Tuesday, 27 April 2010

OK I will start with the Health and Safety warning....

If your going to cut a great piece of steel out of the roof of your boat, it's best not to stand under it.

While my friend was cutting out the roof with a grinder on the outside we felt it was a good idea for me to stand under it, and then hold it in place and gentle lower to the ground.

It was to late when I realised it was far to heavy for me,I let go of it, it caught the new window, see photos for damage, then went through the new wood floor almost going all the way to the bottom of the canal....

After I regained consciousness I was a little upset at the damage, but was pleased to be alive and able to see the sky......

It's made a huge difference for me, being 6ft 5 I could not stand up fully any where on the boat, the new large dog box is over the kitchen, it works really well and makes the whole boat so light.

We have also started to put the wood in. Not long now until I'm sitting on deck sun bathing without a care in the world.I hope......

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Lamb Dressed As Mutton !!

Or should I say mutton dressed as lamb......

I worry about what the finished Pendragon will look like. In one breath I want all the singing dancing mod cons, plain panels and shag pile carpets. And in the next breath I want reclaimed timber, Belfast sink & oak timber flooring......

Keep things neutral, don't put to much of your own taste into things. We are constantly bombarded with similar messages regarding our homes and if our homes are our boats is the same message true ?

One so call expert tells us:-
'unless all of your potential buyers are legally blind you must give serious attention as to how your interior decoration can compliment or hurt the selling price'

What is bad taste ? I found the photo below on a bad taste web site, I'm I wrong to quite like it

I want to restore Pendragon to her past glory but she was built in 1983, was there any glory in the eighty's ? what was the fashion in 1983 on canal boats ? All I can recall is boy George and Duran Duran, I feal a theme coming on.....

She is no spring chicken.... yet she is of no historical interest...what to do.........

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Safty First !!!!!

Now William is a somewhat spoilt boy, totally my fault. The first night we brought him home I was determined that he would be a hardened guard dog, protector of the house and family. Off I went to bed leaving him in the kitchen, 1 hour later after constant howling (he is a hound dog it is what he does best) I moved him to the landing, 1 hour after that he had his own bed at the end of mine, and one hour after that he was fast asleep in my bed head on pillow under the duvet..... In truth the whole moving into my bed took about 45mins (he's not stupid)
As well as his love of comfort he is frightened of most things he cannot understand:-
  • Waves
  • Balloons
  • Celery
  • Puddles
  • Ice cream
  • Car rides
  • The vets
  • My mother
and so on..........

Naturally having such a fearless dog I have been worried about how he would take to the boat, and fingers crossed so far not to bad apart from:-

  • Getting on and off the boat (we did have one incident were he was holding on to the marina edge with his front paws and his back paws nearly touching the water, my partner has never moved so fast in his bid to save him)
  • When the engine starts up
  • When he runs out of pigs ears
  • When he can no longer see me
  • Going down in a lock (not happy about this one at all)
I also have the added fear that basset hounds are not the best swimmers in the world, so as luck would have it I found

Gas filled life jackets for dogs...
We have managed to get him secure in the harness but as yet I have not had the heart to throw him in the canal to test if it works...I can see bed wetting and nightmares on the way !!!!

Monday, 1 March 2010

A Sunny Day In March

1st of March and the sun is shinning at last...

For the past few weeks every visit to the boat showed up more and more leaks around the windows resulting in puddles on the floor. I had already laid the new floor and was worrying about the damage this new onset of leaks would cause. I decided the cheapest option would be to add liner tape (used on guttering on houses) on the inside of the windows....Took a whole day, felt really proud of myself, then it started to rain....the leaks were worse, much worse..

Nothing left to do other then fit new windows..After spending £1400. and waiting two weeks the windows were in, all looked very nice (now dreaming of curtains), following day same thing puddles on the floor..Yep my neighbour said, that's just condensation..£1400 pounds later and a 3 week delay back to stage one.

Next onto the insulation, when I took the floor out there was no insulation,in fact there was nothing, I had assumed there would be loads of bricks etc like you see in canal magazines selling sail aways, I can only assume that after it was re-plated the bricks, or ballast as I believe I'm meant to call them, needed to come out due to the increased weight. I have now fixed insulation under the floor boards I have no idea if I was meant to do this, but it seems like a good idea. Next I fitted the polystyrene insulation to the walls and ceiling, leaving the gap were I intend to fit the dog box (blame canal boat magazine for this little idea) above the kitchen area.

Still the leaks came.... So I have now fitted plastic sheeting all around the inside and stapled this on, the thought behind this was if I get condensation it will drip under the floor and into the bilge, again seems like a good idea.

1st March no leaks !!!!!!! Well kind of, still plenty of water in the bilge is this normal ??? Who knows.. If I'm still afloat will up-date blog shortly..

Friday, 26 February 2010

Safe for now

I purchased The Pendragon one Saturday in October 2009, the very next day I travelled up the Wigan Flight for 7 long hours.

Foolishly with no knowledge of a canal boat I assumed the most important job was to have the hull blackened. So off I went...

Luckily a number of friends decided to help, one of them had been on a hire boat, once, for about an hour !!! Thus Ann was deemed our expert on the trip...

All was going well, until right outside the BW's office in Wigan we went aground... No water, plenty of bikes chairs bits of fencing and the odd body but alas no water.

Just when I was beginning to come to terms with spending the rest of my boating life stuck outside the BW's office, help came, and so did the water.

The boat yard informed me that the hull had been re-plated. I never bothered with a boat survey, come to think of it I didn't know you could have a boat survey. I was also told the boat had no anodes, trying to act knowledgeable about such matters I asked them to fit them and what colour they came in.... Next was a new battery, A 75 came with the boat but I would need at least 110..... Having no idea they could fit such a large battery into the engine room, thinking that in some way this was related to size I also agreed as being a good idea.

Out of the water and in the safe hands of the boat yard, the Pendragon was safe for the time being.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Starting The Dream

My grandmother told me of her disappointment of watching the family's canal business decay after all of her brothers were lost in the 2nd world war.

I have always had a fascination with canal boats ever since childhood.

Now aged 39 years and 6 mths old an opportunity came for me to finally make my way onto the canal with my own narrow boat.
All quite by accident I was introduced to a man called Martin at Crooke Marina in Wigan selling a 1983 50ft Springer canal boat. After parting with my savings I started to live my dream. This Blog is about me trying to juggle a full time job as an Operations Manager, Studying for a Law degree and making my own dream's come true.