A narrowboat renovation project by Nick Goodall.


Dancing with the locals

2nd July 2023

Happy July!

This week was glorious, starting on Monday with a leisurely refurbishment of some windows and a trip to the chandlery, only to find they didn’t have the window gaskets I needed. But I did get another spaceship vent — sometimes called a pancake — and another mooring pin.

And then last night (Saturday), I was making dinner when I heard a Ceilidh band. I decided to follow the music after scrubbing up: across the canal, through some fields, past some chickens and an orchard, and I stumbled upon a community farm having their annual summer party. Without hesitation I danced and drank with the locals until midnight, it was so wonderful. One person said “You don’t look like the type of guy who lives on the canal,” which I could only take as a compliment.

Back onboard, I got the final overcoat on section 2 done:

Second lounge section final coat of white paint

And then straight onto section 3, starting with shuffling everything backwards and removing the final 2 saloon windows.

Section 3 before working on it

I could then remove the loose rust, pre-drill the baton holes and get out the ‘ol angle grinder. Occasionly it “kicks back” if you accidentally touch the spinny thing with something else, and this one time I dropped it, taking some of me with it:

Angle grinder flesh wound

My first (minor) flesh wound! Exciting. It was about time — I’ve already electrocuted myself twice. A day was all it took to clean up the area, and just this morning I finished the final undercoat:

Section 3 final coat of primer

2 overcoats next week and I’ll have prepped 14.5 metres of the boat, with only 4 to go (or 21.6%). And that last bit is the easiest, too, with 4 big windows on one side and fewer ceiling supports to paint around. Although I’m not looking forward to re-installing those big windows…

Until next week!

- Nick

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