A narrowboat renovation project by Nick Goodall.


Absolutely, positively riveting

16th July 2023

Rust is falling, all around me, moving kitchens, having fun. 🎵

This week I installed the first window! It went, well… I needed some rain to test it, and 2 hours later the gods delivered. The rain was heavy, the moment of truth, aaand… drip. Drip. DRIP. Fuck. Still, better than a bin big, and a world of improvement on the gaping holes in the side I’ve been living with. And soon after fixing it in place I realised the rivets were wrong; these were pop rivets, and mostly too short.

Installing first saloon window, inside Installing first saloon window, outside

Still, it looks good! Well chuffed. I’ll try a line of Sikaflex along the top to see how that fares, otherwise I can always re-install. And with 1,500 new rivets on route, sealed and countersunk with 3 different lengths, I’m set for the rest.

I then finished tearing the rest of the stern apart, removing the electronics and final bits of plumbing, including the calorifier — a water tank that heats water either via the engine or an electric immersion heater (the green thing below).

Messy stern Cleaning the stern

Did you know that the engine runs coolant pipes through the calorifier to heat water? I learned that when I took it apart, and blue engine coolant came gushing out. Hmph.

As mentioned last week, the French called on Thursday for help with their revolution, eating cheese and sleeping under the milky way at 2,400m in the alps, so that was it for this week. But I returned to a letter on the door…

Letter from the CRT

Ominous. Luckily it was only a friendly reminder to get my boat license — which I have! — but the Canal & River Trust couldn’t verify as I forgot to replace the boat number sticker after taking the windows out.

And to finish, here are some photos of the boat, as per reader request, sat somewhere on the Grand Union canal:

View of the stern, on the Grand Union canal View of the bow, on the Grand Union canal

Until next Sunday!

- Nick

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