What’s cooking?

Today’s visit to the boatyard revealed progress mainly in the kitchen.


The cupboard directly ahead will house, in descending order: the wifi modem, the oven, and the washing machine. The oven has arrived:


It is big enough to cook a turkey at Christmas!

The various cupboards to the side will give plenty of storage. We were called in mainly to make a decision about the one nearest the saloon (at the near end in the picture).


Access to this will be from the saloon side, we decided, giving Louise a crafting cupboard.

The saloon area looks big, but it will soon fill up.


To the right of the door will be the solid fuel stove, and to the left the television cupboard. This (we decided today) will join onto a narrow cupboard running back to the covered radiator, which will be located near where the workbench stands in the picture.

Finally, the shower tray is in:


It’s full size, and looking good!

Once again, the boat is taking shape all the time. It has a lovely feel when you’ve been aboard for a few minutes. Martin is hard at work on the carpentry and there will probably be quite a few more posts like this one before the look of the finished interior begins to appear.

Well, well, well deck!

The well deck on most narrowboats looks like the one in these pictures from our previous boat (under construction):


BoathAs you can see, there are some quite steep steps leading up to the deck. This is because the water tank is under the deck itself.

‘Froth’ is quite different: the water tank is located around the edges of the well deck area, thus forming some bench style seating. This clever arrangement allows us to walk straight through, with no steps, giving us a kind of ‘conservatory’. We will have a removable table in the middle, a glass panel at the front, and a transparent plastic cratch cover which allows views all round, This will be a really lovely space for sitting out and dining and watching the water.

The rectangular hole at the front is the access panel for the bow thrusters. There is no bow storage beyond that, so the gas bottles and other things one might normally find in the bow area will be located in special cupboards on the stern deck.

IMG_4156 IMG_4157 IMG_4158

The solar panels arrived this week:


and the plumbing has been installed:


But the most exciting thing is that the room dividers (bulkheads) are now in place. Here is a video walkthrough:

The American White Ash is already starting to look beautiful:



Rosie seems to be settling in!





Bye Bye Battleship!

jul10-5It’s hard to describe the feeling of boarding Froth now, but this picture conveys something of the impression. As we stood in the bow well deck, in what will be our ‘conservatory’, we got that sensation of being on the canal. The still waters, the views of nature all around, the calm.

Part of the reason for the increased sense of atmosphere is that the boat’s battleship grey has now been replaced by a cream undercoat, giving it a much more homely feel:


Added to this, the interior has been fully boarded out with its backing boards, and is now ready for the American White Ash boards that will cover walls and ceiling. We even have the first bulkhead room divider, that separates the kitchen from bedroom 1:


The wires hanging down are the ones for the wifi. This picture gives a sense of the nice grain of the wood:


It is amazing how much wood goes into a narrowboat! Here are some of the Ash panels for Froth being moved into the workroom:


The panels stacked behind Mark are all ours too:


And there is yet more white ash in another shed, planks this time, also destined for our boat:


Given all this interior preparation, we have been hard at work this week trying to choose fabrics, tiles and flooring. We have had to decide on: upholstery on the seat in the cratch (bow well deck) area; tiles around the fire; curtains in the living room; blinds on the kitchen window and stern portholes; working surface in the kitchen and bathroom. We will also have to decide on flooring at some point, and have begun looking at catalogues but not reached a decision yet.

Anyway, we tried various combinations of tiles and fabrics and surfaces. We were helped by a visit to Whalin Upholstery in Pinxton, who specialise in narrowboat furnishings:


There we found a nice curtain fabric for the saloon:


That will blend well with the ‘Sable’ covers for the seat in the cratch, and helped us to decide on brown and cream tiles around the fireplace. We had already decided on ‘grape’ (purplish) blinds for the kitchen and portholes, and have a green and white colour scheme for the tiles. We also have a working surface that picks up white, green and purple in subtle ways. So, it is all coming together!

It was an exciting visit yesterday. The boat is already starting to feel like home.

Lined Sailaway

A “lined sailaway” is a boat which is spray-foamed and board-lined internally, and has an engine fitted, so could in theory be sailed away. Froth has reached that point, although the engine has not yet been turned over. She has, however, been moved into the shed for the next phase of work.


IMG_4048This shot illustrates the lining, with the various layers clearly visible:


And here is the interior of the lined sailaway:


We were excited to discover that painting has already begun, with primer on the sides and non-slip paint on the gunwale and the roof. Mark and Rachel have spent most of the week doing prep for the painting – filling where necessary and generally ensuring the sides are smooth. All this in the searing hot temperatures that they’ve endured inside the boat shed this week.



We explored all over the boat…

IMG_4042…and at one point Louise stepped on what looked like a solid deck, which turned out to be just cardboard!

She put her foot through but fortunately wasn’t hurt.


Finally, we inspected the engine, a Vetus marine diesel. Much more detail on that in a future post, but for now we will comment that it is extremely clean!

Notice Nick Thorpe’s mark in the engine compartment. Looks like Froth is his 89th boat.