nick drew this in chalk on the side of the boat.

We have agreed June 12th as ‘craning in’ day, when Froth will be driven on a low loader the 60 miles or so to the MGM boatyard, then lowered into the water for the first time. Expect lots more videos and a major update then!

Taking Shape.

Too much work meant that we couldn’t make it over to the boat yard today. However Wendy (Nick’s wife I think) emailed some photos over to us.

A & L Base 2





steel 3


She’d still sink, but Froth is definitely starting to look like a narrow boat!


Wendy has just sent more photos. This is how Froth looks at the close of business on Friday 15th May:


Amazing progress for just over a weeks work 🙂

Steel yourselves…

Today we walked the length of our new boat for the first time:
black and whitesteel
This 67ft sheet of steel will soon become the floor of our new home. Admittedly it wont float very well at the moment, but after years of planning and dreaming our 3rd boat will soon be a reality. To say we are a bit excited doesn’t quite cover how we feel right now!
A&L(a)    IMG_3803 steelshed

Today we went to Hixon in Staffordshire to Nick Thorpe’s boat builders. Nick and his team of 3 craftsmen build 12 hulls a year and will be doing all of the steel work for us.
It is quite common to have the steel work done in Poland or China, imported as a kit and then just welded together in the UK. And whilst this is a cheaper option, we feel proud to be supporting this small British company.
nicksign nick

They are just finishing off this boat, our base plate is laid out beside her, all ready for them to start the work tomorrow:
boatshed3 IMG_3802

Here are some of the templates that will be used to mark out the steel sheets:
To get to this point in our build we have had to make several irreversible decisions regarding the internal layout because Nick has to know where to put the windows! Here are the final plans:


We are having a rectangular windows in the living area and 15″ portholes in the bedrooms and bathroom. There will be a hatch on either side of the boat. This is a bit unusual, most boats only have a single hatch. But we want to be able to have one side open to the water no matter which way we are facing. There is nothing better than having a swan pop his head through to see if there is any breakfast! I also have another motive. Eventually I’d like to become a ‘towpath trader’ and sell my craft work to passersby. As turning places for a 67ft boat are limited, I’ll need a hatch on both sides so I can open my shop.

Our work permitting, we hope to pop back to see how Nick is progressing at the end of next week. It is hard to believe that ‘Froth’ will be ready for stage 2 of the build in 3/4 weeks time!

Written by Louise – I take full responsibility for the spelling and grammar issues 🙂