A narrowboat renovation project by Nick Goodall.


Windows that work and watertight welding, these are a few of my favorite things

27th August 2023

This week started wonderfully with the final coat of primer on the hatch and doors:

Hatch doors primed

Followed by moving the boat a little ways down the canal with my newly-cooled engine. I did check the oil when I fixed it, but I can hear it still needs a service. And then it began, that daunting task: le kitchen windows.

I started by putting them all in the frames for sizing, and to position them properly. I bought some plastic glazing packers for aligning them, first with each other, and then to make them flush with the outside of the boat. With that done, I got to work masking up the first window:

Kitchen window inside masking Kitchen window outside masking

Followed by nearly 2 tubes of sealant(!). And then… it ran out. AGAIN. Amateur-hour over here, how did I not plan for this?! Such is that incompetence, I went to the local chandlery to see if they had any (alas, no), and headed to the pub for some internet to order 10 more tubes. As of publishing, they have yet to arrive, so I’ll get on with the rest next week.

Tuesday evening, in a last minute dash of not doing boat work that day, I removed the bathroom window, cleaned up the area and did the first coat of primer. I have no photos of this, but you can see the finished product later on!

Wednesday was George’s (the van) service & MOT, which… needed an extra day, so I made the pilgrimage back along the canal to do some painting; the first white overcoat on all the welded areas, along with the doors and hatch:

Hatch doors first overcoat

Speaking of the doors, on Tuesday I had a brainwave: the tubes around the door look ideal for one of those locks that attach to multiple points on the door; one rod extending upwards to the hatch, the other to the base plate below. What on earth are they called? This is where ChatGPT is really handy: multipoint locks. But even just searching for that is overwhelming, WTF are all these terms: backset, spindle, PZ, IPD, deadbolt throw, automatic vs manual. Hrm, I need to visit a shop. And you know what would’ve made this easier? Not throwing the old lock out. Eurgh.

Anyway, I installed the hatch and doors after their final coat of paint was dry:

Hatch doors installed

How satisfying! Except the hatch needs some adjusting; I put some rubber on the edges that slide better, but they’re still too low…

Friday? More painting, and a trip to B&Q for some wood! Because Saturday is wooden batten day:

Saloon battens

This is maybe ~70% of it done before insulating, which feels great. The last parts are the stern, the stern ceiling and above/below the lounge windows… still not sure how I want to do those “windowsills,” but I’ll sleep on it. Without my bathroom window the water was just pouring in, so that evening I had a last-minute rush to install it after 2 white overcoats that day:

Bathroom window re-installed

As mentioned the hatch needed adjusting, so this here Sunday I took it back off and drove to mum’s for the big welder:

Welding hatch Welded hatch

After I’m done with programming, I may become a welder; it’s just so much fun.

I added 4 little extensions for it to slide on, and I’m excited to see how it fares (may need some adjusting, as of writing I have not put it back on).

Until next Sunday!

- Nick

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