A narrowboat renovation project by Nick Goodall.


A secured, insulated boat

8th October 2023

This week was textbook Parkinson’s law: work expands to fill the time available for its completion. I didn’t give myself enough to do.

On Monday I drilled the shoot bolt hole for the door in the newly-welded hatch and started painting it, along with the chimney collar. This continued all week until I installed it on Friday, a huge milestone in winter cosiness!

Chimney collar installed

(The red is just primer, a temporary measure… he says.)

On Tuesday evening I installed battens in the doors and ordered an 8kw diesel heater… to say I’m excited is an understatement, this boat is gonna be so incredibly hyggelig, and with a freestanding sink on the way I’ll finally have some drainage and a place to run water as well. Temporary of course, but a big quality-of-life upgrade.

I also picked up new panes of glass for the portholes, ones I’d ordered last week with measurements I made 6 months ago. Not ready to install, but I decided to try them for size when I got back, and… they didn’t fit. None of them fit; they were all a few millimetres too big. But it gave me a good laugh, and taught me a valuable lesson: don’t trust past Nick, he’s an idiot. A lovable idiot that I care for deeply, but an idiot.

Friday evening I battened the hatch and the front of the water tank, finished masking up battens and vents and then, Saturday, another big day. With a train to catch in the afternoon, this was likely my last chance of the year with excellent weather to insulate, and I couldn’t miss it. But first, coffee:

Morning coffee

After that it was a rush to remove the doors, cover everything else with plastic sheets and heat the foam tanks before the final mess. It was electric, and an hour later I was done. I HAVE AN INSULATED BOAT!

Insulated boat Me (Nick) insulating

And after putting the hatch and doors back, I properly secured the boat for the first time, and my 3-point lock worked a charm:

Insulated doors Locked boat

(I once more took the handle with me as it needs a little adjusting and the screws were loose.)

Now the hatch still jiggles and I have yet to decide how the runners will work, but it is insulated and the rest can wait. And with the diesel heater en route, a sink, and fairy lights to install… oh BUOY.

Until next Sunday!

- Nick

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