Saturday, 31 August 2019

An about time job

You'd think in retirement I would have all the time in the world. But there is always something to do and that something seems to be not cleaning the boat on the outside. I did call over and give the inside a decent clean for the visit of Teddy my grandson last week 

The problem is it really needs a spell of decent  - read not hot/cold/wet weather to plan in the clean so looking forward last week I plotted in a days fishing with friends then today (Thursday 29th) a trip to the boat for a clean.

Before cleaning I spent a good hour on all the door and hatch hinges using WD40 and 3 in 1 to free them up as they had not been used much recently. I did not want to clean then spoilt the look with dribbles of oil on the boat.  All freed up I set to with water literally on tap (what a luxury) that made the job easier and cleaner. 

Only problem giving the boat a clean you see all the little rust spots - I need to read up on how best to tackle them.....another good reason to spend more time on the boat. 

Five hours later she looks much tidier. I wanted to give the paint a polish but ran out of time so will do that hopefully in the dry dock or back on the mooring in a few weeks.





Thursday, 29 August 2019

Boating madness !

As you will have probably gleaned from this blog boating has been limited this year. Our fault completely as we have loaded 2019 with holidays that were not on the boat. 2020 will be the year of the boat - hopefully.

So when we recently did go boating we chose what must have been the busiest time of the year to be moving - August Bank Holiday Monday. Fine weather, the last full week of the kids holidays  premium hire boat week all added up to a very busy Shropshire union canal.

The reason for the trip was a little out and back to give Teddy our grandson a taste of the canals and being on a boat. He seems to have developed a wish list of things to sit on/in and things to experience.



He made a bee line for the forecabin, a treasure trove of things to investigate 




It was warm, very warm but the cuttings made the little trip very enjoyable 


Rachel dropped into the role as if she'd never been away 



The winding was of course overseen by boats coming both ways, to be expected when boating on a Bank Holiday

Teddy even tried Leia's bed for size !


The trip did generate an extra job -  the toilet door was taken of its hinges by pulling rather than pushing. No big deal and door signs have been ordered, Teddy did say it was him but I doubt it   


The next trip will be a bit longer and more purposeful as we will be heading off to the Stourbridge bonded warehouse for blacking ... but a job needs doing first.  

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Blacking - info needed

Now I am a retired gentleman this year I am going to black my own boat. All previous jobs were done by boatyards, some better than others.

In the past it’s always been ‘ standard’ blacking, intertuf  16 I assume ?

So 2 questions for a 60 foot boat 2 applications with a third on the water line how much will I need ?

Second question, where is the best place to buy it ?

All help gratefully received !!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Walking and fishing in the rain

Its been a bit wet, difficult times for our builder as he made us a small canal at one stage (some time ago now) when the dug out footings filled up overnight.

It does not stop my outdoor pursuits. A walk in the valley was a challenge as the Churnet had come up well over the footpath - as I was walking round Leia decided to take the normal footpath route and ended up swimming along the footpath !














On Wednesday this week (14th August) I met up with my old boss Ian and my fishing Guru Graham at a lovely rural complex of 4 lakes called Robinwood. Slow start but the the fish started feeding but boy did it rain.

A PB for me with a 4lb Barbel and a nice 8lb 4oz mirror 






Getting ready for boat time now  - just waiting for the rain to stop !!

Friday, 16 August 2019

Too hot now too wet

Its been a while ..... but August and September are busy months for us retired types ! 

I try and stay off the water during the holiday times, leaving it for the workers. I did visit the boat but it was so hot all I did was drink water and watch the boats cruise by. 

Now today 16th August (my birthday) its the complete opposite very wet. We should have been aboard for a long weekend but may delay until tomorrow as Rachel has a bad cold and I'm trying not to have a bad cold.

We collected the virus on a great trip to London for a couple of days last weekend to visit my youngest Callum and his partner Emma. (and their adorable new cat Dotty)







More people than I am comfortable with for sure !



We were treated to a great play in the old council chamber - An Agatha Christie play Witness for the Prosecution. Excellent 




A drink in the George pub (apt name as it was my dads) opposite the Royal courts of justice 



The weekend before saw us on the bike for a long weekend back down south. We booked into a nice B&B in West Ashling so we could walk Watery Lane to have wine and nibbles with Gillian our lovely ex next door neighbour. 

We also went out on the SBC (Sunday Breakfast Club) ride with the souther bikers I ride out with. 

Finally Rachel met up with ex colleagues for a catch up Sunday PM then we picnic'd  at Bosham into the late evening before we had coffee and cake the next morning back with Gillian. 

Out old cottage  - we did have another look around as it was empty, the new residents after us only lasting a year  - we were there three years




The southern bikers - a great group of friendly lads(!)


My Honda ST1300 Pan European overlooking Bosham harbour - we walked this many times when down south 


At the end of last month we as a family me to remember my dad who passed away 29 years ago .... a good show in nice weather. We (I) ended up in the paddling pool which on a hot school holiday day was heaving  !





My mum, brother in law Bill and my niece's son Freddie 








Saturday, 3 August 2019

Reasons not to live aboard

I recently replied to a question on one of the facebook narrowboat forums* regarding moving full time afloat. The poster was asking if she was mad selling her four bed detached home to buy and live aboard permanently. Of course as to be expected on a narrowboat forum many were validating their decision to do the same with encouragement for her to follow.

Now I lived aboard for two years albeit with some breaks to go down south and I found the experience positive and refreshing with new and different challenges from daily house living. I'm glad I did it and could do it again but not unless I had to.

You see I am wedded to 'stuff'. I am typing this in my home office (sounds posh - its not anything other than the third bedroom at the cottage)  I have a large screen I connect my Macbook to and I have another PC running away in the background with a printer plus files of paperwork to be re read and some to be filed ... you get the picture.  This is just one room of stuff. We are in the process of having a garage built for my motorbike(s!) and I spend half of yesterday moving 'stuff' out of the workshop into the loft space of new said garage to hopefully make the workshop more spacey so I can get a few more tools (read stuff) as ultimately I want to make some new windows and doors for the cottage (one door already made)

I am no hoarder - I try to remove what I don't need but I need quite a few different things to keep me entertained - simple as that. If I had to I could live a much simpler life but at the moment I like to have activity options available to me.

So it's not for everyone and I felt for the original poster I should give my alternative viewpoint,  which I think was respectfully received.

One thing I did say was don't carry a regret  - give it a go, as was other advice around renting out the property. However I suspect there was a need to sell to release equity for the boat - tough decision, but like I advised if you can and are willing to take a risk have a go, I did, a little less risky in my circumstances but everyones personal position is different.

*I opted out of all the FB boating groups apart from the Friendly narrowboat forum as there was so much sniping and bad feeling in the others. This also cemented my thinking that personalities cannot be changed by moving to the cut.... it may take some stress away but it can introduce time people are unable to easily fill without the need to be keyboard warriors on forums - we've all met them I'm sure.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Erectile disfunction - it is boat related !

LOL, best blog post title yet, and no not an advert for blue tablets.

I visited Percy yesterday ( 18th July) for a check while the builders were still toiling away. One thing that has become apparent is the slow droop of Percy's back fenders.


They are still doing their main job, just - protecting the rudder. As you can see there is just a need for three with a compress with just two resulting in exposure of the tender rudder !

When I put them on they sat up, it seems the middle fender had worked over the bottom one resulting in the droop. When Joe who made them passed them to me he said give 'em a soak in creosote which I did and they have been protected since.

So I set to and removed them and gave them another brushing of creosote and left them to dry off in the sun as I did not want any to leech into the canal.



Spring forward a few days and another visit to put them back on and how much finer a display of fender erection could you wish for !!


The front fender was treated as well


... and the important weakness introduced to the chain should the fender ever get stuck going  up/down


The fenders will be off again in September for the blacking to take place .... not looking forward to that !