A whole lot of change…

Sorry for the delay in posts, but there has been yet more changes. Shortly after the last post was due to be publish, I had to move the workshop.  From the wonderful Oasthouse, in the country, to a modern industrial unit.   Whilst the unit is closer to home, more practical etc, it’s doesn’t have the character and history of the previous building. Oh, and it’s more costly 😦 Hey ho, onwards and upwards.

Anyway, since then work has continued steadily, in amongst other work.  The wheelhouse is progressing slowly. Whoever designed it needs shooting! (It was me) The roof has been really tricky, as so much is happening in a small amount of space. I keep telling myself that it WILL look superb when finished. The bottom half has been infilled with bead & butt boards, and looks really pleasing. The roof sections, are nearly ready for a MASSIVE glue up session very soon. I just want to ensure I have done everything to them that needs doing before they are permanently attached.  A few pictures below to show what’s been happening.


The work is underway…

This should have been posted a while back, in the heady days of summer (what summer)


Following our little trip away with www.canalvoyagers.com the work has now begun! 🙂 In the last few weeks we have constructed the forward sections of the main cabin sides, the base for the wheel house and now the wheelhouse itself is under construction. The following pictures are just a few to show that things ARE happening now 🙂

Following the sides. the next section to construct were “4 square posts, that will become supports and corner posts for the cabin when it’s fitted. This meant I had to go and buy some more timber, something I always enjoy! I went to my local timber yard looking for oak of big enough proportions, but sadly he didn’t have any. He did however have some lovely English Elm! I decided this would work very well indeed, so purchased more than enough for the current job!

Whilst I was there I spotted some wide 2” oak boards. When I say wide, I mean REALLY wide! the narrowest is over 4ft across! I was informed they came from a tree that was planted by Nelson to celebrate the battle of Trafalger in 1805! Whether this is true is up for some discussion, but it’s a fab tale regardless. Having counted the rings, the tree would be the right age, so who knows. I had no immediate use for the timber, although it will certainly all get used, but couldn’t leave such wonderful wood behind!


Anyway! Enough of the buying, it’s time to make something else.  With the sides made and put to on the stack of completed parts. It was time to start the wheelhouse.  This is by far the single most complicated section of the build.  There are lots of pieces, funny angles, and things to trip me up all the way through.

The way I designed the base means I can start from a flat surface and work up from there.  The lower cill section was first to be machined.  Followed by the uprights, and then the head section.  These were then all jointed together with mortice and tennon joints.  The bottom half of this will soon be infilled with oak bead and butt boards.  Above those will be an intermediate cill, with the windows above.

The design of the windows will be very similar to the old drop down railway carriage style, and they will all be opening. This makes a lot more work at this stage, but will be most worthwhile in the long run.

I will let you get on now, but will post another blog at the end of the week to show the progress.


A week away…

Following on from everything that happened last year and all the sorting out since. We had the opportunity to spend a week away, aboard Snipe and Taurus.  They are hotel narrow boats run by www.canalvoyagers.com ,my good friends Corinne and Neil.

We had a fabulous time and enjoyed every moment afloat! If you are looking for a break away from life’s stresses and strains I can think of nothing better! No airports to deal with, just the odd lock or 30, and peace & quiet.  You will get looked after and fed exceedingly well during your stay.  Have a look at their site.

Now we are back, and things are nearly sorted it’s back to the boat 🙂 The next post will show some actual construction!!!!

It’s been a while…

Just a short post to say sorry for not updating the blog recently.  After the last post you could say that ‘life’ got in the way of progress! Although I say ‘life’ it was more of the ‘death’ side of things and all that that brings with it that has slowed the rebuild down.

Those that follow me on Twitter will know a lot more about it all than I shall post here.  Anyway, onwards and upwards from here. Expect to see more post in the coming months as things pick up pace again. The OP will be coming out the water in May to have her bottom ‘seen to’.  Before that the cabin sides will be fitted along with the foundation for the new wheelhouse. All that has been made for a while, but just too busy doing everything else to fit it!

Thanks for your patience


Let the demolition begin…

Now that we had got everything covered up, it was time to start the removal of the wheelhouse, cabin and interior.  This was fairly straightforward as we didn’t want to keep any of it!

We started by tackling the interior. going from this:

To this:

And the for the removal of the cabin itself:

Everyone wanted a go! Just had to keep their enthusiasm in check 😉

The great cover up…

Now then dear reader, as I said in the last post we needed a cover to keep out the worst of the weather.  This couldn’t be a normal tarpaulin or sheet as it needed to fit fairly well and be designed so that we could work inside of it.  I had a word with a local sheetmaker and he gave me a price, whilst this was reasonable for the amount of material and work involved I thought there may be a better option money wise.  I did a lot of research and found a Scottish company who could supply the Regentex canvas, a company in the north that would happily supply the webbing and a firm on the south coast that supplies decent brass toothed eyelets. 

Measurements taken, sketches done and orders placed I awaited everything required to arrive.  All we then needed was a sewing machine on which to stitch it together.  A constant watch on eBay soon lead me to a Sailrite LSZ1 portable machine.  It just so happened that it was being sold by another lugger owner, (he owns Veracity) a few emails back and forth had it winging its way to us. 😉 With everything in one place it was time to start cutting and sewing the canvas into a cover.  This developed into a HUGE job, needing three of us just to pass the canvass through the sewing machine each time!  Each seam had to be sewn twice so it was backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards.  With each pass it got heavier and more bulky to handle.  After a LOT of work it was done and taken to the boat a bit at a time to check the fit and make any adjustments needed. 

It’s not quite a perfect fit, but not bad for a first go!

(Just as a side note the Sailrite sewing machine is a fantastic bit of kit!)

I also need to say a huge thank you to my mother, without her help (and livingroom floor) It wood have been very difficult indeed to make 😉

Let the demolition commence ;-)…

The work begins…

The following few days passed in a bit of a blurry state due to lack of sleep and suchlike.  We moved the OP to another berth the following day and she thankfully sat much better indeed.

I then had to come up with a list of jobs and some sort of vaguely logical order for them to be tackled in.  This took many sheets of paper untill I had a rough plan.  It had already been decided that the cabin and wheelhouse had to be removed as they were both rotten to such an extent as being beyond repair.  The wheelhouse was also ‘not spoilt by its beauty’.  It was too low to be able to steer from and had one exit to the starboard side that claimed more than it’s fair share of my scalp en-route back from Penzance!

We also were going to strip the interior as this in no way suited our needs and was also rotten in many places.  But first, we needed a cover to keep things dry (ish) whilst there was no lid on the boat…