Saturday, 22 October 2011

Autumn's here - Undercoats on

21 October
It’s been three weeks since I last saw The Cat’s Whiskers and Pat hasn’t seen her since she was just a shell at Narrowboats of Staffordshire, so our expectations were high when we set off up the M1 yesterday morning and did a detour to Kingfisher before going cross-country to the M6 and on to Blackpool for a Country music weekend at Birchwood, near Lytham St Annes (now that’s a posh town) and that was a long opening sentence.
We had the requisite doughnuts on board, a load of new questions to ask the boys and were itching to see her with some colour on and her windows in. We were not disappointed. Two coats of primer and two coats of undercoat have been applied and rubbed down. There is still three coats of top coat to go on and the boys want to finish this part of the operation before the weather gets too cold.
So we saw her in her “underwear”, so to speak, and even in this state, she looked pretty good. The windows and mushroom vents on the roof are in, and the engine arrives at the end of October, closely followed by the chap who will do the spray-foaming inside.
We now turn our attention to where the lights and power points need to be positioned. We are both now convinced that we the only way to go is to use LCD lighting, and we have zoned the boat into four areas. I think we may have gone a little OTT with the power sockets. We have marked 13 on the plans, but we’ll have to see what the boys think. They were worked out on a laptop in our hotel room last night.
I must apologise for the pix on this posting. I took them on my HTC phone, which normally gives me good results, but the three below are a bit washed out.
I want to source British stuff to go into the boat where possible, even if it does work out a little more expensive. We are therefore going for a Bubble wood-burning stove, as opposed to a Morso, or one of the other brand leaders, though our options on other electrical products are limited by the size and space, so it looks like we will have to go with Zanussi or Candy.
We have decided to have off-white walls and a similar ceiling colour with two wooden strips running down the length of the boat on either side. This is where the lights will go as well as the speakers.
I have now dropped the idea of having two waterproof speakers in the cockpit. I think they will be used infrequently, are expensive and are a probable nuisance. I think I’ll just get a good DAB/Internet radio. Roberts make one that you can connect a memory stick too, and play its contents, which will be useful for whatever mood takes me when at the tiller.
Finally, I discovered a couple of weeks ago that there is a brewery in Gloucestershire, called Whittingtons, that brew a beer called “The Cats Whiskers (no apostrophe). The beer and pump clip feature a surly looking cat standing behind a pint of foaming beer. I mailed the brewery and asked if they could send me a good jpeg of the image which they have, with a note saying when the boat is ready for launching, they will send a case of the beer to help in on its way. How cool is that.
John can't wait to apply another four coats of paint!

TCW in dry dock

Nearly ready for the engine and for Jan to work her sign-writing magic

Sunday, 2 October 2011

She Floats! and here is the proof

I couldn't get back in to my previous post to pop these pix on, so doing it now. Also going to try and put a video clip on line.

Up in air and I am just a little nervous
Mick looks on as she dips her stern in the water for the first time

Almost there now - just a few feet to go

Finally launched and John steadies her