Saturday, 26 November 2016

Don't get too carried away with the romance of boating

Whilst there is no doubt there is a romantic and peaceful bias when people consider boating and living aboard there are some realities.

I could not detail the precise number of times on canal forums people join and their early post is a open statement of a desire to get a boat and live aboard and what's it like. The standard answer is hire before buying and ideally hire in autumn/winter to get the real deal feel.

Well today was one of those not so romantic boat chores. Akin to the vet with arm up the back end of an unfortunate cow is the task of chimney sweeping our front stove. Unlike conventional sweeping, on a boat this is done top to stove so all the claggy muck drops down. Now on a standard  Morso there is a baffle plate to stop the flames going up the chimney and no doubt setting it on fire... This plate comes out to allow all the crap from the chimney to drop into the grate. Easy !

Now on my back boiler Morso the plate is the back boiler so it does not come out. Two options

  1. Remove the chimney from the stove and dig the bad stuff out - time consuming and seals have to be remade 
  2. My option is the vet type option - get your hand in over the plate.
No 2 sounds simple but it is messy and contorted. Now I know why 12 year olds were sent up chimneys - supple. However I did not have one to hand so had to DIY...

The happy looking stove ...

Ready to get stuck in.....

The glove had limited protection....but my Mr Tickle moment was underway

That is all the ash that I scooped off the top of the back boiler plate  - a fair bit

The rest of the fire got a decent clean... fire bricks out and the back of the ash pan was cleared out also.

Finally the door was off and the glass given a decent clean.

So that nasty job out of the way Rachel followed through the boat with the Dyson running off the genny.

Hopefully I'll give a fuller update on all this shortly ... but for now the fire is set fair to keep me warm all over what might just be a cold winter this year.

... and don't let me dent your passion for all thinks boating, when we sadly left as we needed to go and sort Rachel's mum out the sun was just setting and Fradley was at its best....


  1. I used the same method to get the worst clag out from the top of the water jacket, but to finish off I had a cheap "Orec" vacuum the end of the flexihose is fairly stiff, so I taped a length of suitable plastic hose to the end to suck the remaining grot out, worked quite well.

    1. Hi Alf,

      Top tip .... might look out for a cheap vac for just that job

  2. An even more fun job on a Morso Squirrel - replacing the glass. Only needed to remove 4 screws and glue new rope in. It went in to a second day.

    1. .... so far so good on the glass front but maybe I have just jinxed it - I do have a spare glass and spare rope - I did the rope last year as the door was too tight to close as I suspect the wrong rope had been used. - but two days.... hope you did not get too cold !

  3. Ah! remember method 2 very well. The only way to clear out the stove on Starcross. My favourite job!

    1. .... still not tempted to get another ?