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Boat repairs Ely, Cambs, Downham Market, Stoke Ferry, Norfolk, Boat fitouts, boat work, Boat Safety Examiner Ely, Downham Market, Stoke Ferry, Gas Safe Registered Engineer LPG for Boats
The Narrow Boat Project

An old boat but someone's dream of a liveaboard lifestyle.

Work had been started by another person and the boat had sat in the water awaiting continuity of work for a couple of years but nothing much happened.

I was asked to take over the project and turn the boat into the dream. 

After an initial view and some procastinating during the cold wet days of winter, several visits and worrying about the current state and what could be salvaged I made a radical decision, all of the previous work was not up to standard and could/should not be incorporated into the new boat..

The starting point...take it out....
        

The Owner's original idea was to have a wetroom, toilet in the cratch area and for the interior to be open plan, light and clean.

The initial issues that I could see were the cratch area had a monstrosity of a wood frame with glass panels fitted. The frame carpentary was very poor quality with open joints, a blistered ply roof and it didn't fit to the existing side panels in any way that would be water tight. The rear doorway and main access was far too narrow needing entry sideways and the step was too high. The rear deck area was boarded with a textured board in random pieces sitting on a flat metal structure that meant all rain water went straight into the bilge and since the engine, cabin and cratch bilges are connected there was water throughout the bottom of the boat. The windows were old style multi slat pane and at least two were missing. The two gas lockers were completely rusted and holed. The engine was not working and appeared to contain water.

The requirement was to get the boat into a state that would ensure any fittout work would be worthwhile.

The main decisions were to remove the poor carpentary, remove the subfloor wood and pump out the bilges to reveal the rust status – very poor. Then to fit a new welded structure to the cratch area to create a new water proof room. Then raise the rear deck and fit welded steel work to new drain chanels and fit Buffalo board centre boards to the new engine bay, water proofing this area. In the process the rear door was increased in width by 150mm and the steps set with sensible riser heights, making it a useable door way. A full new set of matching double glazed hopper windows were ordered. New gas locker liners were fitted and the engine and gearbox removed to a workshop, dissembled for full refurbisehed and rebuild.

The re work

          

With the boat now in a basically sound state the exterior needed a new full paint job to integrate the new areas and provide a sound and acceptable finish for the new windows and a new rear access door to make it fully water proof.

The exterior was sanded back removing all rust and blending areas of chipping and poor paintwork finally treated all over with Owatrol oil rust inhibitor.
  

Areas were marked off on the roof and rear deck with masking tape prior to coating with Teamac textured deck paint. Two undercoats of Teamac marine undercoat were applied with sanding in between. 

    

Followed by two top coats of Teamac Marine gloss with sanding in between
     

While in the paint shed the ballast in the cabin area was lifted to one side and the bilges de rusted by hammering and scraping followed by a generous application of Owatrol oil, similarly the base area of the cratch was treated and the engine bay fully de rusted and treated.
 

The new double glazed clamp in hopper windows, powder coated mushroom vents and logo fitted
     
Back in the water


Engine and gearbox refurbishment, the Lister 3 cylinder air cooled unit fully stripped, rebored, new pistons, new starter motor, new alternator, bearings and seals. Gearbox stripped, new bearings and seals.
 

Fitting the refurbished classic 3 cylinder Lister engine

   

Sub floor complete


ongoing updates...

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