Rose Narrowboats

I cruised to Rose Narrowboats yesterday afternoon, ready for a prompt start this morning, and moored opposite their base on the Oxford Canal, between Hawkesbury Junction and Rugby.

Rose Narrowboats base on the Oxford Canal
Rose Narrowboats base on the Oxford Canal

We are heading into the paint shop and the first task is to slide the empty trolley down the gently sloping ramp.

Waiting for the lift up the ramp into the paint shed at Rose Narrowboats
Waiting for the lift up the ramp into the paint shed at Rose Narrowboats

Then our Waterway Routes narrowboat is slid forwards onto the trolley.

Floating onto the trailer ready to go into the paint shed at Rose Narrowboats
Floating onto the trailer ready to go into the paint shed at Rose Narrowboats

I made sure everything inside would be safe when the boat is tipped a little as it’s pulled up the ramp.

Climbing the ramp onto the hard standing.
Climbing the ramp onto the hard standing.

We’re soon on the hard standing waiting for the pressure washing below the water line.  As it will be repainted above the water line too then it’s not necessary to be too careful aiming the pressure washer.

On the level waiting for pressure washing.
On the level waiting for pressure washing.

The weather was a little overcast and trying to rain but Paul, the painter, created lots of spray as he pressure washed the stern.

Pressure washing the stern.
Pressure washing the stern.

Paul is making sure he gets all the gunk off the hull from below the water line.  He doesn’t want any of that in his nice clean paint shed.

Pressure washing the bows with a visible difference in the before and after.
Pressure washing the bows with a visible difference in the before and after.

With a clean hull it’s time to pull the trolley and boat into the paint shed.  It’s a good job the doors at the far end open so the tractor can go out that way.

Entering the paint shed.
Entering the paint shed.

Once inside the decking is slid up to the sides of the boat to make a safe working area.

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I was made welcome by everyone at Rose Narrowboats and I’m looking forward to returning later this week to see progress, and take a few more photos.

Repainting

I visited Rose Narrowboats yesterday to see progress as our boat was prepared for re-painting.  The preparations are well under way.

The mains input socket was fitted in the roof at the side of the hatch when the boat was new but it kept filling up with water and that wasn’t wise. Sometime ago we had it moved to a better location near the rear door and the hole was fitted with a blanking plate, seen removed and upside down to the left of the photo.  The hole is now being filled properly, with the circular piece on the right about to be welded in.  Once finished it will be invisible under the new paint which will be continuous grey non-slip over the former socket.

Former electrical socket in roof ready for blanking off.
Former electrical socket in roof ready for blanking off.

The posts for the rear seat had been straightened and welded back into place so they were upright again.

Rear seat frame re-welded into place.
Rear seat frame re-welded into place.

This earlier shot shows the left hand rear seat pushed forward after it had been struck from behind by another boat.

Left rear seat bent forwards after being hit from behind.
Left rear seat bent forwards after being hit from behind.

All the window frames have been removed ready for repainting.

Window frames removed making the boat look a little unusual.
Window frames removed making the boat look a little unusual.

Here’s one of the frames out of the boat.

Window frames out for repainting
Window frames out for repainting

The seal between the window frames and the boat has lasted but wouldn’t have lasted much longer.  There were a few minor leaks where water was just starting to get inside the boat and running down behind the panelling in the boat.  It would have been un-noticed there for a while until the damp had started to cause serious damage so I’m glad we had the work done now.

A lot of the existing paintwork should be stripped back by the next time I visit.

A busy day

Thursday was a busy day as I went by train and bus to Rose Narrowboats to see progress with repainting our boat.

The first few photos are from my previous visit.

Paul (the painter, not me) busy working on the roof, with the sides taken back to bare metal
Paul (the painter, not me) busy working on the roof, with the sides taken back to bare metal

Most of it was back to bare metal with Paul (the painter, not me) busy on the roof.

The sides were still in good condition.
The sides were still in good condition.

I was pleased to see the sides were lovely and smooth with no significant damage. They will look good when the painting is finished.

Rust on the roof will require treatment.
Rust on the roof will require treatment.

The roof has several rust spots which have spread from damaged areas.  I was aware the rust was there, but I hadn’t realised how far it had spread as most of this was still covered in blue paint.

Tunnel bands showing the water damage.
Tunnel bands showing the water damage.

The tunnel bands show signs of rust, still to be treated.  Despite blacking the bottom 5cm (2 inches) of the lower band instead of painting there’s still water damage there.

Tunnel bands with primer look a lot better
Tunnel bands with primer look a lot better

This week’s visit shows two coats of primer makes a lot of difference to the tunnel bands and the general appearance of the boat.

Paul (the painter) applying the primer
Paul (the painter) applying the primer

Paul (the painter) busy applying the second coat of primer with a long handled roller.  The primer is rolled on, but the undercoat and top coats will be hand painted.

Smooth sides with primer
Smooth sides with primer

The sides look lovely and smooth, any apparent unevenness is just the recently applied second coat of primer dryer in some places than others.

After the visit it was a quick phone call to check where another blogger was, then a walk south along the Oxford Canal towpath to see them.

Looking for the approaching boat
Looking for the approaching boat

This is the front of the boat I was looking for, it’s No Problem rounding the corner.

Sue, Meg and Penny looking out for me (Vic already has the kettle on)
Sue, Meg and Penny looking out for me (Vic already has the kettle on)

Vic already has the kettle on, producing a mug of tea as I stepped aboard, leaving Sue, Meg and Penny looking out for me.

We chatted about all sorts of canal things as we cruised northwards, back towards Rose Narrowboats where Sue and Vic had a chance to see narrowboat Waterway Routes in the paint shed.

Waving goodbye to No Problem
Waving goodbye to No Problem

I shut the swing bridge for them and left them heading north as I went to catch the bus to Coventry and train to Birmingham in search of more bloggers.

Granny Buttons
Granny Buttons

The first boat I spotted was the famous Granny Buttons, from a former blogger.

Waiouru and Valerie
Waiouru and Valerie

Then I spotted Valerie (disguised in her plain green paint scheme part way through repainting) and Waiouru.

I spent time with Jaq, on Valerie, and with Tom and Jan on Waiouru before catching the train back home.

More painting

We were back at Rose Narrowboats yesterday to see the progress that Paul (the painter, not me) had made with repainting our narrowboat.

Paul (the painter) working on the roof
Paul (the painter) working on the roof

Paul had finished the two layers of primer and applied the first undercoat which is grey, and was busy sanding it down.  The second undercoat will be blue.

Chimney exposed and holes welded up
Chimney exposed and holes welded up

The chimney collar has been removed, exposing a little rust which has been dealt with, and the holes in the centre of the roof where the television aerial used to be have been welded up.

Smooth sides for the name panel
Smooth sides for the name panel

The large smooth area to the right is where the name panel will be.

Tunnel Bands already looking better with a little red paint
Tunnel Bands already looking better with a little red paint

The red undercoat on the lower tunnel band makes a surprising difference to the appearance.

Red undercoat makes a surprising difference
Red undercoat makes a surprising difference

More red undercoat at the bows makes it look a little nearer finished.

I’ll be back on Friday when I’m expecting to see a big change as the second coat of undercoat will be blue and that will be very different.

More painting

While our boat is out of the water the hull is being blacked, with parts of it already done.  The anodes are approaching the end of their life and won’t last until the next blacking so now is the best time to replace them.  The blacking will be completed around the new anodes.

New anodes fitted
New anodes fitted

The blue undercoat makes a lot of difference since my last visit.  The left hand side is done, with the lining marked out ready.

Blue undercoat with lining marked out
Blue undercoat with lining marked out

The name panel will have a red background and the red undercoat is there ready.

Red name panel, left side
Red name panel, left side

The red is on the right hand name panel too.  The gunwales still have to be painted here and the grey makes it look unfinished, but Paul (the painter) is working his way around the boat and it will be blue by the time you read this.

Red name panel, right side
Red name panel, right side

Paul has been working around the front doors too.

Front, right side
Front, right side

Once again, the grey along the gunwales makes the left side unfinished – at least until Paul gets there.

Front, left side
Front, left side

The wet undercount around the bows gives a shiny appearance, making it easier to imagine how it will look when finished.

Wet undercoat on the bows
Wet undercoat on the bows

That’s three weeks of hard work completed.  Another three to go.

First Top Coat

I was back at Rose Narrowboats again yesterday, to see even more progress with repainting our narrowboat.

Bows with second undercoat sanded down.
Bows with second undercoat sanded down.

The bows, which looked shiny in my last post because the undercoat was wet have been sanded down.  Now its the red paint looking good with the first coat of gloss complete.

Front with second undercoat sanded down.
Front, with second undercoat sanded down.

The whole of the front had been sanded down and will probably have the first coat of gloss on by the time I publish this.

Paul (the painter, not me) painting inside the marked panels on the left hand side.
Paul (the painter, not me) painting inside the marked panels on the left hand side.

Paul, the painter, was working his way along the left hand side of the boat, painting inside the marked out panels.

Paul, working his way around the outside of the panels.
Paul, working his way around the outside of the panels.

A lovely picture of Paul’s reflection in the red name panel.  He’s working his way around the outside of the panels with the blue paint now.

Right hand side with first top coat still wet
Right hand side with first top coat still wet

Paul had already finished the first (of three) top coats on the right hand side.  The reflections are gradually making it harder to photograph the boat as they fool the camera.  The red name panels in the last two photo really are the same colour, but the light and reflections make them look very different.

Paul has warned me that the boat will look different outside.

More Gloss Coats

Further progress with repainting our boat, visible during two recent visits.

Last week I saw the first gloss coat rubbed down and the second gloss coat being applied.  The name panel looks shiny with the second gloss coat on the right hand side.

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The left hand name panel is painted the same red colour, although filming inside under difficult lighting make it look a different colour.  The inner blue panel has its second gloss coat too.

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This week I saw the third, and final top coat nearing completion.  Paul (the painter) is carefully reaching over the side to paint the blue on the roof.

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Paul can paint the circles around the mushroom vents without masking tape – and they do look circular.

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This is half way through week five out of an estimated six weeks.

Free Central Heating

We may be hoping it stays too hot to need the central heating on our boat for a while but, sooner or later, we will need it working.

For the last two winters we have had free central heating on our boat, at least while the engine is running, after making one simple change. We’ve added an extra pump to the central heating circuit.

When the engine is running it heats the water in the calorifier through the first calorifier coil, with the rest of the engine heat wasted through the skin tanks as it heats the canal.

Free Central Heating Circuit
Free Central Heating Circuit

As originally installed the water in the calorifier can also be heated by the Webasto diesel powered central heating unit through the second calorifier coil.  We’ve now installed an additional pump, shown in red on the diagram, which pumps water around the central heating system without the Webasto unit using any diesel.

With the new pump switched on the engine heats the water in the calorifier through the first coil and the heat is picked up through the second coil and pumped through the radiators.  The new pump is wired with an on/off switch to the engine ignition circuit so it can only work when the engine is running.

The pump is a Jabasco 59510-0012 12v pump which has low resistance to water flow when switched off so the Webasto central heating will still work as normal when the new pump is switched off.

The result is that, within fifteen minutes of starting the engine, we have radiators throughout the boat which are hotter than when we run the Webasto unit, with no noticeable drop in the hot water temperature.

Whenever we are cruising, or just running the engine to charge the batteries, we have central heating available on demand, with no measurable running costs.

The Webasto unit can be used to keep the radiators warm during the evening, or to heat them in the morning.  And our stove can supply additional warmth too.

Don’t wait until it gets cold before fitting one yourself.

Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat

We left Rose Narrowboats this morning with our newly repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat.

Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat leaving Rose Narrowboats
> Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat leaving Rose Narrowboats

A few days ago it was behind those green doors in the paint shed.  Paul (the painter) has finished his hard work and the boat looks new again.  I wonder how long we can keep it looking like that.

> Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat moored at Rose Narrowoboats
> Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat moored at Rose Narrowboats

The name is on the bows, as before, so people will recognise us coming.

We’re on our way back to our home mooring at Sherborne Wharf, in Birmingham.  We moored at the top of Atherstone Locks late this afternoon.  Tomorrow should see us through Atherstone and Glascote Locks and, perhaps, a little onto the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.  Please give us a wave if you see us.

Homewards along the Coventry Canal

We’re heading home with our repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat.

> Atherstone Locks
Atherstone Locks

The sunshine looks nice but it was bitterly cold. There was a sprinkling of snow on the boat this morning and it took until nearly lunchtime for that to melt.  There are lots of marks appearing on the boat but they are all reflections – well nearly all – we did touch the side in a few locks.

We passed through Atherstone and Glascote Locks on the Coventry Canal and turned left at Fazeley Junction onto the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal where we are moored near Fisher’s Mill Bridge.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we will be heading into Birmingham, although we don’t expect to make it all the way home, and will probably moor outside Star City for the night.