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:
IMG_3799
IMG_3798
boatshed3 IMG_3802

Here are some of the templates that will be used to mark out the steel sheets:
templates
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:

finalplan

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 🙂

2 thoughts on “Steel yourselves…”

  1. This is so very interesting. Thank you for taking me along for birth of Froth! As a boat owner myself – I think your decision to allow for hatches on either end is a good one. It will allow a nice breeze to flow through the entire cabin when you desire it. I look forward to my next installment with much anticipation.
    Neil

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